A Prophetic Intercessor? Not an Intercessor?
My Testimony of How the Lord Trained Me in Intercession
When I was a youngster, I committed myself to the Lord and began to grow in him. I had a really stupid idea that I was an intercessor. You may wonder why I say that. Do I think that intercession is stupid or is no longer relevant nowadays? No. Intercession is one of the most powerful things that the Lord can use you in, but I had no idea then that I did not have a clue about what intercession really was. I thought that it was just a case of praying for every Tom, Dick, Sheila or Fred and bringing a long list to the Lord. However, I was to learn that this is not the case …
In this article, I want to share my personal testimony in answer to this. I had some serious misconceptions about what true intercession was about until the time that I met Les. I think many people have the same misconceptions and wrong ideas about it today. There are others, whom I believe are called of the Lord to move powerfully in intercession, but do not know how to begin to develop it and all the ins and outs of moving in this realm.
It has taken me a long time to grow and develop in it, and the Lord has trained me over many years and taken me through various stages. It is my desire now to show you what He did and how He trained me in order to bring me to the place of knowing His authority and the power of his words flowing through me as I release into other people’s lives.
My Early Years
I grew up with a very limited, basic knowledge of the Lord right from my school years. Like so many children, I was sent to Sunday School. My parents figured it was the ‘right thing to do’, so I knew about the Lord but there was no real commitment there. I also received a bit of knowledge of religion because I attended a private all-girls school, which was originally run by nuns. It was Anglican-based and we had to attend communion services a few times each term.
If I think back on those years I realize that even then I developed an awareness of praying, even though I did not have a clue what I was doing! I guess, because I attended an Anglican church, and because of the same denominational emphasis at my ordinary school, I thought that the strange old English language that they used in the Prayer Book was the way the Lord expected you to pray. I did not have any other image to relate to, unfortunately.
I can remember at about the age of six or seven, lying in my bed one night and praying to the Lord – in the same kind of language used in the Prayer Book! The words were hard to pronounce, never mind understand for a person that age, and eventually I came to the conclusion that maybe this was not the right sort of thing to do, and I started talking to the Lord in my own way. On reflection, I realize that the Lord was busy, even then, building a prayer orientation into me. The first step was to realize that he was not an unapproachable figment of my imagination, but someone I could talk to on a personal level.
Much Prayer, Much Fear
During my childhood years, right from school-going age, I was a real worry wart! It was during this time that I developed a determination and perseverance in prayer. I can remember so clearly being afraid concerning my and my family members’ protection. I do not know where this fear came from, because we were never attacked, molested, etc., but nevertheless this was a problem for me.
From as early as I can remember, I can recall scenes where my parents went out to a party or something and we were left at home with our maid to baby-sit us. Do you know what I did? I was obedient and went to bed as she instructed us, but I did not sleep. No. I lay awake, praying continually for the Lord to bring my parents home safely. To a young child, those three or four hours were an absolute eternity!
I prayed and prayed and asked and asked, and I sometimes wonder if the Lord did not get mad at me and say, "Okay, please… keep quiet! Here are your parents, home safely." I tell you what, though, I never had a problem with protection when I was younger and I got into some pretty close shaves at times. I think my poor guardian angel was busier than most. But there again, the Lord was teaching me from that young age about perseverance in prayer.
Upheaval and Spiritual Development
Well, I grew up, and at the age of fourteen I did make a commitment to the Lord Jesus. I began to know a bit more about Him then, but I did not know Him as a person in a real way. Then when I was in my early twenties I met and married my first husband. He was a Christian and we were involved in mostly youth groups, etc., but I did not really become actively involved in anything related to prayer during this period.
During this period I began to seek the Lord more to get to know him more intimately. He became a solid rock that I could run to, because my first husband was often ill, and the Lord Jesus was my only source of solace that I had during those times of upheaval.
