A Guide To Intercessory Prayer
by Rev. Richard W. LaFountain

What Is A Prayer Journey?
A Prayer Journey is a trip to the land and people known as an Unreached People Group. In most cases the whole land is in darkness and under the dominion of the prince of darkness. Satan's hold over the Unreached People of the world is seen in the blindness of false religions and adherance to idolatry and worship of evil spirits. A missionary working in such a context is bound to be under constant attack of the enemy. His family, his health, his property, and his emotions will be assaulted daily in an attempt to discourage and dishearten his endeavors. The darkness tries to extinguish the light.

A prayer journey is a team of trained and experienced Spirit filled Christians entering the land like the Israelites who entered into Canaan Land with the twelve spies leading the way. Before it was conquered the land was full of darkness and under the power of the enemy. Satanic presence was everywhere. Idols abounded. Sin was rampant. Hatred, war, immorality, and witcraft filled the land. Only Caleb and Joshua came back with faith seeing what God could do. Others said, no we cannot take it there are giants in the land. But Caleb and Joshua saw the Lord.

Later failures for Israel would be the result of not driving out the enemies of the land. Prayer journeys are bold attacks on the enemy held ground. We enter into his territory in Jesus name and claim it for the King of Kings. The enemy must be driven from the land. That can not be done by sword and sheild but by the mighty hand of God pulling down strongholds. Aaron and Hur assisted the people in the battle, not by fighting hand to hand but by standing together in intercessory prayer. Moses hands became heavy the battle went against the people of God. But as Aaron and Hur came along side they held up Moses arms in prayer. Prayer Journies are the Aarons and the Hurs as intercessory partners in the eternal battle for men's souls. "for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, and powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places."

Prayer journeys are journeys into the promised land with faith and intercession to spy out the land with faith's eyes, and see what God's plans are for the people. We know God wants every nation to worship Him. He wants his word to spread from sea to sea, and the glory of the Lord to fill the earth. He sent his Son to seek and to save that which was lost. He came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. So too, He is not willing that any should perish in the lands where He sends us. He longs to bless them. Prayer journeys begin that blessing of the Lord. The Son has come to set the prisoner free. Prayer journeys announce to the kingdom of darkness that the Light of the World is come.

A prayer journey is a time to bathe the land in intercessory prayer. A time to see our "Jerusalem" and weep over her as Jesus wept over his Jerusalem. It is a time to see the people as sheep without a shepherd, to hear their cry, to see their bondage, to feel their pain, to reach out and touch them in Jesus name. Jesus said "Suffer the little ones to come unto me an forbid them not for such is the kingdom of heaven. Then he laid his hands on them and blessed them." So we too as the eyes, hands, feet and heart of Jesus Christ go to "the other lost sheep which are not of this fold, THEM ALSO I MUST BRING."

Prayer journeys are tearful journeys. Bob Pierce said it well. "Let my heart be broken for the things that break the heart of God." The psalms promise, "He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again, with rejoicing, bearing his sheaves with him." Prayer journeys are an opportunity for us to be the David Breinards for the Unreached People God has laid on our hearts. We love them because he first loved us.

What Will A Prayer Journey Do?

A prayer journey properly conducted with reverance and godly fear will break the power of Satan's hold over a people. It will bind the strong man. It will breach his armor It will loosen his grip on the people, and begin to spoil his goods.

A prayer journey will surround our missionary with Psalm 91 boldness to enter in and conquer. It will move the hand of God in sweeping moving of His Holy Spirit to convict of sin, and righteousness, and of judgement.

That is not to say that a two week tour by a group of praying men and women will bring down the walls of Jericoh. Remember even Jericoh necessitated a seven day prayer journey, then seven times around the city before the mighty day of the Lord. So too we need patience and persistance. It is presumptious to think that without intense, united, Spirit led prayer we can do anything against the enemy. What Satan has held in bondage for millenia will not be loosed without a fight. It is Spiritual warfare, not just one battle.

