As the world grows darker and more dangerous, my concern turns to the safety of my family and friends! I have been incredibly fortunate to have faced so many life-threatening situations only to experience God’s protection and deliverance!
Those events weren’t fun or easy when they were happening, but after seeing God move time and time again on my behalf, I developed a confidence in His trustworthiness. It’s easy to trust God for myself because I’ve been through the fire so many times. However, so many of the people I love haven’t had those life experiences.
As a young believer, when I would have these concerns and begin to intercede, I was often driven by fear instead of faith. Plus, I knew that regardless of what I prayed the person I was praying for had to be willing to cooperate with God in order to experience His protection.
As I learned more about binding and loosing, I eventually came to realize I could only bind what had already been bound in heaven, and I could only loose what had already been loosed in heaven. Anything beyond that would give me no basis of authority from which to function. Faith is not about me convincing God to take action; it’s about trusting the action He has already taken.
God opened my eyes to this issue about intercession in the most unlikely passage! In the matter of believers and unbelievers being married, Paul states the following: For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband. (1 Corinthians 7:14)
When I see the word believer juxtaposed against the word unbeliever, I don’t think that strictly applies to saved versus lost, although that is the primary message in this passage. I think it is safe to consider that at times, this can get down to believing God in certain situations. (I’ll talk more about this in a message I hope to share in CyberChurch on September 21st entitled Sanctifying Your Family.)
The word “sanctify” means to set apart unto something and/or set apart from something. We want to set our loved ones apart unto God’s protection and from disaster. The word “saved” is more than the born-again experience. It means saved, healed, delivered, blessed, prospered, protected, and made whole, set apart, and everything that’s included in our inheritance.
This is not to say the unbelieving partner is born again. It does mean there is some way an unbelieving spouse can benefit from the fact that the believer is sanctified in Jesus.
One example of this is when Paul was on a ship that was lost at sea in a storm. (Acts 27:9-26) It seemed as though the ship, cargo, and all aboard would die at sea. But God’s protection for Paul saved the lives of every person on board. They were “sanctified” because of the presence of the Apostle Paul on that ship.
As believers, everyone around us partakes of and benefits from the degree we have sanctified ourselves unto the Lord. Personally, I think the greatest place where that shows up is in how we treat others. They get to experience Jesus in and through us. But I have come to see this extends to our intersession.
I want you to have confidence when praying for your family and loved ones. This is the first pathway to developing true spiritual connections with one another. It is the beginning of an invisible but very real connection that goes deeper than anything you may have ever experienced.
Keep in mind, prayer is not begging God to do what He has already done in Jesus. It is not us convincing God to do those things He’s already doing. He’s already trying to lead, protect, and provide for every human. But He needs someone on earth who understands and walks in authority to take action. This is where you come in!
When we know God’s promises, we can speak them over others. We can see the end, i.e., the outcome, long before it occurs. We can avoid hours, days, or sometimes years of agony wondering what will become of those we love. Or, we can not only have peace in our hearts, but we can also help bring peace to the ones for whom we pray.
(You may want to read my short book, Keys of the Kingdom, so you can understand why Jesus’ prayers were so powerful and effective, and pray as He taught us.)
I’ll cover so much more about this in my short series, but for now, know this: When I begin to speak something over someone, I do the following:
- I make sure that it is based on something God has already resolved in the heavenlies
- I don’t try to tell God what to do or how to do it; I simply speak, i.e., declare the end from the beginning
- I spend time experiencing the desired outcome before I end my time of intercession. I want it to become real to me.
- I obey anything God tells me to do in personal ministry to the one for whom I pray.
- I never let the end, or the peace it brings, escape me,
- If the sense comes back to me that the one I’m praying for is in danger, I never yield to fear. I never give my thoughts over to vain imaginations. I immediately see the end that I saw when I “prayed through” the first time. I return to peace and let go of it!
One of the most frequent commands God gives us in His Word is, “Fear not!” It’s hard to stay out of fear when our loved ones might be at risk. But anything He tells us to do, He will give us the power to do if we trust and obey! If you choose to come out of fear you will, especially if you are standing in the gap for them!
I encourage you to step into a new role in your family and among your friends. And together, we will all continue to
Change the way the world sees God!
Dr. Jim Richards
P.S. Please enjoy the following update and photos from Pastor Isaac Thomas in Kenya. He, along with his wife, Edna, are doing amazing things throughout their region. Thank you for your support that helps make this possible.
On July 2, 2023, twenty-six students were graduated from Impact International School of Ministry.
Our August camp meetings in Mombasa were very good. 2,300 youth from three countries (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) were in attendance. (Photos below) 230 copies of Dr. Jim’s LIFE 101 WHAT NOW? booklets were given to new converts. We were able to share about IISOM classes with 102 pastors who attended the meetings. We are praying we will be able to open a training center and church in order to reach more in the Islamic city of Mombasa very soon. The Lord is faithful in all things.
Please keep us uplifted for our upcoming meetings in Mumias, September 4-7th.