I wish I could say I come from a long line of apostolic believers, but alas, that can’t be said. Indeed, I met Jesus first at a Roman Catholic church at a very young age. However, as life often does, my reacquaintance with Jesus didn’t happen again until I was in my mid-20s. Sister Morgans, a sweet lady in the church, shared with me not long ago the following: “After a meeting centered around our kitchen table with Brother Morgans, unfortunately, I was probably the one that they could not reach.” So happy to report that Jesus and Brother Morgans (founding pastor at Refuge Church) never gave up!

My journey has taken me from being a baby in the Lord to agreeing with King David who said, “I was young and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.”

I have been blessed to live in Israel and Africa. I have learned that no matter where we call “home” at the moment, the call to intercessory prayer knows no boundaries. It reaches beyond our immediate surroundings to places and regions that we may never physically experience.

My experience with intercessory prayer began early in my walk with the Lord. It first began while praying. I would often feel like there was a door there that, if I could only open it, I would be able to accomplish a task. I would feel as if I was burdened, almost with a driven focus on pursuing that task of opening the door. Most of the time, I had no idea for whom or what it was that I was praying, as I was praying in the Holy Ghost, which means praying in tongues. I am most thankful for that because I was able to let go of my thoughts and allow the Spirit to directly pray what was necessary for the need. A release would come, and I would know that the task was accomplished.

The Bible speaks of when Zion travailed, she brought forth her child (Isaiah 66:8). A release felt can be likened to the feeling of a woman giving birth, and when she is delivered of her child, there is that relief. In my experience, as I have had no children, it can also be likened to a “breakthrough” as when you have been pushing very hard to go through a door or barrier and finally, it opens to you. No more resistance.

So very thankful for intercessory prayer. On many occasions while living in Houston, I would enter into a time of prayer and not knowing exactly for whom or what I was praying. One of those times, I was in my kitchen and felt a literal tug on the hem of my skirt. I turned around, and there was nothing nearby. I hurried down the steps to my neighbor’s apartment (we both attended Brother Kilgore’s church and lived at the church apartments).

I said, “Doris, we need to pray now.” I had no idea for whom or what, but I knew it was urgent. As we began to pray, a spirit of intercession came upon us. When I felt a release and knew it was done, I still didn’t know the what. I had prayed in tongues, and my mind was given over to the Spirit. I later received a phone call from my sister that our mom was close to death and they had called for the ambulance, but God had touched her. Praise God! I am so very thankful that I was obedient to the Spirit.

On one occasion in Africa, the schools wanted their children to have short cut hair for hygienic purposes. A pastor’s young daughter was attending school. The school was insistent on the hair being cut, and the child and her parents were advocating for her hair to remain in braids and neatly kept. As I began to pray and took this request before the Lord, I felt the Spirit begin to do battle against this rule that had been in place for a very long time. As I prayed, I finally felt a release and knew that “it was done.” A very excited pastor was happy to share that she did not have to cut her hair but could indeed wear braids.

I might add, not always is there a breakthrough when we enter into a time of intercessory prayer. You see, when you are engaged in intercessory prayer, it requires total involvement of your being. It is a time of battle. The burden may lift after we have been in battle praying, but the door or barrier has not been broken. It will return, though, the next time we enter prayer until that breakthrough has been made. There will always be a breakthrough, but not always the first time we are engaged in battle.

As I took my older sister before the throne when she had Covid, I prayed in the Spirit with utterings and groanings as spoken of by the Apostle Paul. Her health was compromised at best before Covid. I knew I had “broken through,” and the Lord gave me scripture which promised very specific restoration. But she did not make that transition on this side of glory. You see, what was given as a promise, we actually saw happen in the hospital room as her time was drawing to a close. Her breathing became normal, not labored. Her oxygen level returned to 100%. I felt then as I do now. It didn’t happen as we anticipated, but as He had wanted. Her full restoration was accomplished in His presence. As he sent word to John “…blessed is he, whosoever shall not offended in me.” In my opinion, my job is to intercede that His will is accomplished.

There are also times that you will feel a burden without feeling the engagement of a battle. I remember one time in particular sitting on a park bench in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. For those Jews that lived there and had experienced many hardships, I am sure that the sight of someone sitting on a bench crying profusely was not uncommon. I remember looking out at fields that spread before me, speaking in tongues with tears flowing down my face for those who were there and those to come that would be facing great sorrows.

As I sat in church praying at our regular all-church prayer meeting recently, I began to hear in the Spirit the sounds of long ago, noises from a crowd ranging from high praises to cries for attention. I saw no faces, just what appeared to be men and women in robed attire. Amid that background, I could see the sandaled feet of a man called Jesus as he steadily made his way through the crowd as he ministered.

As I was reflecting on what I was hearing and seeing, I was drawn back to my current surroundings. I knew that this same Jesus was indeed walking tonight through this group called to be saints which had gathered, listening to the sounds of praise as well as cries for his attention. The cries from a heart either silently or spoken low, please hear my cry for help, I have no answers, I have no solutions, I am broken.

It is to these cries that an intercessor has the privilege of being obedient and yielding to the call of the Spirit who will then use your vessel to make intercession according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).