Intercession - A Report from Newfoundland, Canada
by Joanie Farrell
Zech 4:6 says "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts."
Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote, "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."
The CCR in Newfoundland has been encouraged by Cyril John and his book Pray Lifting up Holy Hands and this book has been the impetus in helping us develop intercession as a focus. One of our NCR members also had traveled to Ghana last summer and the CCR there encouraged that intercession needed to be a concerted effort of all initiatives so that the CCR would expand here. A number of members from NCR came together in October 2012 to form a Committee of Intercessors. The weekend was a great learning experience for all of us on the power of intercession. We became aware of the necessity of fervent prayer and being of one heart, we committed ourselves to the work the Lord is calling us to " commitment without condition. We now give to the Lord our undivided attention for 15 minutes every day interceding for the needs of Charismatic Renewal in Newfoundland and for the Church. We have a group of intercessors across the Island who are committed to the work of intercession.
We gave a series of talks based on the book, Pray Lifting up Holy Hands beginning with: "What is Intercession"? Cyril John who wrote in his book that intercession is an act of love; it goes beyond ourselves it is the entering in a human divine partnership in God"s mission for the world. "Intercession in the Catholic Tradition" was the second talk. God"s purpose has to be complete in us. It is difficult to pray for those who have hurt us but adds it can only be done by the grace of God. We have the Communion of Saints interceding with us and the holiness of one profits many. As Catholics, we have many traditions that help us in the work of intercession: Holy Mass, Novenas, Rosaries, chaplets, etc. The third talk was based on "Spiritual Intercession for Those in Authority" noting that political leaders need full time prayer as well as leaders in the Church and in Renewal. They are under attack most because they have the greatest accountability. Prayer is not an option but a necessity. The final talk dealt with Spiritual Warfare: The world, the flesh, and the devil. We need to reclaim what belongs to God and take back from what the enemy has stolen. We have the power to push back the enemy. We must pray strategically and have a targeted plan to push back Satan and claim our territory. We are not to be not afraid; but be aware of where the enemy is working. We were given a word from the Lord telling us to tear down the work of the enemy. Prayer is like a demolition crew; it tears down walls and removes debris. My children, I will use you like a hammer and other tools to destroy and tear down what I did not erect. I will be with you; you are not alone. I will work through you. At the end of the weekend, we compiled a list of areas that we wanted to intercede and the Lord certainly aided us in putting this together. Every participant was given the list to help guide their prayer time.
During our summer Charismatic Conference, we had intercessors at the four corners of the meeting auditorium, praying in tongues and interceding for all those who attended. It was the strongest conference we have ever had in regard to Word Gift.
We are slowly but fervently learning how to stand in the gap as Moses did for his people in Egypt. We see the need to submit our will to God. We pray with fervent, contrite, confident hearts allowing God to increase our faith, trust, and hope. We know He will hear and answer our prayers the best way possible " His Way.
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a gift to the whole Church. We have received power from on high and it is time for us to stand in the breach and use that Power, praying without ceasing and watching the Holy Spirit move in and through His Holy Church; too, we will see God raise up HIS Renewal that was born out of His love for all His people.
Many personal sharings conveyed what Intercessory prayer can accomplish. One story told a message of conversion, another, of physical healing, and still another, of holy service " all for the Glory to the Lord.
We are interceding for the needs of our church, the renewal, the Prayer Groups, for each other and for the many contentious situations around the world. We pray for all leaders in high places that they will conform to the will of God and bring about peace, love & dignity to every human being. We pray that God will tear down what He did not erect and that He will build up all that is holy. We pray for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.
We are growing up and growing so aware of the need to be of one heart & mind in prayer " taking up the burdens of others - going forward with expectant FAITH (in this Year of Faith) knowing that God hears the hearts of His children.
Mother Theresa once said "Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God"s gift of Himself." God has a significant work to do in and through all of us.
The NCR is growing through prayer " prayer from the heart. . It is a mighty work God has entrusted to us. Let us not just say a prayer; let us pray a prayer. More prayer; more power. Little prayer; little power. No prayer; no power.
Well, it has been three years since we began our commitment to intercessory prayer; we had made a commitment to pray strategically for fifteen minutes a day for the many needs of the church, renewal and for the world.
You may be wondering is this prayer bearing good fruit. Yes, in many ways! Just to name a few: