|THE PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Jan 18, 2008
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
giving of thanks be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in
authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and
The prayer of intercession is prayed in behalf of others. It is crying out to God on someone's behalf and taking their
needs to Him in prayer. Intercession is one of the most important kinds of prayer because many people do not pray.
Intercession is one of the most important kinds of prayers because many people do not pray for themselves or do not
know how. Why? Because they have no relationship with God. There are also times when circumstances are so
difficult, stress is so high, the hurt is too great, things are so confusing, that people do not know how to pray for their
own situations. And there are times when people have prayed and prayed and prayed for themselves and they simply
have no strength left to pray. There are all kinds of reasons people cannot or do not pray, but what is most important
is when we encounter these people or become aware of a believer who cannot pray, we step in for them before God
and pray on their behalf as the Holy Spirit leads. Through His Word, God has called the Body of Christ to the ministry
of intercession. Why are we called to intercession? Because God does not do anything in the earth without the
cooperation of a man. He intends that we work together with Him to accomplish His will. Man still is in authority in the
earth. God put him in that position by His will. The miraculous things that occurred in the early Church as recorded in
the book of Acts will be common among us in these last days. Intercessory prayer is the tool that the Spirit of
God will use to bring them into manifestation. Both Andrew Murray and Watchman Nee write about intercession
as a "priestly" function - as a believer's opportunity to participate in Jesus' ministry of praying for people. Watchman
Nee says, "We stand before the Lord to pray for other people. Actually this is fellowship with the Lord in His
high-priestly function. How He Himself intercedes unceasingly for His people and their needs." Andrew Murray writes
that a priest "does not at all live for himself. He lives with God and for God...He lives with (others) and for (others). His
work is to find out their sin and need, and to bring it before God, to offer sacrifice and incense in their name, to obtain
forgiveness and blessing for them, and then to come out and bless them in His Name." You should be encouraged to
draw nearer to God by joining Jesus in His ministry of intercession. Your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers
need your prayers and we must pray for one another. Your intercession is the most powerful, most valuable gift you
can ever give to those around you and it will make an eternal difference in their lives and in yours. There may be
times when you are the only person on earth praying for someone else and your intercession can change that
person's entire life.
Intercessory prayer causes the rain of God's Spirit to bring the harvest of the human race into the family of God. Right
now, all over this world, God is bringing the Body of Christ into unity. As rivers of living water, the believers that are
joined together will cause a flood of God's power in the earth. Because of your love for God, you choose to serve Him:
you yield your will to His will and become a co-laborer with him. Those who totally give themselves to His service will be
God's mouthpiece in the earth. They will be the vehicles of His Spirit.
Jesus said, "...whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him
shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14. The Spirit of God is a well of living water
inside of you, springing up. A well is for personal use. God's ultimate purpose is that other thirsty souls can partake of
that water. He desires to pour out of His Spirit from the inside of you through intercession. "He that believeth on me,
as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." A river is for everyone's use. The outpouring
of the Spirit is a flow of the Holy Spirit coming from inside the believer. That flow is the source of all the signs and
wonders and miracles! Everyone, the scripture says all flesh, will benefit. Intercessory prayer is going to play the
major role in this outpouring. It is what causes God's power to flow in the earth unhindered.
