This article is authored by Dick Leggatt, President of Derek Prince Ministries – USA and comprises his December 10, 2013 Newsletter. Click here to receive the Derek Prince Ministries emailed E-devotional.
How has your year been? Has 2013 been a good year for you, or has it been filled with challenges? Whether good or challenging, I hope this letter will be encouraging to you.
Encouraging the Intercessors
I recently had the honor of participating in a conference prayer call that marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of Intercessors for America, an organization that has advocated strong prayer for the United States over the last 40 years. Dave Kubal, director of IFA, had asked me to share briefly about Derek Prince’s involvement in the founding of IFA, and then lead off a time of prayer with all those participating in the conference call.
I was delighted at the prospect of recounting Derek’s history with the organization — it’s a wonderful story to tell. But I also wanted to pay special attention to the prayer side as well. So, in preparation for the call, I asked the Lord: “What should be my focus in prayer?” His answer came very clearly in the form of a Scripture verse: “Strengthen the hands which hang down.” When I referred to Strong’s online concordance to locate the reference, Hebrews 12:12, another citation appeared alongside it: Nehemiah 6:9. The combination of those two passages brought some very inspiring revelation.
Take a New Grip
The focus of Hebrews 12:12 is so vital — with its encouragement to strengthen our hands. I found helpful added insights from various translations of the verse. The Amplified is particularly vivid: “So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands.…” (No specific steps how to do that, but a clear directive to make it a priority.) The New Living translation is very clear: “So take a new grip with your tired hands.…” Take a new grip.
Honestly, there was no way that I wanted to appear presumptuous in sharing this Scripture with seasoned veterans of 40 years (or more) of prayer and intercession. No way did I want to be misinterpreted as saying, “All of you have been interceding faithfully for 40 years, but you still need to buck up, and work harder.” How could I even hint at saying such a thing to these faithful saints?
What I needed was a point of clarification — and it actually came to me in the form of the related scripture in Nehemiah. The needed component was an insight on the way the enemy works to discourage us, weakening our hands to give up on the task the Lord has given us. Put bluntly, even when we are doing the most wonderful stuff, it’s possible to become “weary in well-doing” — even to the point of wondering whether what we are doing is making any difference at all.
Have you ever felt that way? Have your hands ever drooped down in discouragement because of such thoughts?
How Do Our Hands Get Weak?
As we get involved in intercession and spiritual warfare, we immediately recognize the efforts of the enemy to stop us or at least pull us off task. Probably one of the clearest words on this is Daniel 7:25 (NASB): “He [the enemy] will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints….” The Amplified says, “wear out the saints.” Our adversary is very good at tiring us out, getting us to the point of wanting to quit. This is the process that was taking place when Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall. Here’s the background.
In Nehemiah 6, the enemies opposing God’s plans were getting nervous: Nehemiah and his crew were making too much progress in rebuilding the wall. Frantically, Sanballat and Tobiah (professional hecklers) sent messages designed to pull Nehemiah away from the work he was leading. Four times they asked him to come down from the wall to talk about their objections. (Isn’t that just like the enemy? Pestering us, incessantly yammering his accusations at us to stop us from moving forward?)
Failing in their first four attempts, Sanballat sent his servant a fifth time with an open letter filled with baseless lies. The letter accused Nehemiah of trying to set himself up as king of Judah through his leadership of the work on the wall. Dismissing this nonsense, Nehemiah issued this profound commentary in verse 9 (NIV): “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’”
Is that happening to you in any area? Is the adversary attempting to frighten you? Is he trying to make your hands weak so you won’t finish the job?
“O God, Strengthen Our Hands”
How did Nehemiah respond to this tactic? We see it at the end of the verse, when he prayed, “But now, O God, strengthen my hands.” As we know from reading the rest of Nehemiah, God heard his prayer and strengthened his hands. The proof is that he and his co-workers completed the task of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem.
