|CASE PREPARATION: DEFENDING OTHERS IN COURT
Eddie & Alice Smith
I AM REVEALED
Jan 22 2011
The prayer of the feeblest saint on the earth who lives in the Spirit and keeps right with God is a terror to Satan. The
very powers of darkness are paralyzed by prayer; no spiritual seance can succeed in the presence of a humble praying
saint. No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds fussy in active work till we cannot think in prayer.
An old man walking the beach at dawn noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the
sea. Catching up with the youth, he asked what he was doing. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if
left until the morning sun.
"But the beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish," countered the old man. "How can your effort make
The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. "It makes a difference to this
one," he said.
Every intercessory assignment carried out in the court of heaven, no matter how big or small, makes a difference to
someone. However, our effectiveness in prayer will be determined by the way we as defense attorneys plead the case.
On July 15, 1866, famous preacher C.H. Spurgeon delivered a splendid message titled "Order and Argument in
Prayer." In that message, Reverend Spurgeon emphasized three key steps to effective prayer:
1. It is needful that our (case) suit be ordered before God. Spurgeon said:
Court does not come there without thought to state his case on the spur of the moment, but enters into the
audience chamber with his suit well prepared, having moreover learned how he ought to behave himself in the
presence of the great One to whom he is appealing. It is well to approach the seat of the King of kings as much
as possible with premeditation and preparation, knowing what we are about, where we are standing, and what it is
which we desire to obtain.
2. Part of prayer is filling the mouth with arguments.
the knocks of the rapper by which the gate is opened. Why are arguments to be used at all? Is the first
enquiry? The reply being, certainly not, because God is slow to give, not because we can change the divine
purpose, not because God needeth to be informed of any circumstance with regard to ourselves or anything in
connection with mercy asked: The arguments to be used are for our own benefit, not for His. He requires for us
to plead with Him, and to bring forth our strong reasons, as Isaiah saith, because this will show that we feel the
value of mercy. When a man searches for arguments for a thing it is because he attaches importance to that
which he is seeking. Again our use of arguments teaches us the ground upon which we obtain the blessing.
Besides, the use of arguments is intended to stir up our fervency.
3. If the Holy ghost shall teach us how to order our case and how to fill our mouth with arguments, the result shall be
that we shall have our mouth filled with praises.
to prayer. It is said - I know not how truly - that the explanation of the text, "Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it,"
may be found in a very singular Oriental custom. It is said that not many years ago - I remember the
circumstance being reported - the king of Persia ordered the chief of his nobility, who had done something or
other which greatly gratified him, to open his mouth, and when he had done so he (the king) began to put into his
mouth pearls, diamonds, rubies and emeralds, till he had filled it as full as it could hold, and then he bade him go
his way. Now certainly whether that be an explanation of the text or not it is an illustration of it. God says, "Open
thy mouth with arguments," and then He will fill it with mercies priceless, and unspeakably valuable. Oh! Let us
then open wide our mouth when we have to plead with God. Our needs are great, let our asking be great, and
the supply shall be great too.
Now, we have been encouraged to argue our case by one of history's greatest orators.
Before we look into Scripture to learn how to order our argument, we need to learn a couple of legal terms. The
defendant is a person who has to answer the legal action brought against him. The role of the defendant is to plead for
the mercy of the court by humbling himself before the Lord. The defense attorney is one who represents the defendant
by developing a case to present to the Judge. The role of the attorney is to:
OUR MODEL FOR DEFENSE
In Exodus 32:11-14 we find a classic case of courtroom drama as Moses, like a defense attorney, pleads a case
brought against the Israelites (the defendants). The principles contained in this case prepared by Moses become our
model for our work as defense attorney advocates/intercessors in our world today. Notice the clear legal structure
Moses employs in the Israelites' defense. The defense attorney will utilize:
1. The facts - the conditions that exist as he sees them
2. The evidence - proof that it is as the facts state
3. The law - what God's Word says regarding this issue
4. Court precedent - what God (the court) has done in the past in similar situations
5. The Judge's character - he will plead his case based on the Judge's character
6. The prayer - a clear and succinct statement of the decision he is asking the judge to make
7. The decision - the Judge's final conclusion of the matter
Let's take a thorough look at each of these seven principles as we prepare to become defense attorney
advocates/intercessors for those who need our support. These building blocks will provide an additional foundation on
which we can build an effective prayer strategy. A good presentation will include several, if not all, of the following:
Collect the facts
If we don't know the facts, we are likely to pray amiss. After all, it is the facts that are on trial! The law doesn't
determine whether you will win or lose the case. A clear presentation of the facts is what determines the decision.