So many times I remember going to a quiet spot somewhere, in nature if I could, because I always felt the Lord’s presence better in that environment. I would sit there and literally pour out my heart to Him, getting all the tension and frustration that I was feeling off my chest. It was sometimes hard to talk to anyone, because nobody seemed to understand what was going on. But He did! I could feel His love more and more and He became the most important person to me. Without Him I would have crumbled in those stressful days.
I was widowed after seven years of marriage, and spent ten months on my own before meeting Les. During this period I fellowshipped with various singles groups and tried to become as involved as I could, but somehow I never quite fitted in. I continued to find solace from the Lord, and began to spend time in prayer early in the morning, prior to going to work. I really thought that I was an intercessor then. I took myself a notebook and began to write down, very systematically, a list of the things I wanted the Lord to answer. It had the date of the request, what the request was, then another place for the date when the Lord answered. To me, this was intercession. I could not have been more wrong. I was very diligent in prayer, but oh so misdirected in that diligence!
Then along came Les and he shattered my weird ideas about intercession! I soon learned that intercession, to quote his words is: "… not coming to the Lord with a prayer list, but coming to the Lord to get a prayer list." That was a rude awakening! How did it change, though?
The Lord began to lead me slowly but surely from the time we were married. Intercession was to Les like breathing is to any normal human being. He had learned in his own prayer times, direct from the Lord, what to do and how to move in it. I was green with ignorance, but I had a zeal to learn more from the Lord, and so He used Les to direct me and develop this gift.
During the first year of our marriage Les imparted much, spiritually, to me. The first area I began moving in was visions, which I had not really done much in the past. I realized that I had actually been receiving visions prior to meeting Les but had not been aware of them, nor did I know what to do when I received them. I actually thought it was my imagination.
However, Les channeled it and helped me much during that first year. We would get up early in the morning, before going to work, and have a prayer time together. We had so many wonderful times in the Spirit and the Lord led on a daily basis and gave us direction. I found out how to work in conjunction with him. He would see a vision, I would see a vision, then he or I may see something else, and the Lord would dovetail the whole thing together and show us where He was leading us. It was tremendous to have exposure to the spiritual realm, but under Les's protection and covering. I grew in leaps and bounds during that year.
It was also during this time that I truly desired to have a baby, but I was having difficulty in falling pregnant. I dislike the idea of going to a gynecologist to find out what was wrong, so I decided to try Word power instead. I took a promise from His Word and I stood on it until I knew that I knew that I had received my heart's desire. Sure enough it wasn't long afterwards that the Lord moved on my behalf and I fell pregnant with my son.
Change and More Word
We remained in that house until after my son was born, and when he was a few months old the Lord directed that we must move out of there and make a fresh start. We did so, and along with the different location came a whole new different lifestyle and change in many areas.
Les and I no longer prayed that much together. He was busy with much business activity, and of course, a young baby just rearranges your whole life for you, so I began to pray more on my own then. I remember one day I was sitting journaling, asking the Lord questions and writing down what He told me, and He said so clearly to me, "I want you to be a giant in prayer and in the Word! You will indeed be this." It was one of the clearest things I had heard the Lord say and it kept solidly in my spirit from then on.
One of the first things the Lord directed me to do then was to get into the Word. I developed a hunger and zeal for it that was amazing, and Les encouraged me to read through the entire Bible. It was the first time I had ever done that. Although it took me a long time to do, nevertheless whenever you saw me during that time, if I was not doing housework or feeding or caring for my son, there I was – reading the Word, reading the Word, and reading the Word some more!
I grew like a giant then, I can assure you. I learned so much of the Word it began to pour out of me and I gained a basic knowledge of how the Lord works. This is vitally important in intercession, because you cannot decree and release into other people’s lives unless you know what the Word says. Anything contrary to the Word is not acceptable and will lead you into deception. This is why the Lord directed me to the Word first, before anything else.
