The King's Gardeners Ministries
Reverend S. L. Gardner
Spokane Valley, Washington US
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Called intercessors take on the burdens of others and stand in the gap for people until there is a positive break in their situation. All Standers are called out intercessors or burden bearers for their spouses and families. This lesson is submitted hoping to bring some tools into your personal arsenal for your protection and to help relieve some of the weight that comes with our portion of burden bearing.
I'm going to start with some of the blessings of this call. Then I will go into what happens when the burden gets overwhelming and the burden wounds the intercessor. In this lesson is a key that is critical to your defenses.
Teachings on burden bearing normally state that we as the bearer must properly maintain a condition of detachment enough to have compassion for those involved in the situation, pray but remain in an undisturbed emotional and spiritual balance. One where our hearts and minds contend with the problems but our spirit is at peace. This is an extremely difficult if not nearly impossible state for a Stander to stay in but the Shalom of G_d (peace that passes all understanding) can be obtained and applied. That's another lesson. Standers are intimately involved in the situation of intercession. Because of the ongoing spiritual wounding and wounding to the soul it is impractical to suggest that a Stander can achieve this state of perfect detachment continually.
Burden bearing is a service, and it is labor. Some liken it to a birthing because it can be so painful. So often a person who is deep into an overwhelming time during the bearing will be told they are out of G_d's will because the Word says His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Matthew 11:30 Quoting this verse normally brings an even greater burden and guilt to already overloaded bearer. Never forget that the Word also says that we have our part in the pain. Read Romans 12:15, 1 Peter 4:13, 1 Corinthians 12:26, Galatians 6:5 and John 15:12-13
Before I go any further I want to give you some hope through the Scriptures in 1 Peter 4:13, 1 Peter 5:10 and Hebrews 4:9-11. I suggest you stop right here and read these scriptures. Then we will go on to find how to accomplish what is promised in them.
Standing is a very complex and emotional experience. We not only have to deal with our own emotions, failings, sins, judgments, we must seek healing while we endeavor to forgive those who are still hurting us and those we love. We must also deal with the daily practical side of an emotionally devastating, nearly continually intense situation that in itself is draining and exhausting. Sometimes it's very difficult to separate which is our hurt and which is the hurt we are feeling as we empathize with others. Compassion is a wonderful thing but we must learn to keep that compassion "corralled" so that horse doesn't run away with us.
Don't ever forget we serve a Lord who has been touched by all our infirmities and is fully aware of our limitations. Sometimes though we wonder if G_d is seeing the right person! : It's perfectly ok to tell G_d when pressures and situations overwhelm us. Jeremiah 20:7-18 We must also remember that no matter how heavy the load seems we are partners in the yoke with Christ and let ourselves die to "needing to be needed" and the self importance that brings.
As a Stander you must always check to see if the Lord is trying to reveal that you've made a judgment or have unresolved anger towards anyone. We can be angry and sin not but sometimes we get angry and sin. At that time the Lord will deal with us and we must be sensitive to respond to the promptings to forgive even by faith if necessary. Those issues are dealt with in other lessons so I won't go into them here.
Ask yourself these questions -
1. Do I feel continual confusion?
Not all confusion is from the enemy. We can get confused quite well all by ourselves so don't always look to spiritual warfare to eliminate your confusion or become discouraged if the spiritual warfare for confusion doesn't work. It may not be the enemy at all.
2. Are you checking with others for their discernment or do you see yourself as the only one carrying the burden?
Please understand that checking with others for their discernment doesn't mean taking a poll of every Christian you know. Check only with people who have proven they have wisdom and discernment and would be mature enough to say I don't know if they can't "see" into a situation spiritually.
3. Do you feel overwhelmed much of the time? Exhausted and can't find rest much less peace?
If you've answered any of those questions yes then it's time to back off and regroup. Read the rest of this article and apply the exercises and principles to your life.
