Dealing with Weariness and Burnout
Matthew 20:12-15 (NIV) “‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.’
As intercessors, our role in the Kingdom of God is vital, but it can also be demanding and exhausting. In addition to praying about our personal needs, we are called to be labourers in the vineyard, diligently praying and interceding for others. However, there may come a time when weariness and burnout threaten to hinder our effectiveness and passion for this calling. As we come to the end of the year, what valuable lessons can we learn from Matthew Chapter 20:1-16 that can help us navigate and overcome weariness and burnout.
Firstly, we must remember that our labour in the vineyard is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58. Just as the workers in the parable received their wages, our prayers and intercession make a difference, even if we cannot always see immediate results. This understanding can help us persevere through weariness, knowing that our efforts are not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV) “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Galatians 6:9 (NIV): “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Secondly, we need to guard against comparison and envy. In the parable, the workers hired earlier grumbled when they saw that those hired later received the same wage. Similarly, as intercessors, it can be tempting to compare our efforts to others or become envious of their successes. This can lead to burnout and feelings of inadequacy. Instead, we should focus on our own unique role and trust that God will reward our faithfulness.
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
I will be vulnerable a bit: I recently had to visit a family who lost their mum suddenly. She was 82 years old. As we discussed the whole event, we realized it was so easy to compare. One of her daughters mentioned that her father-in-law was in his 90s. I remember when my husband passed at 62, and then another family friend passed at 82 (Prince Tony Mommoh) within weeks of each other. All I could think of was, wow, 20 extra years. In that period, I found myself comparing. Then I remembered a wonderful man, Ubong King, who passed in his mid-40s. You see, it is so easy to compare when you do not get answers as expected.
In that season, whenever I heard of people recovering from COVID, I would be happy for them, but deep inside, I wondered why I did not get my answer. The mercy of God helped me through those thoughts. So, the thoughts will come, but we must not let it become a stronghold and cause us to be angry with God.
So here is a shoutout to anyone who has lost a loved one or felt disappointed by the outcome of the prayers you prayed diligently. God loves you. He is not trying to punish you. Affliction will not arise again, in Jesus’ name.
Lastly, we must rely on God’s grace and strength. The workers in the parable were all dependent on the vineyard owner’s generosity. Similarly, as intercessors, we must rely on God’s grace and strength to sustain us in our labour. Through His power, we can overcome weariness and burnout and continue to fulfill our calling.
His grace will see us through.
In conclusion, dealing with weariness and burnout is part of being an intercessor. We can find encouragement, wisdom, and practical strategies to overcome weariness, guard against comparison, prioritize rest, and rely on God’s grace. Let us persevere in our labour, knowing that our work as intercessors is valuable and rewarded by our Heavenly Father.
In the mighty name of Jesus, I rise up against the spirits of weariness, burnout, and discouragement that seek to derail me from my calling as an intercessor and a servant in the Kingdom of God! I declare and decree that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and I shall condemn every tongue that rises against me in judgment.
I stand firm and immovable, fully committed to the work of the Lord! I break every chain of fatigue, weariness, and discouragement that seeks to bind me in the name of Jesus!
I come against the spirit of comparison and envy that seeks to infiltrate my heart and mind. I declare that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, with a unique purpose and destiny that cannot be compared to anyone else. “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves,” says Your Word in 2 Corinthians 10:12. I renounce any foothold that the enemy may be seeking through comparison, and I take every thought captive to obey Christ!
I declare that the mercy and grace of God reign over me and that afflictions will not rise up a second time. In times of loss, in times of questioning, I remember the goodness of the Lord! I come against every stronghold of doubt and confusion, declaring that the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus!
Lord, Your Word in Galatians 6:9 promises that I will reap a harvest in due time if I do not give up. So I decree strength and vitality into my spirit, soul, and body. I claim the power of the Holy Spirit to renew me day by day, to enable me to run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint!
I stand on the promise that God’s grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in my weakness! Every strategy of the enemy to weaken my resolve and dilute my passion, I cancel it in the name of Jesus! I declare that I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!
I take up the full armour of God so that I can stand against the schemes of the devil. I declare that my calling as an intercessor is secure, my labour is rewarded, and my heart is steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. For greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.
Thank You, Lord, for the victory breakthrough and for setting me on fire for Your Kingdom once again. All glory, honour, and praise belong to You, O God. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!
