Categories

Intercessor Boot Camp

4 Things to Know about Generational Healing

Generational healing prayers are among my favorites. Why? Because I have seen such powerful changes through these prayers.

Consider this: Because of the power of Christ, you have the ability today to stand in for entire generations of your family and repent for generational sin. God can bring redemption and realignment to your family line, so your entire family can begin to walk in the calling and blessings God has given to you.

That's pretty powerful. 

Here are 5 helpful things to know about generational healing:

1. Numbers 14:18 tells us how generational curses pass through the family line. This verse also tells us of God's love and mercy. He wants us to be healed and He has made provision for our healing through Christ. Read Isaiah 61 about how Jesus has come to set the captives free.

Generational sin opens the door to these generational curses. They pass for 4 generations (10 generations for sexual sin – see Deuteronomy 23:2). This passing of the curse to 4 generations actually shows God's restraint (He could have made them pass longer). But if nobody repents, the sin keeps moving down the family line, becoming generational iniquity. Iniquity means a propensity to bend. It means the family has an inherited tendency toward that sin.

2. The Bible tells us to "bind the strongman" (Matthew 12:29, Mark 3:27, Luke 11:22). The strongman is the enemy who has plundered the generational blessings of each family. Read all of Luke 11 for insight into how the enemy plunders a family and how he is overturned by Christ. When we identify the strongman (e.g., addiction, pride, fear, sexual sin, violence, jealousy) and repent on behalf of the generations of our family, we invite Jesus in to set us free.

3. Generational sin is based in repentance. Through Christ, we have the ability to humble ourselves and choose to repent for the sin that has brought curses to our family. We forgive our ancestors who opened those doors to generational sin. We repent of the ways we personally have engaged in that sin. Then we stand in restitutional repentance on behalf of our entire family line. We ask God to restore the generational blessings He intends for our family. 

Often, we can identify those blessings because they are the direct opposite of the generational sin we have experienced. A family mired in generational fear has a blessing of power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). A family cursed with generational violence has a generational blessing of peace (Luke 8:26-39). A family that has been ripped apart over the generations by jealousy, strife, and contention is called to a generational blessing of love (1 Corinthians 13:4). The enemy tries to steal our gifts and blessings. Where he strikes us is the exact opposite of who we and the generations of our family are really supposed to be.

4. With generational repentance, the enemy will be silenced. He will no longer have such a strong hold on your family to compel each person into those generational curses. This doesn't mean the enemy will stop trying to trip people up. John 10:10 tells us he will continue to try and thwart God's plan for our lives. However, with generational repentance, he doesn't have the rights and the degree of force he had before. It gives people in your family a chance to come to their senses and hear the truth from Jesus. The generational truth becomes louder than the lies. 

Because of free will, family members may continue to choose to engage in a particular sinful behavior. The doors to sin that are open in a person's heart are complex. Jesus is the only one who can show each person how to heal and turn from those sins. But the difference, after generational repentance, is that the enemy won't have the same generational power as before to compel that behavior. I liken it to Jesus removing a megaphone from the enemy's hands.

This is where your prayers of intercession become so important. If a family member continues to follow in the old ways of the generational curse, you can intercede from a place of healing, truth, and blessing. You can't change that person's heart – only that person can do that, because of free will. However, you can pray for the Holy Spirit to help that person hear truth: that they are not a prisoner of fear, but rather they walk in power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7); that they are not an addict, but rather they are adopted by God (Romans 8:15); that they are not a victim of generational strife and jealousy, but rather they walk in God's love (1 Corinthians 13:4).

As you walk in your generational healing, and take ground from the enemy (Ephesians 6:13), you will be inviting the Holy Spirit to work more deeply in your family line. Your prayers of generational repentance, your generational healing, and the ways you choose to walk this out with Christ will have a powerful effect on your whole family.

Today is a great day to repent on behalf of yourself and the generations of your family. It's a great day to step into God's generational blessings.

Thank You, Jesus, for healing us. 

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Are You Feeling Someone’s Grief?

We all feel for others. When a loved one is down, we feel down as well. We even feel pain for people we don't know. A news broadcast might show a family that is grieving after a tornado destroys their home. We feel that pain as if it's our own. Human empathy is a beautiful gift God has given to us, so we can comfort and support each other through life's hardships.