A lady came down the aisle during a revival meeting one night to ask me (Eddie) to pray that God would heal her lungs.
She was about to have part of one lung surgically removed. As she made her request, I was overpowered by the smell
of cigarette smoke on her breath. "Do you smoke cigarettes?" I asked.
"Why, yes," she answered reluctantly.
"Do you actually expect me to pray that our heavenly Father will give you new lungs while you willfully destroy the set of
lungs you have?" I asked her. To pray for her healing without her willingness to turn from her self-destructive behavior
would have been foolish. Thankfully, she did repent and turn from her addiction that night. Her husband came to the
altar and forsook his nicotine addiction as well. I also have a good report. When she went to the doctor for the final
exam before her operation, she was told that the operation was not necessary after all!
Another lady asked for prayer that she would stop smoking. Suddenly I (Eddie) received a word from the Lord. "Why
do you hate your father?" I asked her.
She looked surprised and answered, "I don't hate my father."
"You don't like him," I probed further.
"You're right; I don't like my father," she admitted.
"In fact, you are angry with him," I challenged.
"OK, I'm angry...well, yes, I hate my father! But what's that got to do with anything?" she exploded.
When she repented of her hatred and forgave her father, she never desired another cigarette. The cigarettes were
only a smoke screen Satan used to keep her blind to the real issue. The important point is that to minister effectively as
a counselor or intercessor, we must first ascertain the facts and ask God to disclose any deception before we agree to
petition heaven for results.
Spiritual mapping is the act of researching a city's past to learn what historical facts may have empowered the enemy
and given him legal rights. It requires research and spiritual discernment to be an effective researcher. To know the
facts of a city is critical as we plead the case in prayer. An attorney knows that the smallest detail, if overlooked can
destroy his case. As London barrister (lawyer) John Saunders said in a People magazine article, "To be a good lawyer,
you really do have to have a sense of history."
Collect the evidence
Collecting evidence is central in the preparation to plead any case. Attorneys have detectives, medical and forensic
experts, and paralegals to help collect the evidence. The situation, the facts, the circumstances, the witnesses, the
possible motives, and the credibility of the accused are important issues to take into account. In intercession we must
also seek to know the purposes of God and the purposes of Satan, because God's ways are not like our ways (Isaiah
55:9). We need to seek His heart for understanding before we move forward. We will increase our victories in court
when we receive a burden from God with an undivided and pure heart.
Study the law
Perhaps unanswered prayer has you frustrated. Have you ever sat down and asked yourself what is missing in your
prayers? Any number of things may hinder you. However, it may be God's Word that's missing in your prayers.
Lawyers and their paralegal staffs often search and research the law for hundreds of hours. There are lawsuits that
have been lost because the lawyers who handled the case did not know about an obscure law written two hundred
years before that could have given them the edge. Before Joshua died, he told the children of Israel, "Now I am about
to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD
your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed" (Joshua 23:14).
Popular author E.M. Bounds once said:
urgency, is in reality flabby, vapid and void. The absence of vital force in praying can be traced to the absence
of a constant supply of God's Word, to repair the waste, and new the life. He who would learn to pray well, must
first study God's Word, and store it in his memory and thought.
In the court of heaven, Scripture is the law! When we approach God with His Word, we can be assured of a heavenly
audience. Each argument we make before Judge Jehovah should be offered on the basis of what He has said. After
all, the law (Scripture) is the language of the court. So, prayer is an appeal of faith based on the Word of God.
Sometimes we can predict the verdict God will render because we know what God has said.
Obviously, David knew the law when he prayed, "And now, LORD, let the promise you have made concerning your
servant and his house be established forever. Do as you promised, so that it will be established and that your name will
be great forever" (I Chronicles 17:23-24). David declared God's promises, reviewed what God had said, and
established support for his argument with Scripture. Praying the Word is powerful!
As surely as God's house is a house of prayer, God's Word is a book of prayer. Prayer and Scripture are a dynamic
duo! Prayer serves the Word, and the Word serves prayer. Prayer gives wings to the Word of God. Paul wrote,
"Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you"
(II Thessalonians 3:1).
The Word of God also authenticates our prayer. The psalmist said, "The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives
understanding to the simple" (Psalm 119:130). Scripture needs to be planted in our hearts if we are to discern His will.
