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INTERCESSORS, DO YOU NEED A SABBATICAL?

Father God, I depend on You, but I’ve been feeling so tired lately. Please give me wisdom about how to rest. Show me what You want me to do versus not do. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name.

Beloved intercessor, have you gotten caught in what feels like an intercessory “grind”? Are you feeling the stress and strain of meeting after meeting, burden after burden, prayer after prayer? Are the fire, fervor, and anointing you used to feel toward the Lord waning dim?

If so, the Lord may be calling you to take a sabbatical and rest.

As intercessors, we all love to pray the will of the Lord. We love to stand in the gap before the Lord, for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We’re called to it, and like every other Christian we are called to pray without ceasing.

However, sometimes it’s possible for our prayers to become something they were never meant to be.

The Bible teaches us that our time in prayer is face-to-face conversation with the Lord. Prayer is an intimate privilege; an opportunity to commune with our Savior and to enjoy, as Dutch Sheets wrote, “the pleasure of His company.” However, when we become worn out and exhausted in our body, soul, or spirit—not necessarily from praying, but from the busyness and stressors of life—then it’s easy to lose our joy in prayer.

Even more sobering, prayer can become almost an indifferent repetition of words by rote instead of the soul-watering, spirit-transforming encounter with the Lord that it ought to be …

… All because of busyness and exhaustion.

Have you been there? Have you been in a place where you just dread going to another prayer meeting? Have you gotten to where you look at your watch throughout the meeting—or even during a church service—hoping that it will just be over soon so you can go rest, even though you never used to feel that way? Have you been in a place where you physically fall asleep when you sit down to seek the Lord in prayer?

Are you there now?

Beloved, there’s no shame in needing rest. And although, ideally, we would all live such wise lives that we don’t get to that place of exhaustion at all, most of us are in the learning process where we are still learning how to balance quietness with activity. I know I am; and it can be challenging to discern what to do versus what not to do when it’s all important.

For example:

  • Attending prayer meeting at church? That’s important.
  • Quality time spent with our spouse? Extremely important.
  • Quality time spent investing in our children? Yep, that’s extremely important too.
  • Quiet time alone with the Lord in prayer? Why, that’s the most important of all.

Physical rest? Also extremely important—yet, we often feel that we can rest later. We push our own rest aside in order to make room for all these other important activities.

Unfortunately, however, too often the “later” time for rest never comes until our bodies force us to pay the piper by breaking down and refusing to go any longer.

Beloved, I love everything about the Christian experience. I love dwelling in community with fellow believers. I love to pray with my local church intercessors and even with my friends, too. I love to minister in any way the Lord opens for me to do so. However, through a difficult process that has lasted several years now, the Lord has shown me that, too often, the “activity” of ministry, prayer, and intercession can overshadow and actually squeeze out the reality of the face-to-face, heart-to-heart encounter with Jesus that is the foundation of every Christian’s life.

So I had to take a sabbatical. Several of them, in fact. And you know what I learned?

I learned that:

  1. In the stillness and solitude of sabbath rest, I was able to encounter the Lord and move more mountains in prayer than I ever had while striving, laboring, and being busy in prayer.
  2. While I was resting and praying from home, my ministry got on just fine without my being in the office every day.
  3. When the Lord draws you into a sabbath rest or sabbatical, He will send other people (who need the opportunity) to step up and do the physical labor you were doing before.
  4. Rest (even an extended sabbatical) is the potting soil in which Holy Spirit can plant the deepest revelations in you.
  5. Rest rejuvenates your prayer life.
  6. Resting allows Holy Spirit to refill you with His anointing at levels you never even imagined before.
  7. Refusing to rest actually means we are refusing to trust the Lord to sustain us. Refusing to rest is exactly what the Lord cautioned us against in Deuteronomy 8:17 when He said, “then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ If everything we receive comes only from the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:18), and we received it by grace through faith, how can we imagine that we will lose everything if we rest in obedience to His command?

Beloved, we should never abandon our call to pray.