As I read through the Bible I began to see many wonderful promises in it, and I began to put a circle around the number of the verse when I saw a promise that I liked and wanted to remember. It became a goal, to see how many promises I could find as I read. Later on I typed them all out and categorized them and printed them out. I also put them onto small cards, which we used for a long time when we needed encouragement or upliftment from the Lord.
Once I had developed the Word and developed the power of standing on the promises, Les encouraged me to begin to pray in tongues for long periods of time as he himself had done. I was very strong in the Word, but not so strong in the spiritual side of tongues and allowing the Spirit to speak through me. This one I battled badly with. I never seemed to be able to break through, and to be perfectly honest, if I could have left it and just got into the Word, I would have been happy. But it was making my prayer life unbalanced. The Lord gave me a vision once to illustrate it. He showed a boat that had capsized, because it was weighed down on the one side compared to the other side. He then showed a similar picture of a plane flying upside down, i.e. it had flipped upside down because it had too much emphasis on the one side.
I worked at it to the best of my ability, but it was not something that I found easy. However, just the little bit that I did during that time increased my capacity to have visions and to know the mind of the Lord more, but I did not move in true intercession yet. I was still praying for our own needs and allowing the Lord to show me what He wanted for us, rather than coming on behalf of other people’s needs. I was still learning.
Well, strange as it may seem, we moved house again! This time though, the Lord gave me experience in carrying the prayer load entirely on my own. Les was heavily involved in computer programming, and he really did not have time to get involved in praying because of the pressure of work and other events in our lives then, so he handed the full load of responsibility over to me. It was hard, but a necessary training in diligence for me.
The Lord had shown us before that we should be confessing, as done, what we had seen Him give to us when we prayed. So, ever so dutifully, I wrote down a list of everything that we wanted the Lord to help us with – from physical, mental, temporal and spiritual needs. Then every hour, on the hour, I took that list and I confessed that the Lord had given those things to us and praised Him for it.
It was a difficult time for us, because things went amiss in the business, and it seemed that no matter how much I prayed there were still not many results. What the Lord was teaching me, though, was to keep going in spite of no apparent results. The Lord continued to encouraged me and He showed me that even though there were no outward results I was denting the heavenly realm and making progress at the same time.
This has been so valuable when I have wanted to give up hope. If you are to move in intercession, you will have many times when you do not always see results quickly, but you need to realize that the Lord is busy all the time working behind the scenes to bring your request to pass, according to your faith. In due course (I am talking a few months down the line) we looked back at that list of confessions, and do you know that almost every single thing had come to pass at that stage. The Lord will not let you down. You just sometimes need to learn diligence and perseverance in prayer, regardless of what you see.
Full Move in Intercession
Following this difficult time I did not do terribly much in the way of prayer for a good few months. I still kept in the Word and still prayed in tongues and sought the Lord, but I went through a dry patch. It did not last long, though, and at the end of that period I began to move more fully in intercession. We moved into another home that had a beautiful, open garden, and I learned to pace up and down the garden, seeking the Lord and praying in tongues. I began to see things in the Spirit more, and the Lord began to show me things to pray for in other people that I knew, but it was not that fully developed yet. It was just the early signs of things to come, and most of what I prayed for was still related to us.
I started learning more about authority and the power that the Lord had put into me and I began to use it more and more. Anybody who saw me during those days would have thought I was rather insane, because I had learned along the way that you release things through words and actions. The Lord had shown us this clearly, and I started using this very graphically. I would pace up and down with my eyes closed (it is amazing I didn't walk into a tree or something), and I would act out to a large extent what I was seeing and doing in the Spirit.
So for example, suppose I was coming against the enemy for attacking our finances. If in the Spirit the Lord showed me to snatch the money back that Satan had stolen from us, I would point my finger at him and move my hand as though I was grabbing something from the enemy! If I was pushing the enemy back in the Spirit, I would put out both my hands and ‘do it’ physically. Fortunately we had a quiet neighborhood, but to be honest I didn't really care about anybody seeing or not seeing me. I was beginning to develop more of a boldness in Him.