It is impossible to be ignorant of the Word and proficient in prayer. We can more effectively communicate our desires in
intercessory prayer when our hearts, minds, and prayers are filled with relevant Scripture.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter of the longest book in the Bible. Although it was written to reveal the power and the
beauty of the Word of God, the entire chapter is a prayer - all 176 verses! Effective prayer is so dependent upon and
rooted in Scripture that Jesus said, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will
be given you" (John 15:7).
What the Judge has said (the written law) binds Him to act in a certain way. God is true to His Word! So, list the legal
points that must be proven in order for you to prevail. Then search for and write out pertinent scriptures that back up
your petition. It is the language of the court. A working knowledge of Scripture tells the Judge that you are familiar with
the law. The advocate then confidently creates a valid story that enables the court to see how the evidence supports
the facts and on which laws his appeal is based.
Understand court precedent
Precedent is determined by something said or done earlier that serves as an example. What God has done historically
sets legal precedent. It indicates what He is likely to do in the future.
While in prayer, remind Him of His past accomplishments. Not because He tends to forget, but because we tend to
forget. When we remind the Lord of what He has done in the past, it is proof that we remember Him! To remember His
works is to honor Him! God says:
We should remind the Lord of what He has done for us. What He has done for us in the past sets a precedent. After
all, our God is a God who never changes! He promises, "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob,
are not destroyed" (Malachi 3:6). What a reassuring thought!
When you remind God of what He has done in the past, include things He has done for others. Why? It's simple. Our
Father is no respecter of persons. He does not prefer one of us above another, and He shows no favoritism (See Acts
10:34; Colossians 3:25.)
The Judge's character
We prepare our petition with the facts, evidence, the law, and historical precedent, and we plead it according to the
Judge's character! His character is another guarantee we have in court. Our God is faithful!
David remembered God's integrity when he prayed:
those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD. They rejoice in your
name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you
exalt our horn.
Follow proper protocol before the judge of heaven. Review His character qualities on which you base your appeal. The
following statements contain only four of God's many wonderful character traits:
God's intentions determine His actions. His intentions are always pure! What a blessing it is to know that He is "not
willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" and that His "mercy triumphs over judgment"
(James 2:13; see also II Peter 3:9).
One of the many colorful characters who became legends of the American Old West was "Hanging Judge Roy Bean,"
who held court session in his saloon along the Rio Grande River in a desolate stretch of the Chihauhuan Desert of
West Texas. Horse thieves dreaded being tried by Judge Bean because they knew the gallows was their next and last
stop! To hear some people pray, you would think we serve a mean, punitive, abusive God who wants to abuse us. Not
so! Our heavenly Father longs to show us His great love.
Write out your requests as an attorney would write out his argument. Be specific, not vague. Ask the Lord for a
decision in your favor or in favor of your client. James exhorts us that we sometimes ask and don't receive because we
ask with wrong motives (James 4:3). Please note that when we ask God's favor, we should also ask for His wisdom in
the matter. Otherwise, we may suffer disappointment.
Clearly state your request, and thoroughly explain why you hold that position. Refer to the evidence, facts, and
applicable laws. It isn't enough to just talk to God about the situation. Ask Him for something!
As an example, we can rightly request forgiveness of our sins because the law (God's Word) says we can. We do so
because we know that historically God has forgiven repentant sinners (precedent). We count on the fact that Christ
shed His own blood for our sins (evidence). (See Matthew 6:12.)
While we were interviewing an attorney to collect information for writing this book, he said that some attorneys can't
succinctly, specifically state their requests to the judge. In a recent trial, the judge met him and his opponent in the
Judge's chambers in order to decide the case.
The Judge asked his opponent, "Sir, what is it that you are asking from me?"
The man answered angrily, "Well, Your Honor, they have done this and that, and they have said this and that."
Again the judge asked, "And what decision are you asking me to make?" Once again the man nervously stated another
complaint. Bill, the lawyer telling us the story, said, "Eddie, the lawyer was never able to unplug from complaining and
explaining long enough to tell the judge what he specifically wanted. As a result, the judge awarded me the case."
It is interesting to us that the phrase "She didn't have a prayer" is normally understood to be synonymous with "She
didn't have a chance." In fact, she (or he) may have had a chance. The word prayer comes from an Old English word
meaning "to ask, to request." It is a legal term. In fact, at the end of each lawsuit filed in Texas is the final subtitle: "The
Prayer." Here is where the attorney is to specify what he is asking of the court. What the phrase "She didn't have a
prayer" really means is, "She didn't make a request!"
