Through some recent dreams the Lord highlighted a spirit of oppression that has come upon some intercessors as we have been praying for our leaders. The dreams not only expose the schemes of the enemy, but also reveal some faulty mindsets we need to address so that we can pray with greater faith and increased freedom concerning our government.
In both dreams there was a metal rod at work, impacting intercessors and limiting our effectiveness. In one dream this rod was sticking out of my neck after coming out of heavy prayer. In the other dream, it was a metal rod hanging between the shoulders of a wounded leader I was praying for. His shoulders were very stiff and this rod was bracing his back, even though it shouldn’t have been there. A thick green snake then appeared in the dream, stiffly twisted and moving towards me as I was kneeling in prayer. Upon waking I immediately knew this was an attack of the enemy.
As I prayed into these dreams the phrase “rod of oppression” jumped in my spirit and I was led to Isaiah 9:2-7.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. (Isaiah 9:2-7 NIV)
This is the familiar passage we often read to celebrate the birth of Christ and its message quickly struck me. The rod of oppression is a yoke that the enemy places on us and this is what is interfering with our prayers. In this scripture, the admonition assures us that the weight of government is on Christ’s shoulders and not ours. HE is the one who carries the responsibility and oversight for Kingdom rule! I sensed the Lord reminding us to not allow a yoke of responsibility to weigh us down since He is the one performing His Word, not us!
…for I am watching over my word to perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12 ESV)
We know that many of the leaders we pray for also carry a huge weight of responsibility on their shoulders. We must pray that any rod of oppression would be lifted off them. Even in the dream, as I was praying over this leader, there came a point when I could separate the rod from his shoulders and remove it! 1 John 5:3 states that the commands of the Lord are not burdensome. This is what we can ask for our leaders as we pray for righteous rule.
The other insight revealed in these dreams was the stiffness of this leaders’ shoulders and the stiffness of the snake. It was very unusual and something I knew was important. The Lord reminded me of Leviathan mentioned in scripture (Job 41:23-24) and its hardened state as a result of pride. Whenever this demonic spirit is at work, there is a stiffness and hardness that often manifests. However, we don’t have to be operating in pride or rebellion to be victims of this. What opens the door to this oppressive spirit is FEAR.
But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. (2 Kings 17:14 NIV)
God’s people were stiff-necked because they didn’t trust the Lord. Their pride and rebellion were rooted in fear. The Lord had already been speaking to me about my tendency to build walls around my heart for self-protection. Out of fear of rejection, misunderstanding, or alienation, I had been putting pads around my spirit, much like a football player puts pads on their shoulders for protection. I felt the Lord indicate this is what is opening the door to oppression with many intercessors. It is our FEAR. Whether it is fear of speaking out, fear of being vulnerable, or opening our hearts to others, this fear is making us stiff and immovable. It is causing a stiffness in the spirit, perhaps even manifesting in physical problems around the shoulders!
For intercessors who identify with this, the first thing to do is to repent of your fears and adjust your perspective. Magnify the Lord instead of the mountain! Spend time in worship and make sure to free your heart so that you go into prayer with full assurance of faith and not out of fear. The second thing is to displace any fear with a courageous action. That which has caused you anxiety – face it and overcome it! For me, it was doing a Facebook Live video (talking about these very things)! The enemy had convinced me to be quiet and not use my voice (thus the rod in my neck in the first dream). I knew the best way to conquer my own fears was to simply act in the opposite spirit.
Why is this important? The heavenly courts are listening to the prayers of the saints right now! But, it’s not our words that reach heaven as much as our faith. The Lord wants us to be free of oppression, fear, and self-protection so that our VOICES CAN BE HEARD without any restraints. Our governmental leaders need to be free of fear and accusation so that THEIR voices can rise at a time when truth needs to be declared and heard.
Determine to establish your heart and mind in absolute confidence in the Lord’s righteous rule and His ability to establish His Kingdom on the earth. The government is not on the shoulders of our president or any other elected official. It’s on His. They may be conduits of His purposes, but our faith can rest in God’s ability to do what only He can do.
Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:7 ESV)
* Watch this video clip I posted on Facebook, detailing these dreams with additional information from attending the recent Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.