The Bible commands us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). However, sometimes when our bodies become exhausted beyond belief …

When our spirit feels empty and desperately in need of replenishment …

When our soul feels dry and weary …

It’s okay to rest.

It’s okay to take a day off work (or away from church activities) and rest at home. It’s okay to commune with the Lord by yourself at home when you just can’t work up the courage to make it to another prayer meeting. Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together (Hebrews 10:25), but also don’t confuse “being faithful” with “over-extending yourself and doing things the Lord never asked you to do,” to your detriment.

Beloved, we Christians are called to rest. We are called to abide in Jesus. And if the busyness of your life—even your ministry life—has taken over your schedule to the point where you feel bad physically, are dry in your emotions, and don’t sense the anointing of the Lord …

… then follow the glory cloud home, and stay there until the Lord says to leave. J

Are you exhausted on your prayer journey? Do you need to rest or even take an extended sabbatical, so your soul and spirit can be well-watered again? If so, leave a comment below!

Jamie Rohrbaugh equips people to walk in the manifest presence of God. She blogs for a global readership at FromHisPresence.com, where she writes about prayer, the prophetic word, living supernaturally, inner healing, and Kingdom wealth. She is a frequent contributor to Charisma Magazine, The Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, and various other ministry outlets. Her podcast, Take Your Territory with Jamie Rohrbaugh, can be found on iTunes and Spotify. Download her FREE resource, 25 Building Blocks for Glorious Prayers, here. (Photo Credit: Unsplash.)

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19 Replies to “INTERCESSORS, DO YOU NEED A SABBATICAL?”

  1. Very thoughtful and anointed article by sister Jamie. With the National Day of Prayer & 1st Friday Fast this month of May, warfare intercession has been particularly intense. Fasting & Prayer is spiritually, emotionally, and physically demanding… and understandably so since Biblical Christians are the ones holding the fabric of our Constitutional Republic together by intervening against the tide of darkness seeking to wash our wayward nation into oblivion. And the world continues persecuting the children of GOD as revealed so poignantly by ‘Voice of the Martyrs’… see ‘persecution.com’.

    My ‘prescription’ that has worked powerfully for me for the past many decades is ‘Daily Thanksgiving’ that precedes ALL petitions for specific needs. I find remarkable empowerment happens when I spend a short time going over what I cover in the linked post: https://zionsgate.wordpress.com/2007/07/06/daily-thanksgiving/

    The results have been consistent… conviction sets in to correct my heart attitude; illumination re. the Heart of GOD in prayer; and images come to my remembrance that aid with focused intercession throughout the day. May it provide some comfort and aid to those of us who are experiencing any form of ‘burnout’ or spiritual attack as we all do at times.
    Kingdom Blessings, in HIM… ~Santos

    Amen! 7
  2. I have been an intercessor, the call to prayer strong since I first came to know Jesus, although in my early years I did not know much about prayer. I just did it, but as I have found the needs are always great and many times I will just say to the Lord “I just want to come and worship you. This becomes a time of refreshment, remembrance and a renewing of my spirit. As a believer we need to remember the work of God is not done by our own words and strength,”for not by power, not by might, but by My strength” the work is done and results are found. The Lord has given me three Words that have held me Stand, Wait and Watch. We are to stand in faith, wait upon the Lord for He the our strength and To watch for the Glory of the Lord will be seen. The work to be done is in His hands as we seek His face, repent and rest in Him.

    Amen! 17
  3. My Beloved,
    Unless I build the house, its builders work in vain. Unless I guard the city, the guard keeps watch in vain. In vain do you get up early and put off going to bed, working hard to earn a living; I provide for My beloved, even when they sleep…return to your rest! I have been generous toward you. Don’t be afraid, I am with you; don’t be distressed, I am your God. I give you strength, I give you help, I support you with my victorious right hand. Listen to My Son when He says, “Come to Me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in Me.
    I love you,
    Avi HaRachamim
    Father of Mercies

    Scripture taken from The Complete Jewish Bible: Psalm 27, Psalm 116, Matthew 11, John 14, Isaiah 41

    Amen! 16
  4. It’s also a commandment on the tablet that tells us how to honor our Creator. When we keep the Sabbath – as He prescribes – we honor Him and demonstrate our love and devotion to Him. I never realized the importance of it until He led me to it in the summer of 2015. For almost six years, He has been teaching me and gently guiding and correcting me in the Spirit to follow this His way. Our family now celebrates this every single week and it is beautiful to watch my daughter begin to realize at the young age of 23 in her own apartment how much of a gift this is.

