WHO ARE THE SANCTUARY INTERCESSORS?
"MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER
FOR ALL THE PEOPLES." (Isaiah 56:7)
The Sanctuary Intercessors (TSI) is the name of the India branch of the International Catholic Missionary Intercessors of the Fellowship of the Burning Bush (FBB).
We were established with the charism to enter deeply into the throne room of God, in accordance with Revelations Chapter 5. Founded in Mumbai (Bombay), but straddling some cities in the vast country of India, we bring our Church and our land, with over 1 billion people and numerous religious traditions, before the Lamb on the Throne.
The FBB started in 1982 in the USA. In 1991, Foundress Franciscan Missionary Sister Stephen introduced FBB in various Arch/Dioceses in India. In 1999, FBB intercessors from many countries came on a missionary pilgrimage to intercede for the Church in India in preparation for the 2000th Jubilee of Jesus. Then in 2008, Eminence, Archbishop Oswald Cardinal Gracias, established FBB - TSI as 'Private Association of the Faithful' in the Archdiocese of Bombay. Mumbai/Bombay serves as the base of TSI intercessors in India.
Our logo represents the meaning of the mission of TSI and how we actualize that mission in our intercession prayer.
The triangle symbolizes the Most Holy Trinity, the Only True and Living God. God Himself is the Divine Sanctuary "in whom we all live and move and have our being." The white circle at the center is the ongoing Presence of God with us ... the full revelation of the True God in the Lord Jesus Christ, especially in the Holy Eucharist. The Lamb, who bears the mark of one slain, also represents the Lord Jesus -- the Mighty God who became flesh. The Lamb died and rose from the dead and lives forever seated now in victory in heavenly places at the right hand of God the Father in the Glory of Heaven. The cross reminds us of how the Lamb secured eternal victory over satan, sin, and death by His own death and resurrection from the dead. This is the God we work with in intercession.
The harp stands for the praise and worship of God's intercessors for the Lamb. And through the sound of the ram's horn, God calls forth the armies of heaven and earth into a united spiritual battle to establish the victory of the Lamb of God on earth as it is in heaven. The incense rises up from the hands of the intercessors as they exercise their priestly role of worship and intercession -- entering into union with the Lamb of God, and presenting the needs of God's people to God through the Lamb.
WHAT WE DO
TSI intercessors meet together and with others on a regular basis to intercede in small prayer cells in their parishes and groups. Each month, we invite all to come together in an all- night vigil and join with the FBB international day of prayer for the Church. As the Holy Spirit leads us, we intercede for various needs for God's people; often with a particular focus or intention (e.g.: youth, priests, families, etc.).
Over the years, the Lord has been leading us into conducting intercession outreaches at strategic places to 'pray on site with insight'. One of the places to which the Lord has regularly led us since the past eight years is to pray at the Mt. Mary's Basilica. Especially during the octave after September 8, the Birthday of Our Lady, thousands of non-Christians flock to honor her at the Mount. Our prayer mission and focus of intercession was to pray that these persons would come to the knowledge of Jesus. Each year the Lord gave us a different prayer strategy and a mission as we ventured in faith allowing the Spirit to orchestrate the intercession and the agenda for the day. Our joy knew no bounds, when on the 8th March 2009, the Archbishop of Bombay inaugurated the 'Proclamation Cell' at Mt. Mary's Basilica. Through this evangelization outreach, volunteers from the Proclamation team minister to many non-Christians, who then have the occasion of experiencing the love of Jesus. TSI intercessors are privileged to continue to support this outreach through intercession prayer. We give all of the glory to the Holy Spirit who made this possible.
Also, through our intercession teams and network, the Lord uses TSI intercessors to support other ministries in the Church. Some of these include: the Inner Healing Ministry; Family of Faith Foundation (A Catholic Apologetic Group); and Fr. Byron, with special pilgrimages based on praise, worship, and intercession.
God has also used us to unite His People in intercession for the Church and the city through our Monthly Intercession Diary. This is a daily Scriptural intercession guide for praying for various needs with the mind of Christ. Through this daily practice our members agree in prayer and are joined 'in one accord' by various religious congregations and parishioners from practically every parish of the Archdiocese of Bombay, and even with intercessors throughout India and in other countries.
Members of the Sanctuary Intercessors, have participated in several international FBB missionary pilgrimages of intercession for the Church (to: Mexico, Ireland, Holland, USA, Guatemala, Medjugorie, Lithuania, and Poland.) Every prayer mission has been a truly unique experience for us, a journey in faith. Through intercession, we saw the impossible becoming possible, like obtaining visas, accommodation, and air tickets, etc., where God called into existence things that did not exist. (Romans 4:17b). Glory to God! During each of those prayer missions we saw the Glory of God in our midst -- as Provider, as Warrior, as Friend, as Conqueror and as Intercessor -- and this has helped us grow in faith and trust in the Lord. Our experience can be expressed in mortal words as "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9).
HOW WE PRAY
As mentioned earlier, the Sanctuary Intercessors was established with the charism to enter deeply into the throne room of God, in accordance with Revelations 5. Our intercession stems from our worship of the Lamb on the Throne. The Holy Spirit has been leading us in our intercession to give back/reciprocate to the Lord all the glory, honor, power, blessing (Rev 5:13). And as we worship the Lord, it is the Holy Spirit that helps us join with the intercession of the Elders before the Lamb in Heaven. And He leads us in our intercession prayer. The key to effectiveness in our intercession is worship. As we worship, we place all our needs into the golden bowls of the Elders before the Throne, and we worship the Lord along with the Angels, Archangels, and all the hosts of heaven. Our prayers like incense ascend before the Throne of God. Hence our name Sanctuary Intercessors has evolved from the fact that the Spirit of God had been taking us into the throne room. Then we seek to follow the Holy Spirit as we intercede with Him to prepare the Bride for the Bridegroom, the marriage of the Lamb, so together with the Spirit and the Bride, we can say, "come Lord Jesus come!"(Rev 22:20)
Our work of intercession flows from our relationship with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. As we grow in intimacy with each Person of the Triune God, the Holy Spirit reveals to us the needs closest to the Father's heart. Then He leads us to pray in confidence and boldness through Jesus, the Son of God. Our desire is that our intercessions should flow from His - the finished work of Calvary (Isaiah 53:12d). Each time we ask God to give us an experience of what it cost God's Son to suffer and die for us, so that filled with the knowledge of our unworthiness we can allow ourselves to become channels of God's grace and mercy to His people. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace, as Scripture says, 'with confidence' as we have a high priest in our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15-16). Amen; knowing that the risen Lord lives to make intercession for all of us (Hebrews 7:25).
As we ventured out on various prayer missions, there was one thing the Lord impressed upon us, "You follow Me and you watch it happen". Our work may be called worship warfare intercession. In our intercession outreaches, we focus on praise and adoration, and ministering unto the Lord. And as we lead people to minister unto the Lord through exuberant praise and worship into intercession, we have seen God sovereignly work His wonders and answer our prayers. Many testify to physical and spiritual healings, needs being met, restoration of relationships, freedom from bondage, and a deep desire to grow in intimacy with the Lord. Alleluia!