The widow woman or the King’s beloved? – Gary Wiens

by Richard Long

In these next two blogs you will have the chance to read an excellent article that compares two models of intercession.  Written by Garry Wiens, one of the early team leaders at the IHOP in Kansas City, this teaching is pivotal for helping intercessors get out from under an unsustainable and exhausting approach to prayer.  I first encountered this teaching from Gary back in 2001.

The widow woman or the King’s beloved? – Gary Wiens

   As I have been traveling extensively over this past year, touching a
number of cities of the earth where the people of God are taking
seriously the call to prayer, one of the gripping and poignant
realities that I have observed is the extreme weariness that many
intercessors are experiencing. These are precious brothers and
sisters who are captured by the longing to see the Kingdom of God come
in the earth, and who are faithful and persistent to call upon His
Name to bring this reality on earth as it is in Heaven.

   As the Holy Spirit has continued to take me deeper into the reality of
relationship with the Lord as part of His mystical Bride (along with
so many others here at the House of Prayer), I have become convinced
that there is an inadequate understanding of the fundamental basis of
approaching the Lord in intercession.
   Over the years, the parable that Jesus told in Luke 18:1-8 has become
a significant model for intercession, and indeed it is intended for
that. But I believe there has been a misunderstanding of the parable
that has led to a model of intercession that, while it has a measure
of effectiveness, is not what Jesus had in mind for His people.

   In this parable, the scenario is set that there is a widow who needs
justice in her situation. Her only course of appeal is an unrighteous
judge, who “neither fears God nor cares about people.” Therefore, the
model of appeal she is forced to embrace is one of relentless
badgering and pestering, refusing to be denied before this judge, who
eventually relents and gives her what she is asking for, “lest she
wear me out with her constant pleas.”

   What has emerged is a model of intercessory prayer that basically says
“We’re going to storm the Throne Room and throw our arms around the
feet of God and not let go until He gives us what we require.” While
this kind of persistence is commendable, it is not the kind of
relationship Jesus had in mind for us with Himself or with His Father.

   What Jesus is doing in this parable is drawing a contrast between the
Father and the unrighteous judge. He is saying to us, “if this widow
is able to get what she needs by unrelenting persistence, how much
more will my Father give you what you ask for, since you are His elect
ones, chosen with delight from before the foundations of the world,
the Bride He is preparing for me?”
   The reality is that in the Old Testament, when the imagery of
widowhood is used to describe Israel, it is because the nation has
come to a place of judgment. The Book of Lamentations speaks of
Jerusalem in the desolation of her widowhood. Isaiah encourages
Israel with the promise that her widowhood is only for a short moment,
and that she will be called “married” once again. God speaks through
Hosea that the people of God will once again call Him “my Husband,”
and not “my master.”

   This widow-woman model of intercession — need-based, horizontally
focused, emotionally distraught, and based in an emotional perception
that God is fundamentally distant and uninterested- is fatiguing and
depressing in a long-term application. It is not sustainable over the
long term, certainly not for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
   I believe with all my heart that God is giving us a different model of
approach. I would say a new model, but it has always been in place,
at least since the days of Esther, for it is her example that I want
to hold up as the Biblical model of Bridal intercession.

(stay tuned tomorrow for part 2)

(Gary Wiens is founder and President of Burning Heart Ministries, Inc., and is associated with the International House Of Prayer in Kansas City)

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