– Secret Place Insights –
Dear One, as Christians we look for God’s guidance through the example of other Christians, through sermons, through reading the Bible, and through prayer. But every now and then, God voices a proclamation. And often it is delivered in puzzle form, a puzzle which we must, through more prayer, try and figure out just what we are to do.
One morning, such was the case for me. The words were, “There will be twelve people praying by name for the spiritual-growth of the people at Faith.” Faith is the church which my husband, Ron, and I attend. You can believe, I sat at my quiet-time place rather long that morning. What was I supposed to do with this! Notice the sentence. God did not just say pray for; He said pray for the spiritual growth – nothing more. This was not to be the common prayer-request ministry, this ministry would focus totally on growing strong through Christ.
I sat wondering about it, and came up with this. A Christian’s spiritual walk is more important than anything else in his or her life. In order that the twelve intercessors do not get side-tracked with congregant’s earthly desires and needs, God is calling them to deal only with the most important of all Man’s needs. God is not asking for an additional prayer-request ministry, Faith has those, this is to be a set-apart ministry.
Why just twelve? I was not sure about that, but I recalled that Jesus chose twelve disciples, and that there were twelve tribes of Israel. I decided that for reasons I did not understand, God sometimes likes to work in groups of twelve. So be it.
The first thing I did was get permission from church leadership to start the ministry. What I did next led me astray. I am SO grateful for all the examples of people in the Bible who blew it, BUT then got back on track. For that happened to me.
My problem was perfectionism. I began by designing elaborate prayer notebooks – ones which would take months to complete. What a mistake! Time passed. I dropped the project…for years, yes, years! Thankfully, the Holy Spirit would not give me peace about it. Finally, with my-tail-between-my-legs, I received a second permission from the church to begin again.
After finding six men, and six women interested in joining the ministry, we began. But wait, including me, didn’t that make thirteen? Yes, it did. Let me explain a precious gift from God.
While recruiting the team, I received a call from a woman whom I had invited to join the ministry. She said that she could not be one of the twelve. Then she added that God had told her to be an intercessor for the twelve, that she was to provide prayer support for the team. What a blessing! The team would be stronger, and if Satan ever succeeded in covering the ministry with doubt, we had double confirmation. God had specifically called two people. Oh, wondrous confirmation.
So the ministry works with thirteen, twelve congregational intercessors, and one team supporter. We call the ministry Daily Dozen. Each intercessor prays for one twelfth of the names in the church directory. It has been active since 2011. Every month since then, all of Faith’s adults and children have been upheld in prayer.
Since it began, I have not been able to thank the intercessors enough for their devotion to God and His people. And to my great surprise, they often thank me for the privilege of participating. Does that surprise you too?
It is God’s doing. As we intercessors pray, God blesses us with His Presence. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit guides us to pray very specific prayers. Such prayer time is usually moving and heartfelt. Today I prayed for four siblings who, when I first began, were in elementary school. What a joy to quietly watch them grow-up. The oldest, now in high school, sometimes joins the worship team.
The ministry which began with one sentence continues to develop. One addition has been the mailing of a New Year’s Blessing Card which identifies the recipient’s personal intercessor. The connection has been a blessing to many.
If your church does not have such a ministry, perhaps you, or someone you know, might like to start one. If you have questions, please use the contact below, and I will get back to you.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both
now and forever. Amen” 11 Peter 3:18
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