For intercessors, especially those with a burden-bearing gift, this feeling can be even stronger. We can literally pick up on emotions from others – even when they are not around us and we don't know what they are going through. The pain that person is experiencing can literally overcome us, body, soul, and spirit. God might be allowing us to feel a part of their grief, so we can invite Him into that place with His comfort.

Yesterday, I was suddenly overcome with grief. It just descended like a cloud. I literally had to go to bed in the early evening as I was overcome with sadness. There was no apparent reason for this. Nothing was wrong with me and I was having a good day. Then I received a text about a friend who had just learned some tragic news.

Barely did the news process than I started wailing. Deep anguish took over me and I just wept and cried out. This went on for a while, as I prayed, and then I was able to get up and go about my evening, albeit subdued at the thought of what my friend was enduring. I continued to pray a lot until it was really time for bed.

Burden bearing for an intercessor can look and feel that way. It's important for you and your family to understand what it is and how to move through it. Otherwise, you can feel as if you're losing your mind.

When emotions come over you out of nowhere, and you don't know why, stop and ask God, "Is this mine, or is this for someone else?" He will show you. If what you are feeling is for someone else, ask Him to lead you in prayer for that person. You might not even know who the person is; that's okay, because God knows. Follow His lead in prayer.

As you pray, invite God to come into that place of pain and lift the burden. This is important. You are not the one to carry the burden, nor can you. It is for Jesus to carry. He allows you to feel part of the burden so you will invite Him with your prayers. Especially in situations of grief or recent trauma, the burden can often be too heavy for the person going through it. As an intercessor and friend, you have the privilege to invite God to lift that portion that they cannot bear. Jesus Himself will bear it for and with them.

Be sure you pray through this, giving all of it to God. Don't try and bear these burdens on your own strength. They are very real and can affect you in ways God does not intend. It's important to learn how to bear burdens rightly. Once you have prayed through each burden, ask God to lift the burden from you and cleanse you, so that you don't take it into your own flesh. Ask Him to seal what He has done, and thank Him.

I can recommend two excellent books that will help you know if you are a burden bearer and how to use this gift in the right ways:

Sharing the Burden by Christa and Dirk Luling – This book takes a practical approach to the personality and daily life of a burden bearer. It teaches about what burden bearing looks like and how to live in a healthy way as a burden bearer. This book is especially insightful for parents of burden-bearing children and teens. But it will also help burden-bearing adults recognize and learn how to live with this gift. 

The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity by Carol A. Brown – This book takes a spiritual approach to the gift of burden bearing. When you recognize yourself in these pages, you will feel like a light has come on. You are not crazy. You're not alone. It's a gift.

Burden bearing is a beautiful gift from God. If you have this gift, or if you see it in your children, it is important for you and your family to learn everything about it. Learn to use it in the way God intended, and you will have the privilege to come alongside others and God, to invite His comfort and healing in life's difficult situations.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

 

 

Why Every Intercessor Needs Inner Healing

Imagine you're on a battlefield. Your sword is broken. Your armor has holes. Your knees are weak. You keep tripping over the ground. Your enemy taunts you, and those taunts become a torment so loud you can't hear your heart pounding.

This is what it's like to be an intercessor without inner healing.

Inner healing invites God into every dark corner of your heart. Any weaknesses you have, He will expose for healing. Psalm 139:23-24 should be every intercessor's heart cry to God. It's like pouring peroxide into a wound and watching the infection bubble to the surface for healing.

When you submit your heart to God for inner healing, you are bringing your heart into His sanctification process (Philippians 2:12; Hebrews 12:15). We don't know the depths of what we hold in our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). That's why we need to ask God to show us and heal us.

If you are trying to go into battle as an intercessor, without inviting God to search every area of your heart for healing, you will find your heart is exposed to the enemy. The enemy hates intercession so he will look for any place he can grab hold of you and torment you.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Ask God to begin showing you areas of your heart that need healing. Ask Him to begin the healing process and be willing to submit your heart fully to Him.

Don't go through inner healing alone. I'm part of a whole tribe of people going through the journey of inner healing together, and we keep each other on speed dial for help, prayers, and accountability. Find your tribe and stay connected.

