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Identificational Repentance

"Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' And they divided up his clothes by casting lots." -Luke 23:34

There was a lady who felt very called to prayer who experienced something unusual one day. All of a sudden, she began to feel very depressed and hopeless, and she felt angry toward her spouse and her children. This was very unusual for her, and she couldn't explain the reasons for her feelings. The woman confided to her husband how she felt.

"Hmm," he said. "Do you know anyone who may feel that way?"

The woman began to think and a lady came to mind in her small group at church.

"Yes, actually, I do," she said.

​​​​​​​Her husband said, "I'm wondering if maybe the feelings you're experiencing aren't really yours, since there is nothing you can think of that might have caused them. Let's pray together for this person you mentioned, that God would turn their heart to forgiveness for whatever might be happening in their life at this time."

So, the woman interceeded for the lady she knew, pressing into God and asking forgiveness for any feelings of bitterness, resentment or anger the woman might have been feeling. She knew she could not do what Jesus did and take away the sin or take the feelings away completely, but she knew that by her standing in prayer on behalf of the woman she could shift the spiritual atmosphere around her life and hope to create a fertile ground for openness, blessing, and healing.

A few weeks later, she met the woman at the Bible study. "How are you doing?" she asked. "Oh my goodness, I'm a lot better," the woman confessed. "I had had a lot of anger going on against my husband and children and I was very overwhelmed. But something changed in me a couple weeks ago and I began to thank God for the things He had put in my life, trusting Him for the outcome even though I can't see the end right now."

The intercessor smiled but didn't say anything, knowing there was a reason for her feelings and for her heartfelt prayers.*

Is there anyone you feel called to interceed for today? Pray that God would give you the discernment and grace to know how to pray for those He brings to mind.

*Story adapted from the book A Royal Priesthood by Dennis Wiedrick.

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