Good day, Royal Ones!
Let’s begin with a review of our working definition of bodily intercession.
Intercession is Spirit-led ministry where we enter “the gap” for a person, a people, a place or a cause and we pray God’s heart or desired end. It is possible, when in the gap, to experience in the body the force or pain of the spiritual battle. This physical experience, in this context, is bodily intercession.
This week I want to offer the first consideration in bodily intercession. That is, to know our pains…or, know our bodies.
Infirmity & Affliction versus Intercession
All pains are not an invitation to intercession. There are shared symptoms, and when we understand what pains are “legal” or belong to us then we better discern an invitation to intercede. Please note that this happens over time, as we pay attention to pains we suffer and follow their connection to understanding.
Infirmity and Affliction are personal pains that yield personal benefit. Healing from infirmity benefits one, though it may affect others. Affliction, depending on the reason for it, comes for a personal lesson. Intercession, however, is for others’ benefit. The vessel gains much in the experience, but the effects of Spirit-led intercession are for the broader target (e.g., a person, a people group, a nation, a cause, etc.).
Here are a couple of Scripture references to help us out.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will. ~ Romans 8:26-27 New English Translation (NET) (emphasis added)
Psalm 119:67 is a great example of personal benefit from affliction.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. (NASB) (emphasis added)
Of course we’ll go into more detail in October, but these introductory posts serve for clarity in bodily intercession. There is a difference between infirmity, affliction and intercession. We learn the difference first, and most practically, when we pay attention to our bodies.
If I am prone to headaches, for example, then I learn their cause and name their different pains (e.g., tension/stress headaches, hunger headaches, migraines, sinus pressure headaches, etc.). Then when the crown of the head starts to hurt, I know something different is happening — it may be a call to pray for headship in a certain arena.
BOTTOM LINE: Let’s get our annual physicals and ask our doctors all the questions we can to know our bodies better. Let’s watch things like salt and sugar intake. Let’s drink more water, and eat better. Let’s exercise and get enough sleep. Let’s take care of our vessels and understand the message they send through pain.
That way, when we experience pain via intercession, we pray ready to receive insight about the “new” or “foreign” pain. This insight remains with us always as Holy Spirit develops us in this ministry.
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