Lots of great inner healing ministries exist – one might be right in your neighborhood. The ministry that I love and have participated in for the past 10 years is The Center for Inner Healing. Whichever inner healing ministry you become involved in, be sure it is biblically based, Christ centered, Spirit filled, and invites heart encounters between you and Jesus for your healing.

Whatever you do, don't let the enemy take potshots at you on the battlefield of intercession. Identify the wounds in your heart and allow Jesus to bind them up (Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18). 

Then you will be able to intercede under the shelter of God's wings (Psalm 91:4), hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3), with clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24:3-4).

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Get Out of Town

I was reminded the other day that sometimes intercessors need to get away for a few hours. We sometimes need to drive out of town for a change of spiritual scenery.

Of course, I often forget this wisdom in practice. I was on a particular intercessor assignment recently and became overwhelmed. I didn't think about what might be causing this feeling. I just got in my car and drove to another location. After spending a few hours in the other place, I felt completely refreshed and ready to return to my assignment.

Why? 

Often as intercessors we can feel oppressed by the enemy, especially when we are interceding for a situation that involves prayers to change the atmosphere – e.g., if someone has given us authority to pray over their home or land. We can also feel oppressed when interceding for situations in our church or community.

We know the enemy has critters assigned territorially. As intercessors, we often feel their oppression, even their assaults against us. Sometimes we just need to pick up and move out of their territory for a few hours of reprieve.

I used to serve as head intercessor of a church. We were also active in praying for the community. I often felt everything. I had my own prayer cover and so did the church. But sometimes, if you stay long enough, you just feel the oppression. So I used to leave the county sometimes just for a break.

I remember a friend texted me one evening, asking where I was. I told her I was two counties away, enjoying time at a bookstore. I live in a beautiful semi-rural county. Here I was, in the midst of Greater Atlanta, lost in the crowds.

My friend said, "That's the place you chose to find peace?"

I replied, "Yes. Sometimes intercessors just need to get out of town."

See, the territorial critters from my county couldn't bother me there. The critters in that place didn't know me. They left me alone. When I returned home, I felt refreshed and ready to go another round.

I do that every once in a while, just to get a break.

If you are an intercessor in your community, and you feel overwhelmed, see what crossing the county line will do. Maybe you will get a few hours' reprieve and a chance to re-set and refresh.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Ask for a Prayer Strategy

Your prayers are powerful. Because of that power, you want to be sure you are praying in a way that aligns with God's will.

That doesn't mean you can only pray, "Thy will be done." I know folks who feel most comfortable praying this way, and I understand it. I honor their desire to be careful in what they pray. But we can be more specific with our prayers, as long as we align these with God's will. We need to ask God for a prayer strategy.

In Romans 8:26, God lets us know the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don't know what to pray. He is there to guide us. God wants to direct our prayers. When we pray, we are inviting Him to do what He already desires and intends to do. So He knows how to lead our prayers. 

That's where we ask Him for a prayer strategy. It is the same thing as saying, "God, I am inviting You do to what You want to do. Please tell me what to invite. What do You want to do in this situation?"

In John 14:13-14, Jesus reveals a lot about how to ask according to His will. As you read those verses, expand your reading to all of John 14. Jesus reminds us that He is the way, the truth, and the life; that He works in us by our belief in Him, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, for God's glory. He reminds us that if we keep His commandments, this is a sign of our love for Him. It is in this context that when we ask in His name, HE will accomplish what we ask.

So if we live by His will, then we will ask according to His will, and He will do what He already intends to do. That is what our prayers invite. And that is why, when we are living according to His will, we can ask Him for a prayer strategy, so we pray in alignment with Him. If we are living in alignment with Him, we will have peace that we are praying in alignment with Him. The Holy Spirit will prompt us if our prayers are off base. The more sensitive we become to His Spirit, the more we can feel this and change course.

The prayer strategy God gives us will always line up with His Word and His nature. That's the best way we can check to be sure we're hearing from God.

