This verse came alive for me when my friend Mike Anderson made the following statement: “Sometimes the covenant of the Lord is released to you through others coming to your aid.” At the time Mike and his wife were missionaries in Jamaica. The statement was made on the heels of a life and death struggle they had just experienced with their son who had contracted a critical illness. The young child, two or three years old, had regressed for several days to a point of near death. That’s when Mike called me and a few other individuals in the United States.
I knew something fairly serious had to be occurring when the prayer meeting I was leading was interrupted to inform me about an emergency phone call from Jamaica.
“I’m sorry to interrupt your meeting, Dutch,” my friend Mike began, “but I desperately need your help.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“It’s my son, Toby,” Mike replied. “He is deathly ill with a raging fever. The doctors haven’t been able to find the cause. They’ve done all they know to do, but nothing seems to help. It is questionable whether or not he can survive another night in his condition. I have been praying and praying for him, but can’t seem to break this attack. The Lord has now revealed to me that his condition is being caused by a strong spirit of infirmity, which He actually allowed me to see as I was praying. I have not been able to break its power over my son, however, even though I’ve warred against it for hours. But I feel the Lord has shown me that if some strong intercessors join me, we can break this attack.”
Mike and his wife, Pam, are strong in the Lord. They pray. They have faith. They understand authority. They were not in sin. Why then, you might ask, could they not get the breakthrough they needed on their own?
I don’t know. But I suspect the Lord wanted to teach them (and those of us praying with them) the principle I’m now sharing with you.
The people I was meeting with and a few others Mike had called went into prayer. We asked God to meet (paga) with this child. We said essentially, “Father, allow us to move into our priestly role as intercessors (paga) enforcing the victory of Jesus in this situation, representing or administering the blessings of the new covenant. Stake us to Toby and allow us, along with Christ, to be touched with the feeling of this infirmity. Lay on (paga) us this burden that we might bear (nasa, bastazo) it away. We ask this in Jesus’ name-based on who He is and what He has done, Father.”
We then bound the power of Satan over this child’s life-in Christ’s name, of course, because it was His victory we were “administering.” Then we growled with “the bear anointing”. No, we didn’t really, but lighten up and enjoy the symbolism. Besides, I think maybe there was a growl in the Spirit! Perhaps a roar would be more accurate because the Lion of the tribe of Judah roared through us. He does “roar out of Zion,” you know (see Joel 3:16; Amos 1:2). And we are certain He did because Mike called back a few hours later and said, “Almost immediately after I contacted several of you to pray with me, the fever broke and my son began to improve. Within a few hours he was well and released from the hospital.”
Praise God! The Body of Christ had functioned as the Lord intended and Jesus was glorified.
Mike continued, “I asked the Lord why I needed others to help me break this attack against my son. He reminded me of the story of Joshua and the army of Israel coming to the aid of the Gibeonites, who were helplessly outnumbered by five armies.” Mike then recounted the story from Joshua 9 and 10 for me, which I’ll briefly summarize for you.
The Gibeonites were one of the Canaanite tribes that Joshua and Israel were supposed to destroy. They had deceived the Israelites, however, into believing they had come from a far country in order to enter a covenant with them. Joshua and the Israelites neglected to pray about this and were therefore deceived into a binding, covenantal agreement. (Have you ever “forgotten” to pray about something and gotten into trouble?) Even though it was born of deceit, the covenant was still valid and made Israel an ally of Gibeon. Therefore, a few days later when five armies marched against Gibeon, they called upon Joshua for help-based on the strength of covenant. Even though the agreement was conceived in deception, Joshua and his army traveled all night to arrive in time and rescue the Gibeonites. The entire story is an incredible demonstration of the power of covenant.
After calling my attention to this story, Mike then spoke these words to me: “Dutch, after reminding me of this story, the Lord planted the following thought in my heart as to why I needed help overcoming this spirit: `Sometimes the covenant of the Lord is released to you through others coming to your aid!”‘
Isn’t that profound? The Aimighty administering the blessings of the covenant through us. That’s what intercession is all about. Paga: He “lays on” us someone else’s need. Anechomai: We “stake” ourselves to that person. Bastazo: We “carry away” the weakness or burden.
Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets, p.68-70. 1996, Gospel Light/Regal Books, Ventura, CA 93003. Used by Permission