Learn to distinguish what is your responsibility and what is another's. If you pray and the person prayed for doesn't respond in a G_dly way you haven't failed. The person made a wrong choice and will be moved down what I call the Lev 26 road of discipline that leads to repentance. (See Lev 26) It is NOT your responsibility to save your spouse. It is your responsibility to intercede on their behalf and to stand against the enemy FOR them.
KEY - Pray that the Lord will stand between you and the persons you are involved with to filter out any burden you are not supposed to carry. This is vital and in my experience I have found that when I forget to do this I can become buried, overwhelmed and completely discouraged having taken on more than I could ever bear. If you've done that just say oops Lord take it back will ya? I have more than I can handle and I need to know where my boundaries are. Will you get back between me and ______ filtering out what I'm not supposed to take on? And Lord while you're at it will you tell me what to do with what does come through?
Trust me, talking to your heavenly Father and big brother Jesus like they were family and friends is ok. Why? Because they are!
When you've accomplished this reorganization of task loads be sensitive to anything that might be a lesson for you to learn. Example maybe a judgment is revealed or damaging anger or unforgivness.
Ok now some practical applications -
* You can depressurize by talking - tell G_d ALL about it. He can take it! :)
* Realize you're not the key in this whole thing. Let go of the self importance and need to be needed. That kind of pride is a killer.
* Practice daily spiritual hygiene. Do your cleansing prayers (found in the proactive prayer section of this site) Make sure you have examined your own heart for the defilement of unforgivness and anything else that would defile your spirit.
* Pray for the proper separation of the functions of the soul and spirit so no part is overworked.
* Stop self pity and ask for discernment to know what self pity is and what is your spirit seeking clarification for your overwhelming emotions.
* DON'T ISOLATE YOURSELF
* Develop hobbies that are positive and creative
* REST! Heb 4:9-11 Sabbath was made for man and we need to rest one day out of seven. It's ok to get away from it ALL! Sleep, or do something restful. Sometimes a good walk in the park can be a restful thing, a swim or just laying in the back yard looking up at the sky and giving G_d glory for the beauty you're seeing.
* GIVE THANKS - Every single day list at least 5 things that you are thankful for. (On bad days you can start with thanking G_d that the sun came up! Think about it!) Praise and thanksgiving are such wonderful releases for the burdens we carry. It brings our spirits up and takes us one notch higher out of any depression or self pity we may be experiencing.
PRAYER FOR YOU -
Lord I bring this beloved child of Yours before You right now. Because Your call has been received in all earnestness Your child has been carrying people in his/her heart and has been faithfully interceding for them.
Somewhere along the way, he/she has taken on more than You intended and as a result has become weaker and more frustrated every day. The burden has become painful like a torn ligament and your beloved child is wincing at every step. I ask that You touch the torn and wounded places with Your healing power. Cradle Your beloved child in Your arms Father and bring them Your Shalom. Cause the burden to be Yours again Lord so it will not possess and control this child any longer.
YOUR PRAYER MODEL - (this is not a formula but instead is a prayer to prime your spiritual pump)
Lord I thank You for the wonderful gifts you bestow on us. Cause me to operate in each one as You would have me operate. I submit all my gifts and burdens to You now. I return each one to You now to be sorted and cleansed.
I submit to you my ability to see, hear, sense and know things about people. I only want to see what you want me to see, hear only what You want me to hear, know and sense only what the Holy Spirit reveals. I ask that You bring to death any psychic abilities and cleanse me from any defilement that came from using my gifts improperly. I place every kind of gift and calling on my life like music, leadership, common sense, teaching and whatever gifts I have on the altar. Let me die to them. I trust You will give them back refined and directed by the Holy Spirit. Thank You for returning them to me in order and rightly divided.
I ask that You Lord stand in front of me at all times so that as I relate to other people in their pain or torment including my own those emotions and burdens will come to You first. I ask that You allow me to only feel enough so I know how to pray intelligently and specifically. I want You to own me and my gifts Lord to use for Your Glory in the Name of my Messiah and Lord I pray. Amen
Rev. Dr. S.L. Gardner
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