By Jennifer Eivaz
“There It Is Again!”
I had just spotted another praying mantis. It was sitting like a king on top of the door-knob of my front door. I kept noticing these praying mantises here and there. They were usually stationed on my front door as if to make sure they were noticed. This went on for a few years, although I didn’t realize its significance until much later.
I also started having dreams. Dreams about… you guessed it… praying mantises! I began dreaming about all sorts of praying mantises. I even dreamt about a huge army of praying mantises marching in ranks on my front porch!
Was this some type of strange obsession? It was starting to feel that way. I couldn’t grasp yet that this experience was rooted in the Lord somehow. Could God be speaking to me through a bug?!
By this time, I had developed a fairly strong intercessory ministry at my church.
I was growing in my intercessory role, preferring to spend time in prayer much more than anything else. I also began teaching about prophetic intercession in a handful of churches, including my own. I was fascinated when a few churches had a little bug appear on their property doors soon after I left. They too were visited by a praying mantis.
After a decade of praying mantis visitations and lots of prayer experiences and prayer testimonies, I finally wrote a book about prayer titled The Intercessor’s Handbook. It had been in my heart to write about the subject, but I couldn’t find the grace to do it. I’m a busy pastor, an itinerant minister, a wife, and, at the time, a mother to two young children. I simply didn’t have the time.
Things supernaturally changed after a woman wrote to me about her dream. She dreamt that I had written a book on prayer. “It’s some type of handbook,” she said. I felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit once I read her note. Through the vehicle of her dream, I had just received the supernatural grace to write. It took two years, but I self-published it during the summer of 2013. It has now been rewritten and professionally published by CHOSEN books under the same title, The Intercessor’s Handbook, and became a best-seller.
To my surprise, I began to gather readers from all over the world. People from South Africa, Ireland, Latvia, England, Cambodia, Japan, and of course the USA, were reading the book. I also received testimony again and again from readers that praying mantises were appearing at their homes. One woman in Chicago, for example, had a praying mantis fly to her porch deck the moment she sat down to read.
What Was God Up To?
It appeared that He was speaking and spreading the news about prayer through a sign.
He was teaching us that when you see a praying mantis, it’s time to pray. We see this concept alluded to in Job 12:7 (NLT): “Just ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.”
Think of what these little creatures teach us about prayer. I’ve observed that when you approach a praying mantis, they don’t consider your size or fly away in fear. If they think you are a threat to them, they put up their prayer hands and punch back and forth in the air as you draw near. They are not intimidated and are ready to defend their position. We can learn a lot from that right there!
I also found out the word “mantis” in Greek means “prophet.” Think of it this way: When we see a praying mantis we are seeing a Praying Prophet. It’s a strong reminder that we actually prophesy in prayer instead of just petitioning the Lord. This type of praying, known as prophetic intercession, proclaims the Word of the Lord out loud and into the airways. Prophetic intercession is powerful! It creates life and light and shatters the darkness. This kind of praying will put angels into their assignments (see Psalm 103:20) and stop the plans of the enemy.
God speaking like this through creation can be a s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g concept for some. You also get the sense that people try to read the Word of the Lord into pretty much anything when it’s not the Word of the Lord at all. I understand how that can happen. When I was a new Christian, I believed that if I saw a black cat it meant there was witchcraft going on. It was nothing more than superstition and I could never connect it to anything tangible. If God is speaking to you through creation, you’ll clearly connect the dots and be able to prove it.
God Will Clearly Confirm What He Is Saying
Let me share a few examples to bring more clarity:
My friend, Dave Williams (club52.com), received a Word from God several years ago to raise up 52 millionaires in his church for the purposes of funding missions and world evangelism. It was a very challenging word. God confirmed His Word to Dave by sending a flock of exactly 52 birds right to his location on two occasions.
Another friend, Brazil Missionary Tom Hammond (riverintl.org), began experiencing angelic visitations and “bird” visitations. Many of us can connect to visitations from angels, but visitations from birds? For a long time, Tom couldn’t leave his home windows open because a bird would eventually fly in and find a place to perch. One time, he had a bird fly right to his shoulder and stay there as he took his walk. I had the privilege of seeing what happened to his tree in his front yard the day before he moved to Brazil. His tree filled with a very large flock of noisy white birds. They stayed there all day and night and never stopped “talking”! Tom says the bird encounters are a sign to him that angels are near and it brings him comfort.
When God speaks through His creation, He will speak clearly and confirm what He is saying. Remembering this truth will help you to distinguish His voice from a false impression. I know many people who sincerely look for God’s voice in nature, but read things into nature that aren’t really there. What they believe to be a God encounter in nature isn’t confirmed nor is it connected to anything tangible.
In the meantime, I’m confident that you will see praying mantises from now on with a whole new conviction. I’ve had too many testimonies to count of people being visited very specifically by praying mantises after I’ve shared my experience. Just remember this: When you see the praying mantis, it’s time to pray!
Jennifer Eivaz is a minister and international conference speaker with a heart to equip the church in the supernatural and for raising up passionate and effective prayer. She is a regular contributor to Charisma Online and The Elijah List, has been featured on several Christian television shows, hosts the popular podcast Take Ten With Jenn, and authored several bestselling books. Jennifer and her husband, Ron, co-pastor Harvest Church now meeting in three locations – two campuses in Turlock, California and one campus in Ripon, California – in addition to hosting a thriving online campus. They also have two wonderful children.
Twitter & IG: @prayingprophet
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