Handling Disappointment and Unanswered Prayers
As intercessors, we pour out our hearts before God, believing that He hears us and will answer our prayers. Psalm 34:17. However, there are times when it seems like our prayers go unanswered or we face disappointment in the outcome. What do we do when answers don’t come as expected? Do we throw in the towel? Do we say God does not love us? How do we handle the reality of not getting the answers when we expect?
At one time or the other, we have prayed fervently, seeking God for something. It may be the healing of someone, the salvation of a marriage, a financial breakthrough, finding a partner, or bearing children. The list is endless.
As intercessors, we may feel disappointed when our prayers are not answered in the way we expect or within the timeframe we desire. We may question why God answers some prayers quickly and seemingly ignores others. In these moments, we must trust in God’s wisdom and sovereignty.
In the same book and chapter, Hebrews Chapter 11, we read about women receiving their dead to life, we also read in v 39 and 40 that not all received the promise. This is complex.
Hebrews 11: 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.
Hebrews 11: 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
How do you handle disappointment and prayers that go apparently unanswered? Do you blame yourself? People will tell you what you should have done or not done. Everyone will have their own spiritual theories.
Some disappointments are terminal, such as a loss … there is nothing you can do, but you can trust God’s faithfulness to restore you. You can trust Him to turn it around. You can trust Him to make you smile with joy again.
Dear friend, shut your ears and focus on the One who loves you. Never give up until the very end.
Let’s see some of the ways we can handle feelings of disappointment.
We must remember that God sees the bigger picture. Just as the landowner in the parable had a specific plan and purpose for each worker, God has a divine plan for each individual and situation. Our prayers may not align with His perfect plan, or He may have different timing in mind.
Secondly, we must release our expectations and surrender to God’s will. It is natural to have specific desires and outcomes in our prayers, but we must remember that God’s ways are higher than ours. We must be willing to surrender our preferences and trust that His plan is ultimately for our good.
Lastly, we must find comfort in knowing that God is always at work, even when we don’t see immediate results. Just as the landowner provided for all the workers’ needs, God is always faithful to His children. Our prayers may not be answered in the exact way we desire, but we can trust that God is working behind the scenes, orchestrating His perfect will.
In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I stand before the throne of grace, confident of Your promises that whatever I bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever I loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.
Lord, I am weary of unanswered prayers and growing disappointments. I recognize that these are not of You but are schemes of the enemy to discourage me, to dilute my faith, and to divert my focus away from the glory You have purposed for me and my family. Today, I stand against these tactics in Jesus’ name!
I bind the spirit of discouragement, doubt, and unbelief that seeks to invade my mind and spirit. I lose the peace and assurance that comes from Your promises, knowing that You are a God who never fails.
Father, Your Word in Hebrews 11 speaks of men and women of faith who did not receive the promise but remained steadfast. Today, I activate that same indomitable faith in my life. I declare that though I may not see the answers now, victory is mine through Christ who strengthens me!
I claim the promise that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. I decree and declare that my disappointments are being transformed into divine appointments, in the name of Jesus!
I cast down every imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. I bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. My hope is not in man, my hope is in the name of the Lord!
Heavenly Father, dispatch Your angels to battle on my behalf. Let the angelic hosts of Heaven fight against the forces that delay my blessings, and I command these hindrances to be removed, in Jesus’ name!
Lord, I trust that You are doing a new thing, even if I do not perceive it. I believe that rivers are flowing in my wasteland and that You are making a way in my wilderness. I refuse to be moved by what I see; I choose to be moved by what Your Word says!
Thank You, Lord, for fighting my battles. Thank you for restoring my joy, my peace, and my hope. As I wait for the manifestation of my prayers, I will rejoice in You, confident that my breakthrough is on the way, for the battle belongs to You, Lord!
In the powerful and matchless name of Jesus Christ, I pray,
Navigating Spiritual Warfare in Intercession
As we intercede, we cannot ignore the reality of spiritual warfare that we face. It is essential for us intercessors to understand the nature of this battle and how to navigate through it effectively. We know that Christ has won the victory for us but the devil resists the children of God. We must arise in warfare and as we have mentioned time and again there is war going on whether we like it or not. We must resist the devil , steadfast in the faith 1 Peter 5:9.
Firstly, intercessors must understand that the enemy is cunning and strategic. The enemy seeks to disrupt and hinder our intercession through various tactics. He may attempt to distract us, discourage us, or even deceive us. The enemy’s tactic is to frustrate us time after time. His goal is to weary us out until we give up. Recognizing the enemy’s schemes and tactics we can stand firm in our spiritual warfare and not be swayed or discouraged.
1 Peter 5:8-9, James 4:7.
Secondly, we must stay rooted in our identity and purpose. We must be confident in who we are in Christ and believe that because He won we have won.
When we approach intercession and spiritual warfare, knowing our identity and purpose in Christ enables us to:
Stand Against Discouragement: When prayers seem unanswered, knowing our identity helps us stand firm in faith, confident that our prayers are heard and that God is working even when we don’t see immediate results.
Maintain Focus: Being sure of our divine purpose keeps us from being sidetracked by the enemy’s tactics. We won’t easily fall prey to distractions or deceptions because we are rooted in our God-given mission.
In Romans 8:37, Paul says, “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Being ‘more than conquerors’ is beyond mere survival; it signifies overwhelming victory.
Our perspective shifts when we understand that Christ has already secured victory over sin, death, and every spiritual enemy. We move from a defensive posture to an offensive one, not fighting for victory but from victory. This understanding radically alters how we approach spiritual warfare. We’re not begging God to act but are confidently declaring and appropriating what He has already accomplished through Christ.
Heavenly Father, I come before You in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Your Word says that You are a very present help in times of trouble.
Lord, I recognize that the enemy is cunning and strategic, seeking to hinder and disrupt my prayers. In Jesus’ name, I rebuke every spirit of distraction, discouragement, and deception that would try to oppose me. I declare that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against me in judgment shall be condemned.
I stand firm in my spiritual warfare, equipped with the full armour of God.
I root myself in my identity and purpose in You, Lord. I know I am a co-heir with Christ, and because You won, I have won. I claim the authority granted to me through Christ to pray against the enemy’s plans. I bind every evil force that seeks to derail Your purpose and plan for my life and for those I intercede for.
(address specific issues)
Father, I refuse to be discouraged. Your Word says that You hear my prayers and that they are like incense before You. I stand firm in my faith, knowing that You are at work even when I don’t see immediate results. I am more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me. I have overwhelming victory in You.
Lord, help me to maintain focus and not be swayed by the enemy’s tactics. My purpose is rooted in Your divine plan, and I will not fall prey to distractions. I set my eyes on You, the Author and Finisher of my faith. Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
I now move from a defensive posture to an offensive one, not begging but boldly declaring and appropriating what Christ has already accomplished on the cross. The enemy is defeated, and I claim victory in Jesus’ name.
(speak over situations and claim your victory.)
Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness. Thank You for empowering me in this spiritual warfare as I continue to intercede. Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
In Jesus’ mighty name, I pray. Amen.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. This concludes the prayers from Matthew 20. Well, I saw one more, “The Marketplace.” I will use it but not limit it to that parable. Remember that we do not have Weekly Watch for the next two weeks. All roads lead to our annual Prayer For Boys Conference – Boys To MEN.
Until then, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace in Jesus name.
Remember to join the weekly session of breaking bread.
Here are the links
Here are 10 declarations for your weeks meditation:
- “I declare that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against me in judgment shall be condemned. I am fortified in the strength of the Lord and shielded by His power.”
- “I stand firm and immovable, fully committed to the work of the Lord. Every chain of fatigue, weariness, and discouragement is broken in the name of Jesus!”
- “I renounce the spirit of comparison and envy. I am fearfully and wonderfully made with a unique purpose and destiny that is incomparable to anyone else.
- “I declare the mercy and grace of God over my life. Afflictions will not rise up a second time; the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus!”
- “I decree strength, vitality, and renewal into my spirit, soul, and body. Enabled by the Holy Spirit, I will run and not grow weary, walk and not faint!”
- “I declare that God’s grace is sufficient for me; His power is made perfect in my weakness. Every strategy of the enemy to dilute my passion is nullified in the name of Jesus!”
- “Armed with the full armour of God, I stand against the schemes of the devil. My calling is secure, my labour rewarded, and my heart steadfast in the work of the Lord!”
- “I stand before the throne of grace, declaring that whatever I bind on Earth is bound in Heaven, and whatever I loose on Earth is loosed in Heaven. I am unshakable in my spiritual warfare!”
- “I claim the promise that all things work together for good for those who love God. My disappointments are being transformed into divine appointments in the name of Jesus!”
- “Thank you, Lord, for the victory and breakthrough. I move from a defensive posture to an offensive one, declaring and appropriating what Christ has already accomplished on the cross. The enemy is defeated, and victory is mine in Jesus’ name!”I love you loads, and I trust God for wonderful things concerning you.