December 15, 2017
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Anatomy of a Prayer Appointment Print E-mail
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We believe in the power of God to heal people through prayer. Most people that come to us for prayer have been referred by a friend, family member, or church leader. If you are such a person, and are wondering what a prayer appointment is like, this is a good article for you.

Healing prayer is not a difficult thing to do, and there are incredible rewards for interceding on behalf of someone else. One of our purposes is to equip others for prayer ministry. If you have a heart to care for others in prayer, this is a good article for you.

Safe Environment

Intercession is an act of love. The person receiving prayer operates at all times according to their free will and needs to know that they are in a safe environment. Any type of coercion or manipulation would be outside of the bounds of love, and to force anyone to act outside their will is a form of abuse. While the intercessor is free to lead the prayer time and direct the conversation, it must always be with permission.

The first tenet of a safe environment is the assurance of confidentiality. Anything that is discussed or discovered in the prayer appointment belongs entirely to the one receiving prayer. It is their story to tell. The intercessor must maintain complete confidentiality unless given specific permission to share.

The setting contributes to a safe environment or detracts from it. The one receiving prayer is the final authority on whether he or she feels safe. One person may feel safest in a public setting where the discussion is covered by the din of conversation; another may only feel safe in complete privacy. Describe your typical prayer setting and ask for acceptance, and be willing to accommodate the other person’s needs if possible.

Guard against interruptions. We plan for sixty to ninety minutes for a typical prayer session, and limit outside influences during that time. A closed door and reliance on voice mail for phone calls are good ways to do this.

Our policy is that a man will not pray with a woman, or a woman with a man, unless they are close family relatives. A safe environment allows men and women to pray together in a prayer team setting. This makes sense both for the intercessor and the one receiving prayer. Of course, we strongly encourage husbands and wives to pray together at all times.

Opening Prayer

An introductory meeting will often start with conversation about what to expect in a prayer session, background information on the process, and other questions that may be in the mind of the one receiving prayer. It is good to briefly address these topics. This is not a time to hear a person’s life story, but they may be anxious to share the reason they are seeking prayer.

A session begins with a prayer of agreement, offered aloud by the intercessor. It is an acknowledgement that the purpose of the meeting is for each participant to humble themselves before God in expectation of His truth. It includes a confession that without God’s help we can do nothing, so the participants agree to listen and obey. This sets the tone for the meeting, and is a good reminder that our purpose is to take the matter to God in prayer, not to discuss it based on our experiences and opinions.

The closing portion of this prayer is to ask God for specific direction in the time together. Rather than guess what the prayer need is, let God reveal it. Listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance, but allow the person receiving prayer to answer according to what God is showing him or her.

Today’s Need

Frequently people come to a prayer session with a purpose already in mind. They have a felt need or primary conflict to resolve. Sometimes this is confirmed in the opening prayer, but be prepared for a different item to come up in its place. Expect the Holy Spirit to confirm the direction for prayer.

Do not be surprised or intimidated if the person says they are not getting anything like a topic or direction. It is possible that they are unaccustomed to hearing from God, though He has revealed something to them. Return to prayer, asking again that God reveal it to them.

“What has come to your mind?”

This is a good open-ended question to help them gain confidence in hearing from God. Ask them to consider if their thoughts have changed or if God placed a new thought in their mind during prayer. Ask them if they are experiencing an emotional response, or if they are thinking about a behavior or action they have done.

“Where is the pain?”

When we are being something different than what God created us to be there is conflict, and wherever there is conflict there is pain. Giving them that much context for the purpose of pain often brings them to the place where they need to be reconciled to God. The answer may be physical, emotional or spiritual.

Going Deeper

The goal is to pray into the need to discover the root cause and then ask God for His solution.

