[anzac] 10 PITFALLS - for Praying/Prophetic people

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Home   : April 2004 : Group Archive : Group : All Groups

From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 13:22:53 -0500
Forwarded by:         <mario@...>
Date sent:      	Tue, 30 Mar 2004 07:09:08 +1000

-Brian Pickering.

1. Becoming Demon Conscious.
The devil loves attention, and he's thrilled when he becomes 
the center of conversation. A demon conscious intercessor 
is one who sees "a demon behind every bush.' One man 
was explaining to me how the devil had caused his car's 
transmission to fail. 'When was the last time you serviced 
it?' I inquired. "Serviced it? What do you mean?' he 
answered innocently.If you fail to service your car or other 
mechanical device. it will fail,with or without a devil!

Many years ago, Alice hired a seamstress to make a 
dress for her. But before a stitch was sewn, a nervous 
seamstress called Alice. 'I can't sew this dress for you,' 
she said."Why not" Alice inquired. 'Because I took a
magnifying glass to see the design on gold buttons. 
There are lions on your buttons,' the seamstress said. 
'So? ''They were growling at one another. so they must 
be of the devil.' This lady was acting out of superstition - 
Christian superstition.

2. Inflating the Importance of Satan.
I recently invited an intercessor to be listed in the U.S. 
Prayer Directory, which we publish each year. 'No way!' 
she exclaimed.'Why wouldn't you want to be listed in the 
directory?" I inquired. Because,' she said, 'I don't want 
the devil to know where I live! "Dryly. I chided, "Why, I'd 
be ashamed if the devil didn't know where I live."

Some intercessors and far too many Christians see Satan 
and God as almost equal beings, opposites who rule almost 
equal kingdoms. Nothing could be further from the truth. 
Satan in no way compares to God in power, in presence, 
in knowledge or anything else for that matter.

3. Overspiritualizing Things
While it's true that many things - physical objects, words 
and numbers - in the natural world often have corresponding 
spiritual significance, some intercessors begin to believe 
that this is always the case.

Best selling author and internationally known speaker 
Cindy Jacobs describes "spiritually weird" people of prayer 
as "flaky intercessors."  She writes that these men and 
women, who for a variety of reasons have drifted outside 
biblical guidelines in their zeal for prayer, pose a threat to 
the coming revival: "They bring reproach on their ministries 
and confusion and division in the church. Flaky intercession 
could become a widespread problem in this decade, for
many prophetic voices are proclaiming that God is calling 
the church to intense prayer as a prelude to revival.Studies 
of past revivals indicate that they were birthed and bathed 
in prayer, but that the move of the Holy Spirit was short 
circuited by the inability to sustain effective intercession. 
In many instances it was flaky intercession that undermined
true prayer and destroyed revival". '(See"Possessing the 
Gates of the Enemy", by Cindy Jacobs, p 126).

4. Soulishness.
An undisciplined mind confuses soulishness and spirituality, 
allowing the soul to dominate the spirit. Some of what is 
referred to as 'drunk in the Spirit', is nothing more than the 
intoxication of the soul. Do I believe God can make one 
drunk in the Spirit? I do and I have seen it happen to those 
I know to have a deep walk with the Lord. But the spiritual
dimension is so real to intercessors that they can easily 
fall prey to emotional foolishness if they fail to guard their 
hearts (see Prov. 4:13). Alice and I agree that this is how 
intercessors sometimes lose their credibility with church leadership.

5. False Travail.
I have used the word "travail" to describe a physical and 
spiritual process an intercessor may undergo while in 
intense prayer. Perhaps I should explain this. Travailing 
prayer is a type of prayer that gives birth to something in 
the Spirit. It can be very intense, involving fervent prayer, 
tears, even groaning. Sometimes, however. what appears 
to be intercessory travail is not. During a time of corporate 
intercession, an intercessor may begin to visualize and 
then strive to receive the burden of God that others are 
experiencing. But instead of genuine, God assigned 
travail that flows from the spirit of the intercessor, a 
soulish "travail" is released through the mind and 
emotions, giving the intercessor a false experience. 
Often the whole group stops praying to help someone 
'give spiritual birth.' When one person becomes the centre 
of attention, this is exactly what the enemy wants... total 
distraction! The enemy has effectively sidetracked the 
intercessors from the critical issue at hand - usually a 
prayer issue that Satan can't afford to leave unchallenged. 
The easiest way for him to get relief from focused, united
prayer is to tantalize the group with a bizarre experience. 
Sadly, we have witnessed this all over the world in both 
evangelical and charismatic prayer circles.

6. Isolationism.
The intercessor who falls into isolationism, or escapism, 
becomes a loner. Rather than the prayer closet being a 
holy place to meet God, it becomes a place in which to 
hide. It becomes a way the intercessor can escape from
personal relationships and responsibilities with a 'holy 
excuse.'  After all, how can anyone argue with the call of 
God on a person's life? And why would anyone be against 
prayer? This misguided intercessor attempts to build the 
case that he or she can no longer keep house or hold a 
job. Other family members have to take up the slack and 
do double duty because the intercessor is committed to 
"higher" things. This is an expression of spiritual pride 
and often takes advantage of others, usually the ones 
who love them most. If you do this to a lost spouse. 
forget about him ever wanting to become a Christian!

