“Intercessor” is part of my role in the Body of Christ, and I’ve walked in this gift since I was a kid. When I say “gift,” I genuinely mean it, but that’s not to say it comes without some sacrifice. Putting away desires and placing the attention on someone else is what I live for, especially as a “2” on the Enneagram (I welcome you to look this up). A lot of the time, my own needs are introduced to the back burner even when I really should pray for myself.
What hit me one morning was how I fervently pray for others as an intercessor, how I am passionate about their heart-cries. I believe in miracles for them and press into Jesus for them with a warrior spirit. I become a force to be reckoned with as righteous anger consumes me. And then when my prayers are no longer requested, I climb out of my secret place and back into my shell.
Spiritual warfare is not for the weak-willed. Sometimes, it leaves me worn out. My words start to feel empty, and my spirit feels as if it needs a month-long vacation to recuperate. I pour out everything I have and then look around wondering who’s praying for me in my time of need.
Though I know there are people who speak life and love over me before they go to sleep at night, it boils down to just God and me in my room when I’m reaching my lowest point. Then, I freeze. I’ve spent hours or days expressing my concerns for others, but I don’t tell God what’s going on with me. It feels selfish and even scary.
I imagine this situation as follows: I’m in a kitchen serving thousands of guests, and when they’re gone, a mess is left in their wake. I clean it up and then feel more alone and tired than ever. Why do I wait for someone else’s hunger to whip out ingredients and make a feast? Why do I hesitate to ask God if there are more recipes we can cook up when I have a request instead of searching for leftovers and living off crumbs to satisfy the ache? If it’s important to me that I serve others well and fill their stomachs, why is it not a priority to fill mine?
My instinct is to manage until the hunger pains subside. I run away because I’m depleted and want some reprieve, but retreating doesn’t always mean resting. And it certainly doesn’t always equate to being filled back up. That only happens when I get back in the kitchen despite being burned. And if I don’t take care of myself and allow the Lord to pour into me, I will cease to continuing serving.
The moral of this is that we are to pray without ceasing. And we are to pray for ourselves and believe that our Father has just as much goodness for us as He does for the people for which we stand in the gap. Luxurious fruit baskets and pastries aren’t just for the prodigal sons, the forlorn, and the diseased who come to Him and receive. They’re for those who simply keep believing even if all they have left is a mustard seed for themselves.
It doesn’t matter if we’re on the floor or standing tall; it matters if we’re wielding the sword of truth. It may require a different approach, but we can still fight even when we’re down. The key is that we remain faithful and remember that our own hunger is just as important to God as theirs.
Featured Image By Naassom Azevedo