In January 1994, my (Eddie) mother went to be with the Lord. She passed quietly in her sleep. She was a praying
woman. She and my dad prayed together each night before they fell asleep. She would pray first, and then he would
pray. Rather than completely close her prayer, she would conclude with "in Jesus' name..." and allow my father to add
the "amen" at the close of his prayer.
Many years ago our friend Evangelist Manley Beasley lay dying in a Houston hospital. He had five diseases, and three
of them were terminal. No one expected he would leave the hospital alive. Then one night while he read his Bible, God
spoke to Manley. In a moment, God transformed Psalm 138:6, "Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children" (KJV) from
logos (God's general Word to everyone), into rhema (His specific Word for Manley).
Immediately Manley explained to the doctors and nurses that he would not die. Why? Because he had no
grandchildren, and none of his children were married yet! At first the hospital staff humored him. Then, to their
amazement, Manley's body began to gain strength. Specialists from around the world came to witness the
transformation. Not only did Manley Beasley leave the hospital, but he also traveled the United States another twenty
years and taught a powerful message of faith. Oh, by the way, Manley lived to see his children's children!
If you were to take someone's last will and testament to court, the judge would be required by law to honor it, even if the
deceased person had made a mistake in writing it. It doesn't even matter if the will makes sense to anyone. If the
deceased leaves millions of dollars to his pet canary, the court must enforce it!
When we approach the bar of God on the basis of God's will and testament, whether it's His Old or New Testament, how
much more is God obliged to act? Therefore, the Word strength of our prayers often determines heaven's response to
In Exodus 17 we read how Joshua's army fought the Amalekites. It says that as Joshua and his army fought in the valley
Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took
a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one
side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua
discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a
memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek
from under heaven.
The Lord even told Moses to write the event down as a testimony of His answers to Moses' prayer. Unfortunately, many
of us have never seen the seriousness of the situation. As God's advocates, it is our privilege to save lives, evangelize
nations, and perhaps shape history!
BIBLICAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS AND THEIR CASES
Now that we have looked closely at these seven principles for preparing our cases for the heavenly court, let's see how
several biblical defense attorneys used the principles in the cases they presented to the Judge. From each of these,
we can learn how better to be prepared as defense attorney advocates/intercessors in our own world.
Moses' defense of the children of Israel (Exodus 32:11-14)
As we enter the courtroom, the attorney for Israel's defense, Moses, stands and approaches the bench. Let's listen and
see what we can learn from his courtroom technique.
1. Moses stated the facts.
In essence, these facts included: "You are angry with us. You brought us out of Egypt. Now our enemies are
questioning Your integrity."
people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, 'it
was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the
earth'?" (Exodus 32:11-12)
This was a one-sentence request from Moses, summarizing what he was asking from God:
He reminded the Judge of what He said in His law:
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them,
and it will be their inheritance forever." (Exodus 32:13)
By reminding the Judge of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Moses reminded God that His purpose for Israel
were great and long reaching. Moses also reminded the Judge of His own mighty deeds in protecting the Israelites.
5. The Judge rendered the decision.
Moses won his case as God relented and did not bring disaster.
The children of Israel were continually being prosecuted for their crimes. In Jeremiah 14, Jeremiah pleads a case for
them. Notice how Jeremiah employs the same courtroom techniques that Moses used.
1. Jeremiah stated the facts.
He honestly and humbly acknowledged the facts of the situation before God:
great; we have sinned against you. (Jeremiah 14:7)
2. Jeremiah produced the evidence.
The evidence for this case came directly from the testimony of the Lord concerning His people. God gave this evidence:
God's law was very clear about the result of His people's wandering ways: God will remember their wickedness and
4. Jeremiah pleaded on the basis of court precedent.
In essence he said, "You haven't completely rejected Judah. You don't despise Zion. Therefore, heal us."
healed? We hoped for peace but no good has come, for a time of healing but there is only terror. (Jeremiah 14:
He humbly acknowledged the wickedness and guilt of the people. He pleaded for God's favor and forgiveness:
O LORD, we acknowledge our wickedness and guilt of our fathers; we have indeed sinned against you. For the sake of
your name do not despise us; do not dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us and do not
break it. (Jeremiah 14:20-21)
6. Judge Jehovah rendered the decision.
His decision was clear, stating, "If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve Me."
worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to
them." (Jeremiah 15:19)
response. It was an "if/then" decision. (See II Chronicles 7:14.)