    We have all grown closer to our Lord and Savior. He orders our steps during the week to help us prepare to shut everything down. We bless Him and worship Him, visit with each other, pray, bless each other and study the bible together, we take naps, we sit outside and just are still watching the birds. Great sit down meal on Friday nights and meals prepared ahead of time on Saturday. The laundry is almost always done, house dusted, floors clean and tidy and if it isn’t I don’t even care anymore when it used to drive me crazy.

    The fourth commandment is a big deal – and keeping it is a blessing, not a burden. He is the Great Physician and these are His office hours which is why Jesus also demonstrates the forgiveness of sins followed by amazing healing miracles on the Sabbath. Keeping it has grown our trust in Him, our faith, and helped us bear fruit of the Spirit because we are not exhausted.

    When we are physically hungry, thirsty or tired we are generally cranky, short-tempered, mean and more inclined to make bad choices. When we are SPIRITUALLY hungry, thirsty or tired we are even worse than that because we wind up bearing false witness for Him…because we are cranky, short-tempered, mean and more inclined to make poor choices.

    Psalm 46:10 commands us to “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted in the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” The word for “still” is raphah (from rapha) – which means a variety of different things but primarily “to heal” and “to cease.” WHEN we cease, we exalt Him. When people see how different we are because we are at peace, He is exalted in the nation. WHEN people around the world, see a nation at peace He is exalted in the world! Just because we are calmed down!!!

    How can we complain about the 10 commandments being removed from different buildings around the country and from schools when we have removed them from our own home? Restore it in your home and watch Him bring restoration to your life!

    It takes a little while to get on His calendar but He is faithful to help you do it. It takes a little longer to move your family over, but He is faithful to help them do it.

    So take a step of faith and take a nap! 🙂

    Amen! 15
    1. Bringing the laws of God into ones home is a blessing. Years ago I wanted to bring devotional habits into the home. After praying about this the Lord instructed me not to use devotionals but use His Word. After talking about this with my husband, who was not a believer at this time, but a church goer, we decided to do this after our dinner time and if for some reason we could not, we would just pick up, but not to become religious about it. So after dinner each night my family of seven would pray for different areas and my husband would read a chapter from a Book of the Bible. Over the years we read through the Bible, would talk about it with each other and I could see the intensity of my husband as he read. The most precious memory I have as a Mom is around the dinner table with my family reading His Word and praying. What I realize is how faithful God is to lead us and to change our hearts as we gathered to read and pray. My husband did come to accept Jesus as His Savior, and all of our children left our home understanding and believing in the God of our salvation. Yes the family is the key, but remember this is important to our God. He will lead and direct one in how to bring this into ones household. He is faithful.

      Amen! 8
  5. I have never been allowed rest for over 33 years. I not refusing it,I just never had it.
    My family, church and all the broken people that surrounds me daily have prevented from it.
    I reached out for help numerous times without success. Help me to rest please.

    Amen! 15
    1. I am praying for rest for you my dear! “Well done good and faithful servant “ take a rest ask GOD for guidance in this. He loves you very much, and cares for your every need. He understands you and wants the best for you. Listen to him about taking a rest time whatever that may involve!

      Amen! 20
        1. Elia, if you take care of your relationship with the Lord, He will care for your family. I heard this years ago and it really filled my heart. We come into this world alone, and Jesus Christ calls us individually to follow Him. I encourage you to let these “other people” find their way while you let go and let God. I am praying He will fill you with all the trust you need to believe He can.

          Amen! 2
          1. I have to thank you for the reply. I need to know that there are people who care out there. I have been alone all this time. I am interceding for roughly 3 or 4 billion people every day. It is rough but I do it for the Lord for 33 years 24/7.