7. Elitism, or Lack of Accountability to Brethren.
Isolationism often leads to a lack of spiritual accountability. 
Holding to a martyr complex, the lone intercessor begins 
to feel that no one understands her. She translates this to 
mean... "I'm special". As a prayer elitist, she begins to 
withdraw, especially from strong Christians, and surround 
herself with those who are spiritually weaker than she. In 
the flesh, she can easily intimidate others with her forceful 
personality or her way with words. She can manipulate 
others with tears, moodiness or mysteries she feels she 
alone possesses. These are often controlling intercessors 
who would become spiritual gurus, or self appointed
ministers. Never submit to the spiritual leadership of 
anyone who is not submitted to other recognised spiritual 
leadership within the Body. 

Sometimes they seek undue attention from their pastors. 
Spiritual pride is evidenced when our need to be right is 
elevated above the need to be one. This results in crippled 
or stunted relationships. Such a person will sacrifice 
meaningful, loving relationships for non essential issues 
and personal spiritual opinions. Beware of this type of person.

God has designed the Church so that the members are 
interdependent upon each other. Every one of us, pastors 
as well, should have the spiritual oversight and accountability 
of at least one other brother or sister in the Lord. Preferably 
this is a person with strength of character beyond our own 
to whom we will listen and submit.

8. Lack of Accountabillty to the Church.
An intercessor who is not accountable to his or her brothers 
and sisters in Christ will gradually deny accountability to 
God's designated spiritual authority. This intercessor will 
begin to elevate personal revelation (what he or she feels 
God is saying now) above Scripture (what He has already 
said) and proclaim this to anyone who will listen. DANGER.

We are living at a time when these 'prophetic renegades' 
are infiltrating the Church. They are divisive in the flock 
and disrespectful, even critical of pastors. They will destroy 
people's confidence in their pastors by portraying him as 
someone who simply isn't spiritual enough to understand 
the deep truths of God. Intercessors who operate in this
deception surround themselves with others who are 
unhappy and have difficulty following pastoral leadership. 
Out of synch with the vision of the church, they may 
begin to have "private" meetings. In this way, these 
unaccountable prayer warriors compete with the pastor 
for the allegiance of the people. A good pastor doesn't 
compete with Jesus for the love of His Bride. He has no 
selfish desire for her affection, so it is difficult for the 
pastor to confront someone in the church who is vying 
for the church's affection. A confrontation can give the 
appearance that the pastor is jealous of the intercessor, 
rather than guarding the flock's devotion to her true lover
and groom, the Lord Jesus.

9. Witchcraft Praying
Witchcraft prayer is the act of consciously praying 
contrary to God's revealed will and is characterized by 
the use of controlling or manipulative prayer.Intercessors 
must exercise caution not to confuse their own will with 
God's will. When praying for family members, spouses,
pastors or others, it is important that they limit prayers 
to the will of God. God's will, of course, is found in His 
Word. It is always safe to pray the Scriptures. But 
praying people should avoid praying their opinions and desires.

Alice and I call this "witchcraft prayer" because the very 
essence of witchcraft is control. Prayer based on a desire 
to control is essentially the practice of witchcraft.

10. Ministering out of Hurt.
Some intercessors have been wounded and even spiritually 
abused. Sadly, this abuse is sometimes at the hands of 
spiritual leadership who misunderstand and mistreat them. 
Quite often the pastor isn't even aware of what is happening. 
Of course, it is also possible that the pastor feels threatened 
by an intercessor's spiritual gifts. The pastor, who should 
be equipping his budding prayer warriors and providing 
them a safe place to experiment and learn, may even 
confuse immaturity with impurity and "blow them away." 
Rather than seek reconciliation, the intercessor may cling 
to resentment, resulting in a warped view of leadership. A 
wounded intercessor may refuse to see leaders as the 
fallen men or women that they are and offer no grace to 
the leaders. From this perspective, leaders are a threat 
rather than a blessing, and the intercessor is no longer 
able to submit to authority.

This most often results in the following process:
1. The intercessor may lick her wounds, seek to become 
the centre of attention and seek to manipulate others with 
self pity.
2. Her spiritual pride now wounded, the intercessor adopts 
a martyr complex, elevating herself and her ideas above 
others, especially above those in authority.
3. The intercessor becomes critical of church authorities. 
Her spiritual gift of discernment, now being fleshly motivated 
rather than spiritually empowered, becomes judgmental.
4. The intercessor surrounds herself with other wounded, 
critical soldiers in order to justify her right to remain 
wounded and bitter! All of these can be the result of 
ministering out of hurt - ministering from one's emotions, 
rather than out of one's spirit.

How to be Protected from this:

When an intercessor falls into one or more of these traps, 
his or her effectiveness for God has been compromised. 
Unaware of the flaws at first,this person will eventually 
suffer a spiritual "meltdown."  You can find protection
from these and other pitfalls in these ways:

Stay close to God. Walk in holiness and purity and seek 
Him daily.. Stay close to the Word. Every experience, 
every idea, every spiritual impression must be subject to 
the written Word of God. God will never say something 
contradictory to what He has written!. Stay close to one
another. Each Christian needs to have meaningful 
relationships with mature Christians. It is here that 
accountability is maintained. Remember, accountability 
establishes your credibility.
Source:  USA Prayer Network.