Prayer is the doorway into the mightiest release of power that is known to man. It brings the very presence of God to
and upon man in any part of the world. That power operates as believers allow those rivers of living water to gush
toward the dry and thirsty. The torrential outpouring of the Spirit will cause life to spring forth in those who receive the
seed of God's Word. The result is the harvest of new creatures in Christ Jesus. You can begin a study of the art of
intercession by studying Isaiah 59:16-17 which says, "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there
was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put
on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of
vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak." What is His arm? JESUS. The sole purpose Jesus came to
the earth was to be that intercessor. He wore the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness. That is
the same armor in Ephesians 6 for the Body of Christ. Jesus came as an intercessor. We are to put on that same
armor and enter into the same field of prayer. His arm is bringing salvation again. As intercessors, we are His arm in
the earth causing reconciliation between men and God. Jesus said, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you"
(John 20:21). The armor is the same and the calling is the same. We have the same calling on our lives that Jesus
had. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and
greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14:12 You and I are responsible for the
works. He provided us with the new birth. God said in Ezekiel 36:26 that a new spirit He would put within us. And that
He would put His Spirit in us. That gives us the right and the miraculous power to enter into the intercessory prayer
Intercession is the highest expression of love. It is loving in the spirit, applying spiritual power for another person. It
will overpower the evil influences that have bound that person. Your prayers may be for salvation, healing, or any
other area of deliverance from Satan. Second Corinthians 4:3-4 says, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that
are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious
gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." Satan has blinded the minds of those who have
not received the gospel. Your intercessory prayer wrestles against evil spirits that have deceived them. It is literally
giving yourself, your time, your life for others. Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his
life for his friends." This is the God kind of love. It is unselfish. The world did not know this kind of love until Jesus
came to the earth. He laid down His life to come to earth and live as a man. He emptied Himself of His divine privileges
and fulfilled His earthly ministry as a man, filled with the Holy Spirit. God's heart was hungry for a family and Jesus has
provided reconciliation between God and man through His substitutionary sacrifice at Calvary. We are co-laborers
with Him. To give your life means to give everything. Jesus came as an intercessor. He is still giving Himself today.
We have been given that same love that motivated Jesus to come as the intercessor! Romans 5:5 says that the love
of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The love that desires to lay down its own desires and to
intercede for someone else is abiding on the inside of us! The love that impelled Jesus to go to the cross compels us
to intercede. We pray for others so that they can come to the knowledge of the truth. Through the knowledge of
God's Word, we realize that we also have His love that urges us to reach out toward others. It urges us to be
soul-winners. A soul-winner is an intercessor in action. Jesus paid the price and is paying the price to win souls.
Intercessory prayer softens their hearts to receive the message of the gospel.
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you receive the ability to speak in another language, "And they were all filled
with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:4 The Holy
Spirit gives the utterance and you do the speaking. Just as your own language is the voice of your mind, praying in
tongues is the voice of your spirit. It is your spirit speaking mysteries unto God (1 Corinthians 14:2). The Holy Spirit
knows what is needed in the lives of others when you do not know (Romans 8:26). Praying in other tongues is the
most valuable tool that you have in intercessory prayer. When you pray in other tongues, you operate in the realm of
the spirit. The weapons of your warfare are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. When you move
in this area of intercession, your physical man will be your spirit man's assistant. You begin to speak in a language
that comes out of the inner man. The Spirit of the Living God can speak to your own human spirit. Out of it will come
rivers of living water. You are not just praying mentally limited prayers. When you pray in tongues, you pray beyond
the natural into the spirit. You have to yield to it as an act of your will. Realize that your first prayer assignment is not
for yourself. It is to pray for all men; for kings and men in high authority (1 Timothy 2:1-4). When you respond to the
call of intercession, the Holy Spirit prays the perfect will of God through you.
The Spirit of God will not be able to help you intercede unless you are willing to stir yourself and take the position of
intercession. Begin to pray by making yourself available to the Holy Spirit. Yield! Allow Him to use you to pray for the
man who does not have anybody to pray for him. Stand in the gap for him. Start where you are and allow it to spread
to the world. You are literally fighting spiritual warfare in their behalf. When you commit yourself to pray for those
who need Jesus you are confronting all the forces of evil. Bind them to Jesus, to the work of Cross, the mind of Christ,
the Will of God, etc. and, loose strongholds, wrong attitudes, wrong beliefs, etc. Do not stop just because it looks like
they will never receive. Your intercession is placing pressure on Satan and his forces. Do not relent but persevere in
prayer. It is up to that person to make his own choice. Through your intercession, they will be able to make it. They
will no longer be blinded by Satan.