Move to Mexico
A few years later, the Lord made the move to call us unexpectedly to Mexico and we ended up in Tijuana. It was here that we ended up starting GMRN in the early days of our stay.
After a while of doing ordinary ministry the Lord led us to begin developing, initially, the Prophetic School and we began to get our very first students in. This is when the Lord launched my full intercessory ministry. My job was to pray for the students, to lift them up to the Lord and see what He wanted to do in their lives. I also began praying for the School and for its protection. The Lord often showed me if there was pending attack and I could move to remove the attack.
I began to do this diligently on a daily basis, and I felt the leading of the Lord to write down what I saw in a book, and what He showed me to pray (in tongues) as I saw it. It became an exciting adventure. I was now moving fully in intercession. I only brought our basis needs to the Lord at the end of my prayer session. For the rest of the time I prayed in tongues for the School and the students, and made a note of what the Lord showed me.
I prayed through in tongues and made a note of what I released as the Lord directed me. Even though I was praying in tongues, I knew in my spirit what I was praying. I then left a gap in the book to see if the answer was confirmed. It was amazing to watch the development of this ministry. At first it was rather ‘hit and miss’. I had more misses than I had hits. But as I continued and developed more sensitivity to listening to the Lord in the spiritual realm, and as I followed his leading more and more, I began to have greater results.
It came to the stage where Les developed confidence in the ministry the Lord had given me, and he used to say to people, "If Daphne saw it and spoke it forth, trust me, it will take place." The point I want to stress here, though, is that it did not take place instantly! It took me a long time to develop this gift fully, and a long time to develop the confidence to know that what I was seeing was of the Lord, and not my mind or an image from the enemy to confuse me or lead me astray.
During this time I really ‘cut my eye teeth’ in intercession, and I became a junky for it! I prayed every morning before starting anything else, although at that stage I did not even have a computer so it was really not difficult to do. Then again in the afternoons, I would often have another time of praying in tongues and standing on the Word. I continued to make a note of everything and developed a greater capacity for knowing what was real and what was not.
Yes, I did miss it. I missed it badly at times, but it was in the Lord’s plan. There were times when I decreed things that were not of the Lord, and opened doors that were not of Him. I felt shaken and devastated when I realized it, but the Lord was showing me that I had to rely on Him and Him alone, and develop that intimate relationship with Him that is so important.
If you miss it yourself in prayer, do not beat yourself up about it! You need to simply submit yourself to the Lord, confess it and then resist Satan for trying to deceive you. In terms of James 4:7 he will have to flee from you. Hey, the Lord can take your mess-ups and turn them into successes. He knows all things ahead of time, and He is certainly not caught by surprise when you do mess up. So be encouraged, persevere and continue and do not let Satan destroy the power in your spirit that the Lord is leading you in.
After praying so much for the students, the Lord led me for a season to simply pray in tongues and I did not have much visions or revelations at all, nor did I have direction to speak into the lives of others. What I found happening was that Les would suddenly rise up, get a word of direction from the Lord, speak it forth powerfully and things would happen almost instantly. I began to get confused and I said, "Lord, what’s going on here? What’s the point of only praying in tongues and not getting revelation? And now Les just speaks one word and everything falls into place. Am I missing it?"
He showed me a vision of a farmer’s field, all messy, full of weeds and rocks, and in no state to sow in. He then showed me that I was going through the field and pulling out all the weeds and discarding the rocks. Then I dug up the soil a bit and got it into a good state for sowing in. When all that hard work was over, the farmer came along and sowed the seed. He had the easy part and received all the rewards of a good crop!
The Lord said, "This is what you’re doing. You are like that farmhand who is laying the groundwork for the farmer. Your job may be hard work, but if you don’t do it effectively the farmer will not do his job efficiently and there will be no harvest! Don’t give up. Your job is vitally important!"
