By: Katie Sobiech
Growing up in Mississippi, Delphine Allen became a Christian at just 9 years old. She is now an ordained intercessor, writer, speaker, and the prayer coordinator at the House of the Lord church in Akron. She writes prayer broadcasts once a quarter for Pause for Prayer on WCRF and is behind many Christian events, such as the Anne Graham Lotz “Just Give Me Jesus” revival meeting and “Revive our Hearts” with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
She also has her own ministry, Green Meadows, which focuses on healing, restoration, revival, and reconciliation. It is based on Psalm 23:2 which says, “He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams.”
Allen leads prayer every Sunday morning with the ministers at the House of the Lord, praying for both the pastor and the members of the church. They walk the grounds at 7 a.m., praying for everyone that will enter the building.
When asked to describe intercessory prayer, Allen said, “Instead of going to God about yourself you are interceding to God on behalf of the needs of another person, place or situation. It’s what Jesus did for us, He interceded for us in that He gave His life and still intercedes for us in heaven. It is prayer for the desire of God for a person.”
John 17 is a great example, where Jesus prays for the disciples.
Intercessors are also prayer warriors, which, Allen explained, “Is a term that is used for someone who is willing to engage in prayer, knowing it is warfare – a battle between the spirit of darkness and the Kingdom of God.”
A prayer warrior is committed to praying as part of their lifestyle, not just occasionally.
Right now there are several different avenues of intercessory prayer in the Akron area including the National Day of Prayer, which meets the 1st Thursday of every month to intercede for our nation and government; Love Akron, a group of pastors who get together to express themselves and pray for all of the pastors in the area; and Kingdom Builders, a ministry for men.
Though great prayer ministries have been established throughout the area, Allen has observed a deep need in the community for the churches to combine forces and not just pray for their church, but to pray for the needs of the greater Akron area as well. “There’s a need for us to come together,” she said, “We need intercessory prayer for things such as poverty, crime, the increase in violence among teens, barriers in unity, and educational difficulties.”
The Throne Room
If we were given a vision of where prayer should be going it would be “The church of Jesus Christ becoming more like the throne room in the book of revelation,” Allen said, “it’s a multicultural throne room, it represents all of the nations, so it would mean we would have a heart to pray for and address the needs of all people based on Gods will for humanity.”
How to Pray
For those who aren’t sure how to intercede for someone in prayer, Allen suggests the ACTS method which includes: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. “Psalm 100 says that we are to enter His gates with thanksgiving. If you want to get started, start with thanksgiving and praise, that’s a model.”
Some other good examples for prayer can be found in Ephesians, Colossians, and Paul’s letters to the church. “Use scriptures in prayer, that way you stay grounded in the word of God,” Allen said.
Members of the House of the Lord also go through a Daniel study. “Daniel had a lifestyle of prayer, even in captivity,” Allen explained.
There has been some confusion in the church as to whether some are just born prayer warriors and others not. According to Allen we are all prayer warriors. “The road is to come to understand that once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we enter into the battle for the Kingdom and souls and it’s our responsibility to pray and learn as we become more faithful in our prayer and as we mature in our walk,” she explained.
She encourages people to spend time in the Word of God, worship Him and develop intimacy with Him. “Once we develop a desire to know the heart of God and pray for others, the soil of our heart is prepared to become an intercessory prayer warrior.”
Opportunities to pray are everywhere. There are many prayer needs for local ministries listed on the Akron Area Prayer Journal (www.apj.com), not to mention the importance of praying for everyone in your own sphere of influence.
“My heart is that people will come to know intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ and then go out and do things for the people in the world that would show the love of Jesus Christ; that His love would be shown through everything that we say and do,” Allen smiled.
Verses on Intercessory Prayer
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them. – Psalm 106:23
Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ’Where is their God?’ – Joel 2:17