How does intercession work? Before spiritual births take place, travail goes forth. In the natural realm, a woman does
not give birth without labor. In the spirit, travail is the labor that brings forth the new birth. Intercession is God's
heartbeat because it is the labor that births the souls of this world into His family. Travail causes others to be born
again. Why would it say "birth?" Why would it say "travail?" Why would it compare to birth? Jesus said out of the
belly, the deepest interior of a man, would flow these rivers of living water (John 7:38). Stir yourself up and start
praying in other tongues. Your spirit is praying. Keep at it. Soon you will notice that the Holy Spirit will take hold
together with you. You will begin to travail as if in labor. You may groan out loud. You are releasing spiritual power.
The Word says that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). The Amplified Bible
translation says that the effectual, fervent heartfelt prayer of a righteous man makes much power available. This is the
art of intercession. It is stirring yourself up to take hold with the Holy Spirit to cause eternal changes in the lives of
others. Romans 8:26 says, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for
as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that
searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according
to the will of God." He is telling the Body of Christ about the forces that are available through intercession. The Holy
Spirit sees to it that God's will is carried out even in areas where we do not know how to pray. He searches the heart
and He knows the mind of the spirit of a man. In other words, you can go beyond your own mental ability and
knowledge. God's purpose is for us to begin to pray for one another. Intercession gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity
to bring the fullness of God's will to pass in the earth.
Standing in the Gap
A gap is a space between two things; it keeps two objects, two spaces, two entities, or two people from being
connected to each other, but we can "bridge" that gap with intercessory prayer. Ezekiel 22:29-31 talks about standing
in the gap, "The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and
needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make
up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own
way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God."
God was basically saying, "I needed somebody to pray, and I couldn't find anybody who would, so I had to destroy the
land." All He needed was one person to pray, and the whole land could have been spared. Do you see how important
intercession is? Just one person could have made a major difference in an entire country and saved the entire place
through prayer! We need to be willing to pray; we need to be sensitive to those times when the Holy Spirit is leading
us to intercede and we need to obey. We never know when our prayer might be the very one needed to fill a gap and
result in connecting God's power with a desperate situation.
God Changes His Mind
You can see from the story in Ezekiel 22:29-31, that intercession is mighty and that one person's prayers could have
saved many others. But do you know that intercession can also change God's mind? As a result of prayer, God can
actually reconsider something He had planned to do.
Remember this story? "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out
of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded
them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be
thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." Exodus 32:7-8
What happened was Moses went up Mount Sinai to get the Ten Commandments and was gone longer than the people
wanted him to be. In the absence of their leader, they forgot the Lord, gave in to their fleshly desires, and decided to
melt all their jewelry to make a golden calf and worship it. God spoke to Moses on the mountain and said, essentially,
"You better go back down there, because the people have really gotten themselves in a mess. And I'm angry about."
(Thank God, Psalm 30:5 says that His anger only lasts a moment, but His mercy is forever!) The story continues:
"And the Lord said to Moses, I've seen this people, behold, it is a stiff-necked people; now therefore let Me alone, that
My wrath may burn hot against them and that I may destroy them; but I will make of you a great nation" (Exodus
32:9,10). It's a good thing Moses was a godly man, or he might have said, "Terrific idea, God! forget about them, and
do something great with me." Instead, Moses began to intercede for the people because he cared so much about
them. The Bible says, "Moses besought the Lord of his God" (Exodus 32:11). That means he would not leave God
alone. But God had already said, "Leave me alone. Don't come praying, because if you do, I'm going to have to hear
you." But Moses persisted: "Lord, why does Your wrath blaze hot against Your people, whom You have brought forth
out of the land of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?" (Exodus 32:11). Moses refused to give up because the
issue was not settled in his heart. He loved the people; he knew the nature of God; and he knew the character of
God. On top of that, he knew that God really loved the people and did not really want to leave them stranded. So how
did Moses approach this situation as He prayed and talked to God about it? He actually asked Him to change His mind
(see Exodus 32:12) and basically said, "Now come on, God. You don't want Your reputation to be ruined among the
Egyptians. You don't want them to say that You aren't able to deliver Your people. You don't want them to think You
just let Your people suffer and die out in the wilderness. Come on, God, this is not about us, this is about You. I'm just
asking You, God, to deliver them, not for themselves, because they are really rascals, but for the sake of Your name. I
really don't want Your reputation to be affected by all this, so God, why don't You just go ahead and deliver them so
that everybody knows You're great? (Exodus 32:12, 13).