This has become a key part of my job here in this ministry. I am continually praying things through in the Spirit and laying the groundwork ahead of time for Les. He then comes along, and at the leading of the Lord, puts the plan into action as the Lord shows him. I am often totally unaware of what is happening in the Spirit. I just know that the Lord is doing something, and I am an integral, if somewhat naïve, part of the plan!
The one area I had not moved in on my own very much up until this point was that of standing against the enemy in warfare, but now He moved me into this in much greater measure. I had to learn to stand on my own feet against the very top level, the infernal trio, and use the authority that the Lord had given me. It is very important when you move into this area, that you are fully developed in the Word, because that is where your staying power is.
I always, always use the Word when I am standing against the enemy. The Lord Jesus did that when he was tempted in the wilderness, and that is how he overcame Satan. There is no greater way to make Satan’s plans fizzle out than when you say, "Satan, it is written, ‘No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that rises up in judgement against me, I shall condemn!’ " How can he stand against that? It is the Word, and it is the ‘sword of the spirit’, according to the Scriptures. It really is a sword. It is offensive, and you will always get results when you stand on the Word.
Development of Faith
There were now just two more areas that the Lord developed after this time. The first was he developed my faith more strongly in Him. I was busy praying about a fairly urgent situation we were in once, and the Lord reminded me of Hebrews 11:6 which says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
The words, ‘… a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,’ stood out to me, and I suddenly realized that I had often been making a fatal mistake while praying. I had been looking to the answer, instead of to Jesus to provide the answer. That revolutionized my prayer life so that I have never ever forgotten it. Jesus is the one who provides for you and answers your prayers. When you pray, you need to see Him giving you the answer, no matter how hard it seems to be in the natural.
There is a Scripture that says, "Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them." This is one of my favorite verses, and when you see it in conjunction with what I have just shared, it makes so much sense. When you ask Jesus for anything, He will give it to you, right there and then in the heavenly realm. The answer will not come floating out of the sky from nowhere. You need to ‘see’ the Lord, in vision, giving you your desire. It then makes it so much easier to believe for the answer, because it is easy to believe that a person will give you what you need. You receive the answer by calling it done and by standing on the Word as I shared earlier.
I put that principle into action immediately when he showed it to me and I had the most amazing results in prayer – easily. The Lord was showing me that it is actually easy to have faith and that it is not something that is ethereal or unattainable. I had battled for so many years prior to this and really did not know how to trust the Lord at all. I had been doing it all wrong before, yet the Lord still gave me results, because I did still trust Him, even though I did it in a round-about, long-winded way!
Then, the final thing that the Lord emphasized was exercising authority. The Lord Jesus has given each of us His children, delegated authority. He received the ultimate authority from the Father, and has delegated it down to us, and each believer has the right to exercise that authority, under Jesus. For quite a long while I went through a time of battling, spiritually. I somehow felt insecure, even though the Lord had used me much in prayer and praying for others. He was dealing with inner turmoils and conflicts that still remained.
During this time He kept saying to me day after day, "You are a queen. Now rule and reign in authority!" It took me a while to realize what He was referring to. He was not only dealing with remaining insecurities in me personally, but the revelation flowed over into my prayer life and I suddenly ‘realized’ who I was in the Lord and that I indeed had His authority flowing through me. I had His God-given permission to be as He was when He walked the earth, and I was not to take no for an answer because, as the Scripture says, ‘We rule and reign, and righteousness is our scepter.’
When you ‘know’ your authority in the Lord you can rule and speak with confidence, because you know that you know that the Lord is backing your words and you will obtain the results that He is leading you in. It is like the parable of the talents. When the go-ahead was given to use those talents and they did so, there were good results and much fruit.
Putting it All Together
When the Lord had taken me through that final stage, I began to pray with more results than I had ever had before, simply because the Lord put everything together then. He showed me that I was to use all the principles that He had shown me over that long period of time. When you do this, under the leading of the Lord, you will always get results, because you are not unbalanced in your approach, but are using all areas of praying – the Word, tongues, simple trust in the Lord to answer, yet speaking with power and authority. The Lord finally gave me the go-ahead recently to pray more publicly, and to use what He had shown me in private and in my times of training behind the scenes.