If the need is primarily in the spiritual realm it may appear that the person has a conflict with God, or with their understanding of who He is. Spiritual issues also show up as broken relationships, especially between family members. If the need is primarily in the emotional realm it may appear as a strong feeling or response to situations. Chronic depression, fear, anxiety, or anger are possible examples. If the need is primarily in the physical realm it may appear as disease, chronic pain, or other type of distress.

Remember that a person is comprised of all three realms, each distinct but inseparable. Therefore, a spiritual issue will show up in their emotions and an emotional issue will show up in their physical body. Begin with the presenting need and ask God to direct them to the source of that issue.

“God, would You please reveal to John the source of this pain?” Then listen together for God’s direction. It may come as a feeling, a thought, or a memory.

Interrogating Beliefs

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:2

We are conformed to this world by false beliefs and improper interpretations during our life. We must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Prayer ministry leads us to hearing truth from God so we can replace the wrong thinking that has controlled our identity. We discover this when we take the matter to prayer.

“What did you believe to be true because of that feeling, thought or memory?”

Whether the source of the issue is a recent event or something from long ago, we must press in to interrogate it. What we believe with our heart to be true acts as if it is true to us. For example, a man that came to believe he was unfruitful lived with that as truth throughout his life. A woman that came to believe she was rejected by her mother lived as a rejected person throughout her life.

Sometimes we have to uncover what we believe with our heart, even though our mind attempts to cover it up. If our heart believes we have been abandoned then all the mental gymnastics to convince ourselves otherwise will be temporary at best. Once the belief has been identified, it is important for the person receiving prayer to confirm it. They may say it in their own words, but they are speaking what they believe to be true in their heart.

The next step is to confess this belief to God in prayer and then ask Him to reveal truth. Sometimes it is best for the intercessor to pray this aloud for the other person. At other times it is much better for the person receiving prayer to be the one to confess it and ask God for truth.

Then be quiet and listen.

Receiving Truth

When God reveals the truth to the person receiving prayer, it goes right to their heart and replaces the false belief they have been holding. This moment can take great patience for the intercessor, but wait for it. If the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to you, hold it in your heart until the person receiving prayer has gotten it. Then you can use it to confirm the truth.

If necessary, coach the person receiving prayer to pay attention for new information in the physical, emotional or spiritual realms. They may hear audible words from God or see a vision or memory. They may have a strong emotional response. They may have an inspiration or message from the Spirit that cannot be put into words. When they know they have heard from God it will replace the belief they confessed.

It is the role of the intercessor to act as a witness to the spiritual transaction that happens in this prayer. You will bear witness to the event and must be willing to give testimony to the truth.

Mind Renewal

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. - John 8:36

The truth goes right into the heart of the one that has confessed and is willing to receive it, and it sets them free. The response may be evident in the physical, emotional and spiritual realms. The best word to describe the change is shalom, which is God’s peace that goes beyond a person’s capacity to understand.

“Wow, I feel like a huge weight has just been lifted off of me.”

“It feels like God has put a quilt comforter around me, and I just want to stay here.”

“It’s gone! I can’t believe I’m saying it, but it really is gone! I’m pain free.”

“Is that it? The fear is gone, but can it be this simple?”

These are few of the examples we have heard in the prayer room, often accompanied with tears of joy. Free indeed means the person is totally transformed. It really is that easy (for God), and there is no reason to worry that the healing will go away.

After confirming the healing, it is important to go back into the memory, event, relationship, trauma, or physical pain and check for resolution.

“Think back to that place God showed you as the source of the pain. As you reconsider that now, do you have a sense of peace? Are there any unresolved pieces left?”

Once the person has confirmed that they are in a place of peace, then you can close in a prayer of thanksgiving. If they are comfortable with the idea, ask them to pray first to thank God, and then follow that up with a blessing for them.

Ask the person that received prayer to share their story with someone else in the next day or two. This is a practical step that gives God the glory for what has happened. Then make a plan to check in with them again in a few days if you can.

 
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Master's Mind Ministry
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Brush Prairie, WA 98606
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