Prayer in current culture is often diminished to getting what we think we need or want from our heavenly Father. It is not that we should not ask, but perhaps there is more to prayer than merely putting in our requests. To pray according to the will of God must be somewhat self-less. We must set aside what we want and place it behind what God desires.
In God’s world intercession is where one party stands with another to request intervention from God on another’s behalf for the purpose of rescue, justice, or support. Jesus and His Spirit intercede for us and they invite us to do the same for others. We learn this from Jesus’ example in John 17. Here are a few insights in what was important when Jesus prayed to His Father.
√ Jesus was obviously familiar talking with His Father (vs 1)
√ He was armed with the purpose of ancient glory (vs 5)
√ He had clarity concerning whom He was praying for (vs 9)
√ He requested the experience of joy for us (vs 13)
√ He prayed for protective oneness for us (vs 11, 22)
√ He chooses for us to remain in the world/protected for the Father’s purposes (vs 15)
√ He prays for unity with Himself and with one another (vs 23)
√ He asks that we could be with Him and see His glory (vs 24)
√ He asks that His and His Father’s love would be within us (vs 26)
Here is our question: if Jesus prayed these things for His companions, should we not do the same with those whom we walk in life? Effective intercession occurs when we know and care for those whom we consider to be our companions. Family, friends, neighbors – and others who are friends of Jesus.
Becoming a House of Prayer
It is important to see ourselves not merely as people who are supposed to pray but those consumed by desire to see God’s will in and around us. We must actively engage intercession for others in our families, our city, and our world.
“Even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” – Isaiah 56:7
Engaging in Bold, Effective Prayer is Key to Victory in the War
We must 1) care about others and 2) engage in the Spirit and 3) be faithful in the bold prayers God gives us to pray.
“Therefore, confess your faults to one another, and pray for one another so you may be healed. The effective prayer of a man or woman who cares about what God thinks can accomplish much. Elijah was a man just like us, and he prayed passionately that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.” – James 5:16,17
Praying in the Spirit is Crucial in Intercession
Praying in the Spirit is something we can learn, and we can count on God to meet us here. We are blessed to be able to have insight into God’s will, and are meant to use such knowledge to bless God and others.
“In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our limited strength; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for His chosen ones according to the will of God…who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died and was raised to the right hand of God, and He also intercedes for us.” – Romans 8:26,27,34
Praying for the things we perceive in the Spirit is critical for intercession
When people need insight, enlightenment, or deliverance – we have the privilege of going before God on his or her behalf.
“So the people came to Moses and said, we have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord; please intercede with Him, so He will remove the serpents from us. So Moses interceded for the people.” – Numbers 21:7
Jesus us the ultimate intercessor
Check this out!
“And He saw and was astonished there was no man to intercede. Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head. He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a battle cloak … so they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun, for He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the Lord drives.” – Isaiah 59:16,17,19
Aligning with Christ’s Advocacy brings comfort to weary souls:
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the satisfaction for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” – 1 John 2:1,2
“Therefore He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, because He lives unceasingly to make intercession for them.” – Hebrews 7.25
Acting under Christ’s Authority is important in intercession. Wow.
“Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” – Jude 8,9
Living in God’s greatness: His power is our power.
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world and they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God and he who knows God listens to us, but he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” – 1 John 4:4-6
We hope this gets your fires stoked about interceding. These are not times to be passive or insulated from the war around us. This is how we fight best: when we act as we know who we are – on behalf of those who are lost or in need!
Dave & Burnadette
Some other examples of intercession: Luke 11:14-28; Nehemiah 1:4-11