A prayer journey into the land and lives of a beloved Unreached People group can ignite a spark of prevailing intercessory prayer by the Church to God that will triumph against the enemy. The prayer team goes in like Joshua and Caleb then returns with a report of what God can do, what giants and cities need to be assailed, then like Aaron and Hurr, they together with the churches back home continue lifting our missionary's hands and prayers to God that they faint not, neither grow weary in well doing. Prayer journeys are assaults on the kingdom of darkness, but the church's prayers lay seige until the battle is won.

Who Should Go On A Prayer Journey?

Our first impression would be only great men of God and spiritual giants go against the giants int he land. But God sent inexperienced David to fight a massive giant when the best of warriors could not and would not. Let us not dispise the day of small things.

Who should go? Whomever the Lord should send. If the Lord puts a people burden on your heart and God offers the opportunity saying, "Whom shall I send and who will go for us." Be like Isaiah and say, "Here am I Lord send me!"

God is looking for willing warriors, not cocky saints. The Lord of the Harvest Himself will raise up an army of burdened men and women who like Jeremiah have "a fire shut up in their bones," and who weary of surpressing from it. We need some fire in our bones.

Intercessory prayer experience is necessary however. If you do not practice intercessory warfare praying here in your own land among your own people and in your own community, how do you expect to be a warrior in a harder land. "If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied yo, then how can you contend with horses?" (Jeremiah 12:5) Only a fool starts to run a marathon who has not even run a mile. God has a school of prayer. It is a school of private discipline, and corporate exercise. If you think you want to go on a prayer journey start now. Your own church building and congregation is often a battle ground of the enemy's work. After warring and winning prayer battles in the house of God then go to your own community. Pick the worst part of town. It too is a unreached land with unreached people. It too is a fortress of sin, a stronghold of the enemy. Battle locally before taking on the world. You may find this stuff is too much for you. It is not a game. It is war and in war people get shot at, wounded, and even die. Are you ready to die to self, die to sin, die to pleasures to reach the man across the street? If no you are not ready to take on the spiritually bound man across the globe.

Jesus taught his disciples to pray. So too prayer warfare must be learned. May I suggest that you attend a prayer summit in your local area. You will find that there you will hone the edge of your spiritual sword. You will experience new techniques of prayer you probably never saw at prayer meeting. You do go to prayer meeting don't you? Go to prayer meeting for many can be the most boring event of the week. If so, you have not yet learned to prayer intercessory and warfare praying. May I suggest going to a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) prayer meeting? That is where I was first introduced to real deliberate intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is exciting because you are in tune to the Lord, not to a list of pre-programmed requests. It is wonderful to be led of the Holy Spirit as you pray and end up weeping and crying out to God for one or some area of the world you never would have thought of on your own.

If you feel your prayer meeting is dead then may I suggest you do two things. 1) Find a friend with the same prayer interest and burden and start studying prayer. Wesley Duewel's, "Touch the World Through Prayer" is a fantastic help in leading you into in-depth prayer adventures, and short personal prayer journeys. You will be surprised how many people are really wanting to have fired up prayer meetings. 2) Attend a prayer seminar such as those the Office of Unreached Peoples will be conducting regionally. We will be teaching intercessory prayer principles and methods and practicing the same. It is a wonderful way to enter into Spirit led praying. Then take it home to your church. If you pastor doesn't want to get excited about prayer, they you start a home prayer meeting based on these principles. God is bigger than your pastor and He wants you to pray.

How Do You Get Into A Prayer Journey?

Prayer journeys are not copyrighted. That's right. You can take one anytime you feel like it. As already mentioned, Wesley Duewel suggests personal prayer retreats. That's a prayer journey. You should read "Prayerwalking - Praying On-Site With Insight" by Steve Hawthorne and Graham Kendrick. It will shake up your prayer life. If you've got any spark of fire in your bones it will excite you for getting into the real world with your prayer life.

For overseas Prayer Journeys you must make application. A prayer journey adventure requires at least a year of disciplined preparation, you'll need to set aside some money for travel, food and lodging, and get those legs in shape...but mainly the knees. It can be done alone, with a friend, or with an organized group. Whatever you do let it be an outgrowth of the Spirit of the Lord leading you, not your own yearning for a foreign adventure.