The Power of Prayer and Intercession
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CBN.com THE HAPPY INTERCESSOR
Beni Johnson and her husband, Bill, are the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church. Bill is a fifth generation pastor with a rich heritage in the things of the Spirit. Together they serve a growing number of churches that have partnered for revival. This apostolic network has crossed denominational lines in building relationships that enable church leaders to walk in both purity and power.
Beni has a call to intercession that is an integral part of the Bethel Church mission. She is in charge of the Bethel's Prayer House, ministry teams and the intercessors. The Lord has given her a heart for broken people of all ages. Her insight into strategies for prayer and her involvement in prayer networks have helped to bring the much-needed breakthrough in Bethel's ministry.
Her heart is to help people begin to carry joy in intercession. She believes that being an intercessor is capturing the heartbeat of heaven and declaring or praying that into your world. It is true agreement with heaven.
Beni says the concept of “the happy intercessor” is foreign to many. As intercessors, we can get caught up in spiritual “warfare” and carry heaviness and travail. Many times we strive in prayer because we don’t trust the power of the Cross. We need to come into alignment with God and purposes, which we learn by going after God wholeheartedly. The deeper in we are with the Lord, we find His Heart. Here we will find the source of love, joy, peace, and the other spiritual fruits and gifts. Also, here God will have us think differently. Our spirits and our mindset change. As a result, we change and then we can release this to others.
FINDING JOY IN PRAYER
Beni learned this through her own experience with God. Over 30 years ago, she received a prophetic word that she would be an intercessor, not for that time but for a coming time. Before that, Beni says she was never really an intercessor. In fact, she didn't want to be one. As she grew up, she formed the belief that if you were an intercessor, you had to carry heavy burdens around all the time. After a life changing experience at a Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship conference and another one at a women's retreat, Beni found a new freedom in God and “fell madly in love with Him.” Being called a shy and quiet person all of her life, Beni found a new boldness. Her prayer life started to change too. It became more about wanting to be with the Lord than asking for things. She would worship God for more than an hour at a time. From this, she would learn more about God, His desires, and what to pray for. At this time when Beni started interceding, she began seeing answers to prayer because she was praying God’s agenda.
Beni says knowing how to pray comes out of relationship with God. We’re never to walk out of our time with the Lord depressed or feeling heavy. Intercession is not just words. It can be doing a dance or in the form of prophetic acts somewhere (like pouring oil on the ground). It can also be praying for the sick. Bethel Church has been praying for healings and serving people in their city of Redding, CA and seeing results. Also, Beni says a lot of intercession is just worship. Worship is the greatest tool of intercession. We should worship God more than “petition.” In summary, the keys to happy intercession are: worship, seeking and knowing God’s Heart, and trusting the Lord.
WHAT GOD HAS SHOWN BENI IN PRAYER
In Beni's prayer time, God has shown her three things:
- Hope Releasers -Beni woke up one morning and felt tremendous despair. God told her it was not hers. Then He told her that He wants us to live in the opposite. We are to be Hope Releasers. There is so much hopelessness right now and believers should have so much hope.
- Crazy Favor on the Children of God (those living in a righteous place) – Many of us have been asking and pursuing after things. There will be crazy favor in all areas that people have been pursuing (i.e., healing, dreams, relationships, finances, etc.)
- Deep Place and Intimacy with God – God is drawing us to come closer to Him. He wants to be as an anchor. The closer we get to the Lord, He will keep us. In Exodus 14 (the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt), God says several times, “I will bring you out with a strong arm.” He will bring us out with a strong arm at this time.
MODERN DAY MIRACLES
The present move of God has brought Beni and Bill into a deeper understanding of the phrase, "on earth as it is in heaven." Heaven is the model for our life and ministry. Jesus lived with this principle by only doing what He saw His Father doing. Learning to recognize the Holy Spirit's presence and how to follow His lead enables us to do the works of Christ, destroying the works of the devil. Healing and deliverance must become the common expression of this gospel of power once again.
Beni, Bill, and the Bethel Church family have taken on this theme for life and ministry. Healings, ranging from cancer to broken bones, to learning disorders and emotional healing, happen with regularity. Bethel Church
has been learning how to take this anointing to the schools, workplace, and neighborhoods with similar results. Beni and Bill teach that we owe the world an encounter with God, and that a Gospel without power is not the Gospel that Jesus preached.
Beni has a seven session video lesson for her book The Happy Intercessor coming out in August.
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