Encouragement For You
Now, I want to encourage you if you are desiring to move into intercession for the first time, or if you have been wanting to move more fully into it. You do not need to go through those long years of training as I did when the Lord took me through a stage at a time. You can take the principles that I have shared and you can begin to put them into practise even now. You can start moving right now and becoming more powerful in your prayer life, and in speaking forth results in the lives of others.
The point that I want to stress here though, is that it takes diligence and commitment to persevere, even when you go through dry patches when it seems like the Lord has shut the door on you. Those are the times when perhaps the Lord has given prayer burdens to other people to carry, or when He simply wants you to sit in His presence and break new ground, unbeknown to you, in the Spirit. You need to follow the leading of the Lord, and practise flowing as He tells you, because the more you do it, the more sensitive you will become to what He wants you to do.
You know the old saying, "If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again?" This is the hallmark of moving into intercession. Do not give up! Persevere, because you will become a powerful force to be reckoned with, and you will cause mountains to be removed in people’s lives as a result.
A Few Practical Pointers
If you are looking for an adventure in prayer and intercession, take your notebook, and on a daily basis, preferably at the same time if you can do it, go and spend time in the Lord’s presence and make a note of what you see and what you spoke forth. I would suggest that at the beginning you only pray in tongues, because then your spirit will be praying correctly under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You will then become aware of what the Lord wants you to do in other circumstances.
Begin by simply holding up your family or your church members, or anyone for that matter, and pray in tongues. Then as the pictures begin to flow up out of your spirit and you perhaps see people in vision, continue praying in tongues as you watch with your spiritual eyes to know what the Lord is saying concerning that person.
You may see a person on a road that is blocked with stones, thorns and thistles. What do you think the Lord is saying to you? This is not of Him, because He is not the author of destruction and problems. What you need to do in the Spirit, is to command that those stones and obstacles be removed and the way be opened up before him. You can do it in English, but did you know that you can do it in tongues, too? Just speak with authority in tongues. You know what you are wanting to say in English. Tongues is more effective, though, because your spirit is praying in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s prompting.
As you do that, you may see the path clearing. Perhaps you will see angels assisting and removing the stones, or the Lord driving a bulldozer to remove the blockages, I do not know. The point is, though, that you will see it clearing. You will then likely see a wide open road, unrestricted and free, and you will know that whatever was blocking that person’s path is now removed.
If I were seeing this, I would put a note in my book of the date that I saw the vision, who it was for, and what I saw, i.e. the person’s road being blocked, and then what I ‘spoke’ forth to correct the situation. I would say something like, "Saw Fred on a road and it was restricted and littered with rocks. A picture of him experiencing difficulties in his walk. Commanded it to be cleared, and saw the blockages being removed. Then I saw his path free and unrestricted."
Now, you do not even have to contact Fred (or whoever it was) and tell him about the vision and what you saw. This is what intercession is about. It is between you and the Lord and you are speaking change and blessing into people’s lives behind the scenes. The Lord will often give you confirmation of what you saw, though. So often, you will receive a letter from someone saying that they had been through a hard time and suddenly things broke free, and you can then share that it is confirmation of what you saw and spoke forth for them.
I trust that this has been an encouragement to you and helped you to sort through the fact and fiction of intercession and what it is really about. If you thought, as I did, that you were an intercessor, but now have found out that you were incorrect, it is great because you can now decide if the Lord really was leading you in this direction or not. And if you did not have a clue about what intercession was, but have now been inspired to move in that direction, I praise the Lord too, because you are about to embark on a wonderful, exciting journey. It is a journey in which you can pour encouragement and blessing into the lives of others through this powerful tool that the Lord has given to the Body of Christ.