        2. Elia, in John 6, Jesus said “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” I encourage you to begin in Matthew and read the Gospels and stay there until you are filled up. Jesus also said in Matthew 11, come to me you who are tired and weary and I will give you rest. All of you take up my yoke and learn from me because I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest. Remember, Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. (Romans 8) We must all work for the kingdom but it begins in belief, trust and reliance that we are in His Hands and secure despite….Peace to you.

      1. I thank you for the reply it helps. Like I told Susan before I intercede for billions of people daily for the past 33 years. It is my duty, but it exhausting.
        I intercede for everyone who needs help no matter who they are.

        Amen! 1
  6. Jamie said that refusing to rest is a subtile way of saying that we really aren’t trusting the Lord as we should. Another way of saying this is to consider that we are also saying, “Lord if You won’t take care of this, then I’ll have to do it myself.” When we rest, we have given it all to Him.
    This also reminded me of a night when I had to have an answer from God by the very next morning. I decided to spend the whole night in prayer to hear from Him if necessary. I knelt beside my bed to pray. I was determined to do whatever it took to get the answer I needed from the Lord. I had been praying for only a few minutes when the thought came into my mind, “Sometimes it takes more faith to go to bed than it does to stay up all night in prayer.” That thought encouraged me to get some sleep. Shortly after I awoke and went into the bathroom to shave, the answer entered my mind about what to do to resolve the problem. Everything worked out right after I acted upon that idea.
    This also reminds me of one line in a poem I read in Bible school – “One step is far enough for faith to see.” In the 49 years since then God has led me this way more than any other. If you need a rest, let this be your next step and see what God will do afterward.

    Amen! 18
    1. I am feeling very overwhelmed, it’s been now over 100 days since biden/harris has dishonestly taken over our government! The corruption and Lying have been overwhelming! I know GOD’s got this! We need to see victory in this. We need to see evil overcome by good and truth. We need to see these evil doers crushed. Again I need the fire stirred up in me, to pray for our country, for our children and our children’s, children. We can not accept what is going on! We need to keep on keeping on. Trusting GOD. I pray for this strength and encouragement for all of us believers in JESUS. Amen 🙏🇺🇸

      Amen! 22
      1. I know you are correct to say Biden stole the election. I don’t blame you for being upset. The FBI director got me started investigating communists in 1962, so I know the depths of the treason involved in stealing the election. However, the Lord saved me in 1966 and has been working in my life in a way that involves a lot of mountain top experiences since then, which are always followed by dark valleys. You are obviously in one of those dark valleys just now. I pray that the Lord will give you the grace to enable you to through this valley. As for me just now, I’ve had a peace from God since the election that has me amazed. I normally would feel the same as you just now, but I have a sense God will do something. I believe it will be the revival He showed me in a dream when He called me to ministry in 1966. I also believe it is the same revival Corrie Ten Boom predicted that will start somewhere at or near where I’m living now. The way the Lord led me here is amazing. I wasn’t conscious of being led by Him at the time. He did it sovereignly. You can trust His sovereignty when your own strength seems to be failing. I also pray that your faith will not fail you. The main thing you need to know about this revival is that deceived people, who are into white magic control what is known as the Patriot Movement. They are presently promoting what they call a Great Awakening. They will try to infiltrate the revival God wants to give us. They are being used by Satan in their ignorance to preempt what God wants to do in revival. They are trying to syncretize Christianity with occultism. What they are doing goes back several decades. I had my first confrontation with it in 1967. God has had me in a training school since then to expose it and deal with it. I’m inclined to think they will start their plans before God does, so don’t be fooled when Trump gets back in the WH. The antichrist can fool more Christians with a counterfeit revival than using the people into black magic, who stole the last election. Keep your eyes open. Most of the top Q supporters are into white magic. They don’t know white magic is really black magic in disguise. I know because I was into white magic for about 6 years before Jesus saved me. I know how easy it is to be patriotic and also be into white magic. We need genuine revival. God plans to use it to prepare us for Jesus’ return and give us the strength to overcome the antichrist.

        Amen! 5

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