A Burden to Pray
Sometimes, as you are praying for others, you will get what is called a burden, or a prayer burden, or an intercessory
burden. A burden is something that comes to your heart and feels weighty and important; it is something you cannot
shake. Sometimes you do not even know what the burden is or you do not fully understand it; you only know that you
have to pray. A prayer burden is something you cannot make up and you cannot fake. But if you try to ignore a
prayer burden, you will not be able to find relief. If you have never experienced a burden to pray for someone, do not
start wondering if something is wrong with you. God may not give us a prayer burden often, but on the other hand,
some people seem to get a prayer burden every time they close their eyes. When God gives you a burden, respond
appropriately even saying simple, normal, ordinary prayers. But if He does not burden you do not feel condemned or
start wondering if there is something wrong with your spiritual life - intercession may not be your calling.
As intercessors, we must learn how to get our assignments from God, and know how to distinguish whether something
is a real burden from God or not. Also, intercessors do not try to do what God has called someone else to do; they
simply obey God by faithfully praying for the things for which God is calling them to pray and they stick with it until the
burden lifts. We all have the ministry of intercession, the responsibility to pray for others as God leads. Some people
are called and especially gifted in the ministry of intercession and we might say that they stand in the spiritual office of
an intercessor. They may pray for others many hours every day or several times a week. They often speak of God
waking them up at night to pray. These people may experience things in prayer that others do not, but remember that
God is teaching us to pray as individuals. We don't have to be intimidated by someone else's experience in prayer.
When Not to Pray
Do you know that sometimes we can pray for someone and be opposing God's will? Believe it or not, there are times
when we are not supposed to intercede for a person. God told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 7:16, "Therefore do not pray for
this people (of Judah) or lift up a cry or entreaty for them or make intercession to Me, for I will not listen to or hear you."
Sometimes, through our prayers, we can protect people and keep the enemy away from them. But there are times
when the enemy needs to get close enough to them that they have to go through something unpleasant because that
difficulty is the very thing that will turn them to God. This is important, because the enemy wants us to think we are in
sin if we are not praying for someone. He will use the fact that we are not interceding to heap condemnation on us and
to keep us from praying the way God wants in that situation. That is why we must be led by the Holy Spirit. He may not
tell us to pray for someone very often, but when He does, we need to know His voice, resist the enemy, and obey.
A Most Powerful Prayer
One of the most powerful prayers you can pray is a prayer for your enemies. If you want to see someone who is
mighty in prayer, look for the person who will intercede for an enemy. God blesses us tremendously when we
intercede for those who have offended or betrayed us. Remember Job? He had to pray for his friends after they had
really hurt and disappointed him. But immediately after he prayed, God began to restore his life. In fact, God gave
him back twice as much as he had lost (Job 42:10)! Praying for someone who has hurt us is so powerful because,
when we do, we are walking in love toward that person and we are obeying the Word of God.
What does Jesus tell us to do in Matthew 5:44? He instructs us to pray for our enemies, saying, "Love your enemies,
bless them which despitefully use you and persecute you." When you think about the people who have used you,
abused you, harassed you, and spoken evil of you, bless them; do not curse them. Pray for them. God knows that
blessing your enemies is not easy and that you may not feel like doing it. But you don't do it because you feel like it -
you do it as unto the Lord. Choosing to pray and bless instead of curse is so powerful in the spiritual realm, and God
will do great things in your life as a result of it.
Prevailing Prayer to Peace, by Kenneth Hagin, Copyright 1985, RHEMA Bible Church.
The Power of Simple Prayer, by Joyce Meyer, Copyright 2007, Hachette Book Group, USA.
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