If you feel uncertain of how to pray in a situation, begin to pray God's Word. John 3:16 is a great verse to pray in any situation. For "the world," substitute the name of the person you are praying for. Psalm 1 is also a great Bible passage to pray for someone, claiming that God has created that person to be that tree planted by water bringing forth fruit. Psalm 139:14 is also a great verse to pray for everyone.

As you start to pray God's Word, and attune your heart to His, you will begin to sense other Bible verses to pray. 

And you can always pray by inviting God to come and do what He desires to do in any situation: "Lord, come and do what You intend to do." That is the same as praying, "Thy will be done," but it is a very active way to invite Him, and this will help you begin to move your prayers in rhythm with His heart.

What are your favorite Bible verses to pray? For what kinds of situations?

Has God given you a prayer strategy where you had peace that it was from God? Did you have a situation where you weren't sure? How did you resolve it and find peace?

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Community Prayer Starts with You

Prayers for a community are powerful. Ideally, you want your whole community covered in prayer. Even better, you want your whole community praying.

It takes time. And lots of prayer.

If community prayer is your heart, then it starts with you.

Our community is blessed to have many prayer groups, some who have been active for decades. I also know of prayer groups who met here historically, so we are built on a bedrock of prayer.

Even if your community is newer, and doesn't have a deep history of prayer, I guarantee you God has already been at work preparing the soil. When you respond to His call to pray, He will bless and flourish the prayers you sow into the community.

For several years in our community, we had a group of intercessors meeting each month to pray together. We came from all different churches. We listened for how God would have us pray, and we prayed in unity. Folks in our community saw fruit of what God had led us to pray. (Remember: Prayer is inviting God to do what He already desires and intends to do.)

This summer, I felt led to start praying with others for the community again. We meet once a week at a sidewalk cafe and pray as God leads us. Sometimes we prayer walk around the streets of downtown.

We pray for our schools, health care, highway safety, law enforcement and first responders, businesses, elderly, people living in poverty, students driving for the first time, and other requests that arise with our community news and daily interactions. Our community prayer group meets right before another group of us goes into the jail for ministry, so we pray for the people in the jail as well.

We also declare together that Jesus is Lord over our community. We invite Him to come and have His way in our town. 

If you have a heart to pray for your community, see how God would lead you to respond. Do you feel led to start praying with others? It only takes a couple people to get this started. Don't feel discouraged if you are the only one at first. Spread the word and show up to pray. Often times, the person who starts the group will pray alone for a few weeks. That's okay. Be faithful and obedient. Before long, others will join you, and it will be amazing.

Keep track of your prayers. We write ours down and take them home to pray during the week. Notice when and how prayers are answered, and thank God together for what He has done. If people want to join you but can't come at that time, send them your prayer notes so they can join you in prayer from home.

I pray that God will bless your community prayer group immensely and multiply the fruits from the seeds He sows through your prayers.

If you have a community prayer group, I would love to hear about it. Please share with us in the Comments below about what you are doing, so others can be blessed.

If you haven't been able to get people to join you, let us know that as well, so we can pray for you.

Here are some ideas of what a praying community looks like. I would love to hear your suggestions of how to add to this list.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Prayer Lessons from God’s Heart

A week ago I returned from a surprise mission trip to Guatemala. What a blessing, in countless ways, many of which I am probably still not aware of.

God used that time in Guatemala – away from familiar surroundings and language – to teach me a lot about His heart for prayer. I am so grateful, and I am trusting Him to work these new lessons and changes through my heart.

Meanwhile, I would love to share with you some of my reflections on prayer during my time in Guatemala. I was able to post these at our team's blog site:

Treasure in Jars of Clay

I would love to know your thoughts, and to hear similar stories of how God has taught you from His heart of prayer.

God bless you.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Praying Family - background

Would You Like God’s Undivided Attention?

The reality is – we've got it. God's undivided attention. Every minute of every day. Amazing, isn't it? The creator of the universe is focused totally on you, right this minute. And every minute. He is always here, and you have His undivided attention at all times.

The problem comes because we are not always aware of His presence, or His attention. Our attention gets divided by so many things. 

Does this mean God wants us all sitting on stumps, just looking at Him all day? Does it mean God doesn't want us doing things, or paying attention to people? Granted, at some moments or seasons of our life, He might have us spend much more quiet time with Him. But most of the time, He gives us things to do. And He gives us people to be with. We get to share His love with people. We get to remind others, through our own actions and words, that He is real, and He is here.

