Over the years I’ve had periods of time that I delved deeply into the Word of God and those times were times of growth. I spent many hours in prayer as well, mostly for my family in those years. Having a growing family that was the thing most on my heart during those years. God did not expect more from me. I served in churches in whatever way I could while we raised our family. Then in the early part the 2000’s we left a church we had been serving in and I was at a loss for how to serve God. At that time I had a fifty-five mile one way commute to my job and I spent that time talking to God. One morning I was asking earnestly what He wanted me to do to serve him and his still small voice so clearly said, “Love My people.” I’ve spent much of the subsequent decade plus trying to understand how He wanted me to do that. Especially since we quit attending any church after we made our move to another state coming up on 13 years ago.
I’m not a social creature by nature. Joining groups has never been something I’ve done, church had been the only real social activity that I did. Yes I did have friends, one at a time, that I would do things with over the years. It takes time to build friendships and I can say that I have three women that are my friends and I feel lucky that they are all women of similar faith to whom I can go and ask that they agree with me in prayer.
A little over two years ago I found that I had been lax in reading my Bible for quite some time so I began reading more regularly but still I did not read on a daily basis. It was more like three or four times a week that I read some passages in scripture. Still there was no systemic method that I was using. I would pray but that too was sporadic. In October or so of 2016 I decided to set aside a time to read and pray daily. The best time was right after I had gotten my husband off to work of a morning. I would sit down and read a few passages in scripture and pray. At first I might spend 45 minutes to an hour reading and praying. It was a start. By December the time I spent had increased to an hour and a half. It was good time spent with the Lord. But still my scripture reading had no rhyme or reason to it and I realized it had been a very long time since I had read the Bible through completely, so I decided that I would begin in January to read through the Bible. I signed up on Biblegateway for a program to read through the Bible in one year.
Well, I soon learned that the amount of reading in one day was just not enough. There were stories in the Bible that I wanted to keep on reading until I got to the end of that story. I’m that way with any book, if it’s a good story I just don’t want to put it down. The Bible is so well written that I didn’t want to put it down either. Of course, it was written by the Creator of all things He is the ultimate author. So I found myself reading several days worth of scripture and by the end of May I had read the entire Bible.
Now in the mean time I had learned of a new translation of scripture that also included all these extra-Biblical books including all the apocrypha, the books of Enoch, Jasher, Jubilees and a quite a few other ancient texts. It was called the eth Cepher and included in the text the location of every instance of the Hebrew aleph tav found in the ancient texts, it also used the translators interpretation of how the name of God would be pronounced based on how other names are pronounced. So the translators believe that the name of God, the Tetragrammaton or the yud-hey-vav-hey (יהוה) in Hebrew, the YHVH in English would be Yahuah instead of Yehova. I was excited about this book so I ordered it for myself as a birthday gift to me. But I had not yet finished reading my current translation when it came in the mail. As soon as I finished reading through the whole Bible in late May I picked up the eth Cepher and began reading it from beginning to end. I did not use any kind of Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs type of daily reading I just read it through from cover to cover.
At the same time after my daily reading I would pray. Now, sometimes I get easily distracted and there were days that I would journal my prayers so I could focus. But that was not a daily thing it was only on those days that I found my mind wandering instead of praying. Still, as time went by, my prayer time increased and I found that my time spent in scripture and prayer was increasing and I would spend two to two and a half hours in my morning devotion time. I was definitely growing in my spiritual life and my walk with God was getting much better. I finished the eth Cepher just after the first of January this year. So I began reading another translation, I think it’s the New King James Version this time. I am definitely not a King James only kind of person. I must have 5 or six different translations all within reach of my rocking chair nest where I read and pray.
Sometime in late January or early February I inquired about joining an on-line prayer team who pray over the requests put on the Prayer Wall at the Paul Begley Prophesy web-site. I’d occasionally posted a prayer request there myself over the past year and half or so. Someone from their prayer team had asked if I wanted to be one of their emergency prayer warriors. I didn’t want to commit to a specific time every day, so I joined them. Wow! That was the catalyst to take me from being a praying believer to becoming a true intercessor.
What is the difference between being a praying believer to being an intercessor? Let me tell you. When I pray for my family, friends, for those who has for prayer I ask based on what I know the situation is. Yes I ask for God’s will to be done in those situations. But, when I chose to become a part of a team with a specific purpose to pray for those who have put prayers up for others that they do not know to pray God began showing me that there is more to intercessory prayer than just asking God to do this that or the other for people.
He has shown me that repenting of my own sin is just the beginning, repenting of the iniquity of my nation is imperative, praying for nations, leaders, for the social ills of the world, for those who are truly persecuted for the name of Jesus-Yeshua-Yahushua, for those who are martyred for their faith in the living God and His Son, all these things are important. He has been showing me daily how to pray from His Word. Scripture will jump out at me and say, this is how to pray for Jerusalem, this is how to pray for your own nation, this is how to pray for the sick, this is how to pray for yourself to be able to minister to others. His Word is alive!
I’ve heard that praying scripture is a good way to pray but I had never really understood that. Now, as I read scripture I am praying what I am reading. It could be for myself to improve my service to Yahuah, it could be to pray for a nation, a group of people, or an individual. The Lord leads me in how or to whom a scripture applies. Sometime, outside of my prayer time I will hear someone talking about a subject and God will make my heart very tender for that subject and place it on me to pray in that regard. Like the other day, I was hearing an interview Henry Gruver, a man of God who has had a prayer walk ministry for over 5o years. He will be speaking at the Hear the Watchmen conference in Dallas, TX this coming weekend and he said that he loves to meet the people at these conferences and when he finds intercessors he collects them because he covets their prayers. Well, I cried. God made my heart so tender for that man’s desire to have intercessors praying for his own ministry that I knew I had to include him in my prayers daily. Then He gives me scripture to pray over that man and his ministry. That is just a small example.
In the short period of time it has been since I joined a team of prayer warriors my personal devotional time in prayer has gone from a couple hours to as many as five hours a morning. Even then sometimes I feel it was cut short at times. The personal spiritual growth from intercessory prayer is more than I can express and I know that it is just the beginning because, as of yet, those other gifts of the Spirit which many exercise are still not fully at work in me. That is okay, I have read scriptures that God revealed to me why, and He is still working on me. I’m just a youth in this journey, but, this is how God wants me to love His people at this point in my spiritual journey. It is a glorious journey because to God be all the glory for all that He does and right now He is raising me up to be a more effective servant. For that I am most grateful because on my own I could do nothing and it is my most fervent desire to serve my God and when he calls me home and I stand to be judged all I want to hear is, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”