I have hated gossip and slander and mocking for as long as I can remember. I always thought it unfair to judge someone on some perceived flaw when you don't even know them or their life. Once I got a peek into the realm of the spirit and saw the spiritual dynamic, I was even more galvanized in my position. I used to think it was just the evangelicals that did those things because that was the group I was from, but realized eventually it goes across all denominations even unto the most well-known in the Christian world.
And in case you are wondering, Yes, I have been guilty myself. When I was a child we used to mock those people who lifted their hands to pray, spoke in funny languages and believed God still did miracles. But do you know what? I grew up. I finally got to the point where I would strongly let people know that I didn't want to hear what they were saying about people if it wasn't nice and there was no point in the telling. I remember that more than once someone started talking about a character flaw someone had and rather than join in, I would with a most serious expression say something like "I want to thank you for letting me know about this. This is serious. We should pray for them now." Then, I would get on my knees and close my eyes and pray without ceasing until some of them literally left. It only took a couple times before people learned I didn't want to be a party to it.
Fast forward several years... I had been thinking about a few evangelists out there who seemed to be winding down, maybe getting off track in their focus or direction, and I was thinking about how sad it was. One day I suddenly found myself sitting next to one of those men. Millions of people know his name and probably millions have been saved through his preaching of the gospel. In the hour and a half I was there with him I couldn't help but think "Where is that anointing? Where is that power he carried? I don't feel anything from him except tired and a little testy." In my mind I had already judged him and written him off. (just being honest with you, not that I am proud of it by any means)
As I weighed these things in my mind suddenly the Lord spoke to me. "Where are the intercessors?" That was all he said. He really didn't have to say anything else. I suddenly realized that what I "said" in my mind, I would have dropped to my knees to pray if I had heard someone else say those things in the past. "Where are the intercessors?" Yes Lord, you are right. I don't pray for him anything like the way I used to. This brother was just weary. He spent his entire life from youth serving God and I was not looking at that. I was looking at him in the wrong light. "Where are the intercessors?" Where are the Aarons and the Hurs to hold up the arms of the generals of the faith. There is no reason a 65 year old man or woman should be diminishing in strength as they serve the Lord, at least not if they have people willing to lift them up in prayer.
And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. (Deut. 34:7 KJV)
Those whom we have admired in the past, those we have learned from, those whose meetings we have attended, lets keep them lifted up in prayer. Supernatural strength should be their portion. Let their gifts and annointings only increase. Lord help us to pray... and help them to finish well.
* Just a clarification... I believe that God's presence was still powerfully upon this brother but I was not allowed to sense it as God was doing something in my heart that day.