But often, in the midst of our interactions with others, and our daily activities, we forget He is here. We forget to look for Him – intentionally – and to see Him everywhere, in everything, in everyone.

My intercessor friends and I have talked about how God will wake us up in the middle of the night to pray. Or talk loudly to us in the shower. Why does He do this? I don't know for sure. But one idea I have is that these are times when He has our undivided attention. When we can hear Him clearly because we are not distracted.

As I mentioned this to one friend, she wondered if maybe we should focus on being more attentive to God during the day. I couldn't agree more.

How do we do this?

1. Start the day with Him. I know mornings can be busy, and for me, mornings are my worst time of the day. I feel sluggish and disoriented. But what better time to express our need for God? Even five minutes of just sitting quietly with Him, just "being," can make all the difference for the rest of our day.

2. Expect to see Him. Throughout the day. Keep looking for Him. Stay aware of Him. Notice when you see Him in someone, in some place, in some situation.

3. Talk to Him. Be available to Him. Let Him know He is the most important part of your day. Be attentive to what He says to you, or shows you. Write it down – keep a journal with you, or use the "notes" on your phone. Acknowledge Him, throughout your day. Thank Him for being with you.

We have God's undivided attention. We need to give Him ours. 

What is one simple way you can stay more attuned to God and give Him more attention today?

Please let me know what you come up with, and how it goes, how it changes your day. I would love to hear!

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

The End of the Story

Intercessors don't often get to hear the end of the story. We pray in faith that God has done whatever He intends to do, in whatever situation He prompted us to pray. And we thank Him for the privilege.

Today, I met a lady I had never met before. She began to share with me about a ministry event God had orchestrated in Israel that took several years in the planning. When she told me the month and the year she received the vision and began to move forward with the planning, and when she told me the nature of the event, my heart began to pound.

As it turns out, I was in Israel at exactly the time the Lord began to germinate this vision with her. The type of event that transpired, several years later, was exactly what He had laid on my heart to pray.

I was excited beyond words to learn how the event had transpired, and the lives God had touched. She was grateful to hear of how God had orchestrated intercession, even with someone she didn't know at the time, an intercessor who "happened" to be visiting Israel for the first time in my life.

Intercessors often don't get to hear the end of the story. What a sweet and amazing God, that He allowed me this day to hear this story.

If you are an intercessor, be encouraged. God moves mountains in response to your prayers.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Israel

 

Why I Felt Compelled to Steal a Car

I’ve never stolen in my life.

Imagine my surprise when the urge overcame me to steal a car.

My ministry friends and I were staying at a bed and breakfast while attending a conference out of state. I took a walk after breakfast, enjoying the peaceful morning and small town atmosphere. 

On one street, I noticed a car in a driveway and felt the urge to steal it.

What in the world?

I’m an intercessor; I pray for people. I know the enemy looks to trip me up, to distract me. But why the urge to steal? With a myriad of sins to choose from – sins I’ve actually struggled with – why prompt me to do something that’s never occurred to me?

I stopped and prayed in the middle of the street. Which is exactly what God wanted me to do. Turns out the urge to steal was not from the enemy, but from God. Not a prompting to steal. A nudge to pray. As I surveyed the street, listening in my heart, I realized God was letting me know someone was about to steal. I was feeling that person’s heart. God wanted me to pray for that person, so the theft wouldn’t happen, and the person could get help.

As intercessors, we need to be aware of thoughts and emotions that might not be ours. Nor should we give undue credit to the enemy. The thoughts and feelings that touch our heart might be God, allowing us to experience what’s happening around us, so we will pray. 

Our prayers change the atmosphere. We need to stay aware and attuned to God’s heart. 

Have you experienced something like this? 

When a thought comes over you, especially if it seems strange, or comes out of nowhere, stop. Ask the Lord: “What’s going on? Is this my thought? Am I picking this up from someone else who needs prayer? Is it an attempt from the enemy to confuse me? Or is it Your directive to pray?”

I didn’t steal a car that day. I walked the neighborhood for an hour, praying. I believe no one stole a car that day, and someone who needed help received it.