Even good runners train for a marathon. It’s just as important to train for a special prayer event. Today, I met with a group of intercessors to train them for an upcoming time where they will be interceding for missionaries on an individual basis.
You may be wondering what a prayer training would even look like. Do we practice bowing our heads? Maybe, say “Amen” in unison? Not even close. I’ll share just a little of what this training involved. Who knows? You may soon be asked to pray for someone and find this helpful.
I talked about the importance of using time well. We don’t live in a world with unending time frames. While our time with each one is significant, it is not unending and we need to use it well. This means giving the person we’re praying for time to talk and us time to listen.
Listening...now, that’s where we all can use practice. Actively listening to someone else means putting aside our own thoughts and our own burdens for the time being and tuning into someone else. It means not interrupting or sharing our own stories. It means listening intently, sometimes taking notes, and asking clarifying questions when needed. It means not being afraid of the quiet when someone needs a minute or two to think.
I asked the participants to give an example of something they might say if someone continues to talk when it’s time to stop and pray. Let’s face it. We all need someone to listen to us and once we get started sharing it can be hard for some to stop. Intercessors do need time to actually pray for the person! We also need to be prepared for what to do if someone is having difficulty to stop sharing.
Some intercessors are gifted in hearing from the Holy Spirit during prayer. For these, they will listen not only to the person, but also to the Lord to guide their prayers. Others, will stick to praying only what the person actually shared. Both will avoid praying their own will over them. As this is a deeper area of learning in intercession I’ll stop with just that.
Finally, we talked about the burden of intercession. As intercessors, we never know what someone is about to share with us in the prayer room. A person may be carrying a very heavy burden that will have us feeling our own tears fall down our cheeks as we pray over them. After a heavy prayer session, the intercessors may need to pray with each other to be sure we leave the burden with the Lord. We are not meant to carry the burdens out of the prayer room; only to carry them to the Lord. God is the one who will now carry this burden. God is the one who will answer the prayer.
As intercessors, most of us are eager to constantly be learning; to be mentored and to mature in intercession. I know I love learning from others. But, the best training is to be continually learning from the greatest intercessor of all – Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
By Jacqui – One of God’s Intercessors