Isaiah's prophetic plea (Isaiah 15:1-3; 16:3-5)
Like the prophets before him, Isaiah knew how to plead a case in the court of heaven. Let's quietly slip into the
courtroom and eavesdrop. Listen to what Isaiah, Israel's defense attorney, is saying:
1. Isaiah stated the facts
night! Dibon goes up to its temple, to its high places to weep; Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba. Every head is
shaved and every beard cut off. (Isaiah 15:1-2)
2. Isaiah presented the evidence
He explained the evidence of the people's disobedience.
3. Isaiah offered the prayer.
He pleaded in prayer for God's counsel, asking Him to render a decision:
Give us counsel, render a decision. Make your shadow like night - at high noon. Hide the fugitives, do not betray the
refugees. (Isaiah 16:3)
4. Isaiah elaborated on the prayer.
and destruction will cease; the aggressor will vanish from the land. (Isaiah 16:4)
The Judge predicted the outcome of His decision: "The oppressor will come to an end, and destruction will cease...one
who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness" (verses 4-5)
judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness. (Isaiah 16:5)
I (Alice) have learned to incorporate these principles in my own life. The following illustration will demonstrate how I
used the prayer pattern of the prophets in an incident involving our son. Many years ago our second son was out late
one night. Exhausted from the heavy workload that day, we went to bed. Around 3:00 in the morning, I sat straight up
in the bed, alarmed with a sense of danger. I checked Bryan's room and realized he was not home. I began to
intercede for him, because I knew something was wrong for him not to be home - or even call home. I immediately
began presenting my case to my heavenly Judge, using the principles I had learned from God's Word.
1. The facts
Bryan was not home, and we had not received a call from him.
devour [his] flesh, when [his] enemies and [his] foes attack [him], they will stumble and fall. Though an army
beseige [him], [his] heart [and mine] will not fear; though war break out against [him], even then will [he] be
2. The evidence
out of your sight...be life for [him], an ornament to grace [his] neck. Then [he] will go on [his] way in safety, and
[Bryan's] foot will not stumble; when [he] lie[s] down, [he] will not be afraid...[his] sleep will be sweet." According to
Your word as revealed in Proverbs 3:21-24, I declare his safety.
I reminded God, "Bryan loves You and wants to obey Your commands."
peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. I wait for your salvation, "O LORD, and
I follow your commands. [Bryan and I] obey your statutes, for [we love them greatly. [We] obey your precepts
and your statutes, for all [our] ways are known to you.
In 1985, God had given me a scripture for our four children, and I clung to His promise.
You are a Father of covenants. Your law says, "Not one of all the LORD'S good promises to the house of Israel
failed; every one was fulfilled" (Joshua 21:45).
Our heavenly Father wants to fulfill His purpose of our lives. As a defender for our son, I called on the great character
"show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their
I was now entering the courts of heaven to plead Bryan's case.
I ask You to "remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from old. Remember not the sins of
[his] youth and [his] rebellious ways; according to your love remember [him], for you are good, O LORD. Good
and upright is the LORD; therefore [You] instruct sinners in [Your] ways" (Psalms 25:6-8). Lord, I am asking for
Bryan's safe return, a renewed peace of mind that You are with him and an assurance that You are guarding him
all the days of his life.
7. The decision
Once we plead our case, we release it until the burden returns. About four hours later Bryan came in a little shaken
up. He had taken a new friend home and tried taking a shortcut while coming home, only to get lost. Once he tried to
turn around in the road, his car got stuck in the mud.
He decided to wait until morning, locked the car doors, and tried to fall asleep. (This was before cell phones.) The night
was very dark. Some curious strangers driving by apparently entertained the thought of doing mischief with Bryan's car,
slowed down, and evaluated the situation, but then continued on. When morning arrived, Bryan got help from one of
the very few travelers on that unfamiliar road by pushing his stuck car out of the mud. The Lord protected him that
night. I won my case. The Judge's gavel had fallen, and He declared, "It is done." Bryan came home safe and sound.
Now it is time for you to practice your own case preparation. The assignment on the following pages will give you an
opportunity to apply these principles to each matter of intercession to which you commit in your role as advocate with
the people in your life. Use the pages to develop your case for presentation to Judge Jehovah.
We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish
little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.
R. A. Torrey
SPIRITUAL ADVOCATES, by Eddie & Alice Smith, Copyright 2008, Charisma House.
|LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES