Ceci and I are taking a day off, and have asked Cheryl Sacks to write and deliver today’s post. Cheryl is not only a respected author and prayer leader, but also a dear friend. In this post, she does a tremendous job of highlighting the importance of praying for leaders. And though we did not ask her to do so, Cheryl asks you to pray for Ceci and me, we appreciate her doing so. Pray for the spiritual leaders in your life! Here’s Cheryl.
Raising Up a Prayer Shield for Leaders
Today’s post is an urgent call to prayer for Christian leaders who are out on the spiritual front lines, day in and day out, and who are under great stress. The warfare to take back territory from the enemy is intense! I’m sure you know many such leaders (and may even be one yourself).
Specifically, though, this post is to issue a call to pray for the leaders of this ministry, Dutch and Ceci Sheets.
They would likely not issue such a call for themselves. But since they’ve asked me to fill in today while they take a much-needed day off, I will take my liberty to do that.
I don’t have to tell you that Dutch and Ceci’s influence is massive. Dutch’s messages and books have transformed the prayer lives of millions of people around the world. Since the launching of Give Him 15, Dutch’s influence has exploded.
To get right to the point, satan hates what leaders who are advancing the Kingdom are doing. Add to this the day-to-day demands of the ministry.
Dutch and Ceci rarely mention these trials. They stand valiantly. They are determined to move forward. Yet satan is doing everything in his power to hinder Christian leaders right now, including Dutch and Ceci. Quite honestly, they need our prayers for healing, wisdom, and satan-defeating strategies.
I’m reminded of the late Dr. C. Peter Wagner’s book, Prayer Shield, in which Dr. Wagner talks about what happens in the spirit realm when a leader becomes an increasing threat to satan. Dr. Wagner says: “The higher one goes in Christian leadership, the higher one goes on satan’s hit list.”
In Acts 12, we find that King Herod put two leaders on his hit list, Peter and James. He succeeded in killing one of them, but not the other. What made the difference? We don't know all the reasons. But Scripture does say something about Peter that it does not say about James. When Peter was in prison, the Word says "…the church made intercession for Peter without ceasing" (v. 5). Prayer made all the difference.
Every leader needs a prayer shield, and the more people a leader influences, the more prayer he or she needs. Ceci shared with me recently that their office hears from hundreds daily who say that Give Him 15 is a lifeline for them. Many of these testimonies come from influential people (leaders themselves) from a wide range of backgrounds: politicians, authors, newscasters, doctors, attorneys, and university professors.
During the height of the elections, Give Him 15 had 175,000 to 250,000 YouTube and Rumble daily viewers, with an additional 75,000 reading the post on the Give Him 15 Facebook pages, website, and app. Even as things have calmed down in that respect, Give Him 15 currently has 170,000 people joining in each day (via written post plus video).
This wide reach has produced an opportunity not only to increase prayer but also to shape the next era of prayer in America—the Ekklesia era. The Lord is using the Give Him 15 posts to help shape a remnant movement. This comes with a weighty responsibility.
I know many of you already pray for Dutch and Ceci and their spiritual assignment. But my husband, Hal, and I hear the Lord saying that we, their friends and partners, need to raise up a stronger intercessory prayer shield for them in this season.
The idea of personal intercessory prayer teams for Christian leaders is not new. Moses, Aaron, and Hur served as an intercessory prayer team for Joshua in the battle with Amalek (see Exodus 17). In this passage, Israel was in a battle with the Amalekites. Joshua, the ministry leader, was down in the valley in the heat of combat while Moses, Aaron, and Hur were interceding on the hilltop overlooking the battlefield.
Scripture tells us that as long as Moses’ arms and hands were up, touching God in intercession, Israel was winning the battle. However, when his arms were down, Israel was losing the battle. So Aaron and Hur came alongside Moses and held up his arms until the sun set. History records that Joshua defeated Amalek with the sword. An intercessory prayer team made the difference between victory and defeat for Joshua and for the nation of Israel.
Many other scriptures reference the power of intercessory prayer for leaders. We find in the New Testament that Jesus prayed for Simon Peter. Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, satan has desired to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:31-32, emphasis added). Today satan still desires to sift Christian leaders like wheat. As Jesus did, we must pray for our leaders, and I might add that we have a special responsibility to pray for those who minister to us personally.
Satan knows if he can strike a leader and slow him down (or stop him altogether), exponential damage is done to the kingdom of God. As Marine Lt. Col. Tom Hemingway, who served in Vietnam, pointed out, “The front lines (officers, corporals, and sergeants) make up 18% of the total army but suffer 54% of the casualties.” He said that the enemy is told, “If you see a man giving directions, take aim, and shoot him.” Our enemy—satan—is out to destroy the one who is giving needed directions and instructions: THE GOD-ORDAINED SPIRITUAL LEADER.
Because of this, it is vitally important to saturate in prayer every area of a leader’s life, including:
Personal and family protection: spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and financially
Wisdom and discernment in making decisions
For their ministry or area of influence to be God-honoring and to thrive unhindered
The ability to recognize spiritual attacks and an understanding of how to confront the powers of darkness
An intercessory prayer team to hold up the arms of the leader so spiritual battles can be won.
When we pray this way for Christian leaders like Dutch and Ceci, we raise up a shield that protects them from the attacks of the enemy. Our warfare prayers can quench the devil’s fiery darts before they reach their intended targets. We can call upon the Lord to open the heavens over them so they can hear and receive direction and strategy. In the power of Jesus’ name, we can release spiritual and physical health, vitality, and power to accomplish the assignment the Lord has given them.
Pray with me:
Heavenly Father, we lift up to You today our pastors and Christian leaders, especially those like Dutch and Ceci Sheets who pour into our lives daily. Thank You for Dutch and Ceci’s powerful impact in our lives and on the body of Christ. We thank You that You take hold of them with Your mighty righteous right hand—a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation. Give them a spirit of wisdom, revelation, and discernment in every decision they make. Send Your Word and heal them and give them victory in every place where the enemy is resisting or attacking them. Fill them anew with Your Spirit. Refresh them. Strengthen them with Your incomparably great power according to Your glorious might, so they will have great endurance and patience, bearing fruit in every good work and joyfully giving thanks to You.
We declare that no weapon formed against Dutch and Ceci Sheets (their health, their family, or their ministry) will prosper. In the authority of Jesus’ name, we bind every scheme and attack of the enemy sent against them. We decree, according to Your Word, that Dutch and Ceci walk in health, healing, and victory. Lord, thank You that You loose Your warrior angels to surround them right now and encircle them with a wall of fire as in Zechariah 2:5. We bless them with Your peace that passes understanding, and an overwhelming sense of Your love, strength, and presence.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Cheryl Sacks is the best-selling author of The Prayer Saturated book series: The Prayer Saturated Church, Prayer-Saturated Kids, and The Prayer Saturated Family—How to Change the Atmosphere in Your Home through Prayer. Her newest book, Reclaim a Generation, 21 Days of Prayer for Schools, will be available soon at ReclaimAGeneration.com
 C. Peter Wagner, Prayer Shield (Ventura, Calif.: Regal, 1992), pp. 66-73.
 Cheryl Sacks, The Prayer Saturated Church (Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2004) p 126.