INTERCESSION AND SOAKING PRAYER
If prayer is to be seen as our communication with God to seek and find His will for our lives, then intercession is our bringing others into His presence inviting Him to manifest His will in their lives.
He does not always do what we expect Him to do, but He seems always to touch the one for whom we intercede with His love. He will do nothing other than love us. He cannot indulge us, giving us our way, and love us at the same time. It is only when our will is at one with His that indulgence and love are the same.
The best illustration of intercession that I find in the New Testament is the four who carried the paralytic to Jesus on a stretcher. It was not sufficient to leave him at the edge of the crowd where Jesus was teaching. They knew that they had to get him into the presence of Jesus.
1. Their one intention was to get him into the presence of Jesus, so that Jesus could heal him. Their problem was how they were going to do that.
2. They had to be of one accord in their actions. They could not have gotten him up onto the roof, and down into the room where Jesus was standing unless they were together in the effort. There was no discord.
3. They had some work to do to remove the obstacle of the roof itself which stood between them and their goal.
4. They didn't stop until they had accomplished what they had set out to do.
Our work with intercession is of the same nature. We may pray alone or in a group with others, but our aim is the same. We are to bring the ones for whom we intercede into the presence of God, and place them in His creative love. We are not so much to insist on our own will being done, as to open the way for the Lord to reach in and manifest His will.
Love is the Determining Factor
We bring them in the sure knowledge that God's will for them is perfect wholeness. We bring them in the sure knowledge that God's action in each case will be to manifest His love for them. We pray in accord with the words Jesus taught us, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
I have seen a number of people for whom prayer was offered who did not receive the healing and restoration that was requested; but I have never seen anyone who was lifted to the Lord in prayer who was not touched by His love.
When the healing we expect is not forthcoming, we ask, "Lord, how do you will to express your love for this particular child of yours?" Then we wait upon God for an indication of what we are to do to be His presence through whom He will be able to reach out and touch with His love.
God answers our prayers out of His love, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. We commit ourselves to seek that love in which we might leave the person for whom we are praying.
Soaking prayer is a form of intercession whereby we hold the person for whom we are praying in His presence for a longer period of time. It would seem that God takes more time to do some things than He takes to do others.
Soaking prayer is not so much a matter of words as of the intent of the heart to simply hold the person in the love of God while He works the creative power of that love into the area of dis ease.
If one person lays hands on the head and another on the feet, it is much as if they are carrying the person on a bed much as the paralytic was carried by the four. Visualize the person in God's arms. Hold them there until the Spirit tells you it is time to bring them back into the present time and place.
Soaking Prayer can be repeated when we are led by the Lord to intercede in that fashion. It is not a way to get God to do your will. It is a way to allow God time to work His will in those whom we bring Him to love.
We are not necessarily to pray once and quit to prove that we have faith, nor are we to continue to pray the same prayer over and over again. We are to pray through to that place where we have let the person down into God's presence, and release the person there.
We need not pray again until God brings that person back to our awareness, and says, "Bring them to Me." Then we pray again until we have brought them into His presence, and release them to Him.
We continue with that persistence in prayer that Jesus taught when He used the parable of the widow who continued to knock at the door of the judge until she was vindicated. We persist until we find and lay hold of His answer, the manifest love that brings us to the wholeness we seek in Him.
It is important that we do not cease praying until we are aware that God has heard, and He has received our prayer. We are to pursue the aim of our prayer to see God's love as He expresses it in the particular circumstances to meet the need that we bring Him.
A part of our persistence must be to listen to what He is saying to us. It might be calling us to pray in a different way for the person. He might say, "Pray, for the memories." or "Let them make a confession and receive absolution. They are not able to receive what I have for them until they get rid of their guilt." It might be, "Use prayers of deliverance that I might set them free from some inner bondage."
We press forward until we find the way we are to pray for the person, and we persist in following the direction that we receive from Holy Spirit. We press on in obedience looking for God to show us what He is doing in His love.
Intent, Technique and Methodology
In intercession it is our intent to put someone together with God. In doing that work, we will choose our tools. We will use some words, and often visualization, to pray believing we are receiving. Mk 11:24 The important aspect of the effort is to get someone into His presence. He is the One who heals.
The wording of the prayer must express the intent, but beyond that it is not important. Techniques and methods do not bring people any more completely into the presence of God. It is our intent to bring them for His will to be done. The words the Spirit gives us to use are adequate.
God has a particular expression of love for each one of us. It is that expression of love that we are seeking. Whether we articulate our intent with simple words or with flowery language, we are intercessors bringing one whom He loves to Him to be loved into wholeness. That is what intercession is.
As we are willing to be taught, Holy Spirit will show us how to grow in the capacity to express our concern, to get the paralytic on the roof, to open the way to get him down into the presence of God who is able to say, "Be of good cheer your sins are forgiven, or rise take up your bed and walk," or just His touch of love upon the one whom we bring Him.
We are not seeking to get God to do our will. That is incantation or sorcery. We are to know His will for us is love that perfects us, and we pray, "Thy will be done, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else."To Fr Al's Main Page