From the desk of Steve Shultz:
In Dutch Sheets' intense appeal to the Body of Christ, he moves us from passivity to deep, heartfelt prayer for our land and our governments throughout the earth. Then he takes it a step farther by exhorting us to not only petition Heaven, but to DECLARE IN PRAYER what will or what will not be permitted in the land that we live.
Here is how Dutch puts it: "We must shift from petition prayer to declarative prayer. We must engage in authoritative governmental intercession, laying hold of God's Word and making it the sword that divides what is permissible from what cannot be!"
If you love the land in which you live, it's time to operate in "Governmental Intercession" for your country, your state, and your town.
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Governmental Intercession: Created to Rule, Govern and Exercise Authority
Arise in Your Authority
The question of who's in control is a governmental issue. We often think of government only in its civil sense, but Webster's defines govern as "to direct and control; to regulate by authority; to influence; to direct; to restrain; to steer or to regulate the course of; to exercise authority to maintain the superiority." To exercise authority is to govern. Praying with authority, therefore, is "governmental intercession." So, in essence, this is an issue of government – not politics, but prayer! Politicians and government officials legislate through man-made laws and rulings. We legislate through spiritual laws, principles, and activities. We legislate through prayer!
One of Scripture's primary themes is governmental authority. You were actually created with a nature to rule, to govern, to exercise authority. Using Webster's definition of governing, you were created "to direct and control; to maintain the superiority," not be lorded over by other people, evil forces, or even unfortunate circumstances. You're an overcomer, a conqueror. When Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden, God's instruction to him – which remains the same for us today – was to subdue, have dominion, and multiply. Though this God-given propensity lost most of its purity at the fall, becoming infected with pride and selfish ambition (see Genesis 3), nonetheless, the desire in humankind to govern its world was placed there by God.
This drive to govern and this call to legislate is "for such a time as this." In Scripture this phrase was used to describe a season in which the life of a nation was at stake (Esther 4:14). Esther and Mordecai, of course, were used by God to thwart wicked Haman's attempt to eradicate the Jews.
It is appropriate to use this phrase precisely at this time in history: "For such a time as this." There are those who do not want the America God raised up to continue its existence. Their vision for this nation is different than that of our forefathers – and even our grandparents. They are "Hamans," warring for the destruction of a nation God raised up, empowered by a devil whose existence they deny.
I believe, however, that God has a response to America's Hamans, just as He did the Jews' destroyer. An apostolic, praying Church is arising, one that will soon be offered the momentum of a third great awakening. Born for such a time as this, these Kingdom warriors will be used to turn a nation back to its righteous roots and heavenly purpose.
As surprising as it may sound, another part of this "army" will be from government roles. We must take back this part of our culture, for a righteous government alongside a Kingdom-minded and spirit-empowered Church is the vehicle through which God's righteous authority enters the earth. "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn" (Proverbs 29:2).
Church, it's time to arise in God's governmental authority – to direct, control, regulate, influence, restrain, steer, and regulate the future course of this great nation – to maintain the status of superiority that God has given to us.
Our mandate is nothing less than this: "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant" (Jeremiah 1:9b-10).
We must shift from petition prayer to declarative prayer. We must engage in authoritative governmental intercession, laying hold of God's Word and making it the sword that divides what is permissible from what cannot be!
We must come alongside and fervently support those in seats of government whose goal is to set God's Word as the plumbline and use spiritual laws, principles, and activities to affect political decisions.
Many prophets have voiced God's desire to infuse a second wind of new life, strength, and strategy into the intercessory prayer movement, into churches, ministries, and even businesses. There are personal and corporate breakthroughs hanging from Heaven for those who will lay hold of them.
Ekklesia [Church], through authoritative prayer and bold Biblical action, it's time for Heaven's legislative session to begin!
Finding Our Way Back To Greatness
When David was mocked by his brother for offering to face Goliath, his reply was simple yet profoundly poignant: "Is there not a cause?" David was simply asking, "Isn't there a cause involved here that is worth the potential price? If I perish, I perish, but the cause is worth it." As I travel our nation trumpeting the messages of awakening and reformation, I often reply to the weariness and overwhelming burden I sometimes feel by thinking about David and his response. My answer is always an emphatic, "Yes! The cause is worth the payment."
There is another interesting possible meaning of the word "cause," as David used it in his reply to his brother. The Hebrew word for "cause" could also be translated "history." David may have been asking, "Is there not a history?" I often think of this when I think of the war for America. There is a rich heritage to honor and there is a future story to write. What will history record about us? That we dishonored our godly heritage and gave away our future? Or will it say we paid the necessary price and created the history God had planned for us?
Winston Churchill once said, "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." Those are my sentiments exactly. I believe you share these feelings as well. It is an honor to partner with a remnant of history-makers in America who believe in His cause. America can be saved; we can find our way back to greatness.
As I travel the nation from week to week, ministering in cities nationwide, I am encouraged to see a fresh wind is beginning to blow. In church after church, I am seeing signs of new life: the prayer times are strong, revelation is clear, and faith is high. We are on a correction course, which will be greatly contested but overwhelmingly successful. I am convinced that awakening is gathering steam and will be historical!
Thank you for partnering with us this past year as we have traveled and labored for this great cause. Though it can be discouraging at times, we know that we are winning this war. We will defeat the giants of humanism, secularism, atheism, and every other anti-Christ force warring for the destiny of America.
There is a healing of our history that is taking place as we recognize that the prize – for ourselves and for our children – is more than worth the price. God is raising up a unified force of faithful warriors to stand their ground against the Goliaths of today. By adding our prayers as incense to the prayers of those that have gone before us, God will visit a generation destined for His glory and greatness!
Dutch Sheets Ministries
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Dutch Sheets is an internationally known speaker and was recently named the Executive Director of Christ for the Nations Institute. Dutch is a successful author who has written many books including the best-seller Intercessory Prayer and his recent book, Dream. Dutch travels extensively, empowering Believers for passionate prayer and world-changing revival. Dutch and his wife, Ceci, reside in Dallas, Texas.