Has the enemy tried to make your hands weak from a tough year filled with difficult circumstances? Wouldn’t it be great to finish this year with a prayer for the Lord to strengthen our hands and to help us complete the work? Can we ask Him to strengthen us and help us as we enter into 2014?
He Will Come and Help Us
Few people understood the tactics of the enemy of our souls better than Derek Prince. From his long involvement in matters of spiritual warfare, he regularly saw how the enemy was striving to wear down the saints and stop the work of the Kingdom of God. Yet Derek maintained a victorious perspective, always pointing us to Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We see this clearly in the following excerpt from one of his messages:
Isaiah 35:4–6 is such a beautiful passage. But it isn’t by any means obvious that it applies to Jesus’ ministry. “Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees, say to those who are fearful hearted, ‘Be strong and do not fear. Behold your God will come with vengeance. With the recompense of God He will come and save you.’”
That last word is salvation. What’s the result of salvation? Verses 5–6: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped, then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for water shall burst forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”
It would be very easy to say that is all spiritual. But Jesus said, “On the contrary — it’s happening exactly the way it is written in My ministry. This is the evidence that I’m the promised Savior.”
Are You Ready for His Help?
You could probably use some “streams in the desert” here at the end of 2013. Maybe what has been shared so far has pulled some blinders from your eyes. Maybe you see it all clearly now. The tactics of the enemy to discourage you. Your drooping, sagging, weakened hands hanging there dejectedly before you.
But now, you also see the promise of God’s help for you — His desire to come to you. This thought is expressed so well in the English Standard Version translation of Isaiah 35:3–4:
“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, Your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.’”
Our Lord is not standing far off, dispassionately watching our dilemma. His concern for us is moving Him to come close and help us. Are you ready to respond to His promise for help? Let’s do so by praying together now.
Dear Lord, I admit it has been a tough year. My hands have been weakened by the tactics of the enemy and I have felt like giving up at times.
But now I see that You are moving toward me to help and strengthen me. So in response to You, I lift my hands before You, and I ask: “O God, strengthen my hands.”
I also lift up my eyes in faith to see You intentionally coming to help me. You are coming in person to bring relief and assistance in every puzzling and discouraging situation facing me. I proclaim in faith: “You will come with a vengeance. You will come and save me.”
Thank You for opening my eyes to the tactics of the enemy as he tries to weaken my hands and convince me to abandon the work You have for me. Thank You, O Lord, for strengthening my hands to fulfill Your purposes for my life. Thank You for coming to save me!
Let’s Finish 2013 Strong
The bottom line of all we have been sharing is one simple exhortation: Don’t give up! You have just taken a step to strengthen your hands — taking a new, reinvigorated grip on your life as you face the challenges ahead. At the same time, you have just asked the Lord for his amazing supernatural help. The Word of God promises clearly that He will answer that prayer. So let’s finish 2013 on that note — looking expectantly toward God’s help and strength in the year to come.
We very much want to be a part of the help you are seeking from the Lord. Anything you need in the way of encouraging materials from us is available to you. It would be our privilege to get those items into your hands. In fact, we are offering this month the free download of the audio called “Restoration.” It contains a powerful message by Derek Prince on God’s intention to help us.
Making available to you material like this is just one small way for us to thank you for your treasured partnership with us in this work. By your diligent prayers and your generous giving, we are able to see the impact of Derek’s teaching legacy. It is accomplishing profound work in the lives of people all around the world. It’s all because of you and the help you provide. We send our thanks to you and look forward to continuing with you in active partnership.
Now it’s time to move ahead, closing out 2013, and moving forward with vigor and hope into 2014. Let’s do so with the prayer the Lord loves to hear: “O God, strengthen my hands!”
All the best,
P.S. We deeply appreciate you and your partnership with us through your prayers and your financial support. Please allow us to encourage you further with the free downloadable message by Derek: “The Gift of Prophecy.” Blessings!
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.