“I’ve got your back…” We’ve all been in situations where we have needed someone to have our back, our “6!” Intercession at its core is to have someone’s back. To say, “I’m praying for you” must be more than an expression, but a heart that say’s, “You’re not alone, I’m fighting for you, praying for you…”
In a prophetic word describing Jesus’ ministry it says this….
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Intercession here means to “get the ear of the king on behalf of others.” Intercession is someone faithfully and continually pleading for another persons needs that God would take action in their situation. It’s truly having someone’s back.
Jesus set this example for us… (and makes intercession for the transgressors)… Jesus during His earthly ministry was praying for everyone. He prayed for the disciples, the Pharisees, the poor, the rich, the dead, the living, and so on. Read through the gospels and look for it, you won’t be able to miss it…
He even prayed for us…
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
It’s the disciples words we find in scripture, we have believed “through their word(s),” therefore this prayer is for us, and what did Jesus prayer for us? Jesus’ prayer for us that we would be unified. But to the point, even before His death on the cross He was praying for us!
Currently Jesus intercedes for us in heaven, and the Holy Spirit intercedes with the believer here on earth…
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
There are those times in prayer where we are praying in the Spirit, or simply base level groans, before God and the Spirit is praying with us. This truth should comfort us in our times of need, and as we pray for others. By the way, The Holy Spirit is a nice prayer partner to have (knowing the will of the Father and all…)
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
There are two primary functions of the High Priest, to lead and direct in orderly worship, and to intercede. Jesus’ very role as high priest is that of intercession, it’s the work of the high priest. If He’s our mark to aim for, if He’s our example for living we must fulfill our role in intercession! This is why we are called a “priesthood of believers.”
God is calling every believer to a ministry of intercession, some may have additional callings, but we’re all called to intercede. This is not just the territory of the “Super Spiritual.”
So how does one intercede? What are some practical helps?
- Repentance is a necessary aspect of intercession. We must examine our own heart before we pray for others that we are in a health, communing relationship with God. That we would have hearing ears and a receptive heart toward The Spirit as we intercede for others, that we would know what to pray.
There is a difference between the one praying and the one being prayed for. The one being prayed for doesn’t have to be in a particular spiritual state to receive. Christ ministers to humanity where we are at. The most vile sinner can, in a moment, be physically and spiritually healed. There are no prerequisites. This truth should give us greater courage as we pray for the unbeliever, there healing isn’t bound in their faith, but the mercy of God and our faith to believe.
But we who are praying need to be aligned and in right relationship with Him if we want our prayers to be consistently effective…
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
When we enter into prayer and intercession we are “ascend(ing) the hill of the Lord.” Our hearts need to be prepared by His Spirit that we would “receive blessing from the Lord.” The examination of our hearts must be more than just blatant sins; are we living in love, forgiveness, humility, submission, victory, right relationship with our spouses. The key not simply asking the Spirit to identify the things we’re doing that we shouldn’t be doing, but also the thing we should be doing that we’re not doing. Repentance is necessary in intercession.
- Praise and Worship can also prepare the heart for intercession. It focuses our spirit on the goodness of God and gives us a greater awareness of His presence. This is invaluable when seeking the Lord on anothers behalf.
- Unity of spirit must be in our lives as we intercede, “on the day of Pentecost they were all in one accord…” Nothing does more to destroy the work of God like disunity. There is a reason Jesus prays for us to have unity in John 17. When we live in disunity we are living outside of the desire and will of God.
- We need to be open to respond to the Holy Spirit as He would lead us. As we pray for others, the Holy Spirit may be laying something on our hearts, the very answers to our intercession’s. If we are unwilling to follow the leading of His voice, we become the very obstacle of our prayer being answered.
- Don’t forget the authority we have as children of God. When we pray and intercede we’re not just going to the King, but to our ‘Abba Father!’ Our heavenly Father hears our cry’s. He’s not some unaffected monarch, but our Daddy who cares for us so much He sent Jesus to die for us. This authority as heirs to the King is a tremendous asset in our intercession.
- Finally we must have a heart for intercession that endures, and is not fleeting emotionalism. That being said, not all prayer is, or has to be travailing (connecting with the need to the point of bearing the pain ourselves). But our prayer must be more than reading names on a list. We need to connect with these needs on a deeper level.
When we look at this picture what do we see?
This is what Jesus saw…
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus’ incarnation (His birth, coming from Heaven to physically and bodily live with humanity) was an act of intercession. Love is at the core of intercession. Jesus loved us enough to pray for us and to face a cross we deserved. God give us this love in our intercession, and give us your eyes to not simply see masses of humanity, but souls in need of the love of Christ.
Simply put, we must have a heart for intercession, if we don’t have a heart for intercession we’ll stop in prayer before the resolution comes.
2 Kings 10:28-29
Jehu Reigns in Israel
Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin—that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan.
Jehu stopped short, God had blessed him and called him to lead the nation. He followed God in partial obedience; he destroyed the worship of Baal in his time, but didn’t lead the nation completely back to the God ordered worship that He desired. Let this not be our story, but let us see through to completion the things God’s called us to.
2 Kings 13:14-19
The Death of Elisha
Now when Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash king of Israel went down to him and wept before him, crying, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he took a bow and arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel, “Draw the bow,” and he drew it. And Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. And he said, “Open the window eastward,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot,” and he shot. And he said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria! For you shall fight the Syrians in Aphek until you have made an end of them.” And he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground with them.” And he struck three times and stopped. Then the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times.”
Joash’s heart wasn’t in it. If he would have had a more fervent heart for Israels defense he could of given the nation complete victory. His solemn duty was to protect Israel, he was told victory is in your hands, and all he had in his heart for it was a golf clap…
If we don’t have the heart for intercession it will never be as active a part of our spiritual discipline as it needs to be. This, like love, is not a momentary emotional pull, it’s a commitment to see the individual through in prayer. We are contending for souls! This is why I’m here; this is why we are here!
Effective prayer is about faith, finding His will and patently persisting until the answer comes…
The enemy comes at some of us with insecurities about prayer. Trying to convince us to give up on prayer before we even start. Let us look to Gideon for some inspiration. Gideon was working in hiding and being called… “O mighty man of valor” Judges 6:12…
God knows us as we are, sees us as we’ll become, and gives us the authority to get there. I don’t care who we are, if we’re believers, we are called to this ministry…
Daniel’s Prayer for His People
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.
The time had come for Danial to pray for Israel’s return home, and He zealously sought God. The time has come for this church to intercede for Hays, Plainville, western KS and the world…
Do we have the backs of our brothers and sisters in Christ? Do we have the backs of a lost world dying and running to Hell as fast as it can get there?
He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede
Don’t allow this to be true of us, that God would wonder at our lack of intercession. But let this be true of us…
1 Thessalonians 5:17
pray without ceasing,
That our intercession would not raise and fall with our emotions, but that our intercession would be unceasing for one another and this lost world in need of a savior.
Finally your not a believer, not a Christian, people have been interceding for you, Christ Himself is interceding for you! Will you give your heart to God, and finally enter into the relationship with God you’ve been created for…
- 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Romans 10:9 – because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- Romans 10:13 – For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Simply pray (talk to God like you would one of your friends), and ask Him to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins. He will hear you and you will know in your heart of hearts that you are right with God. If you would like to commit your life to Christ, and you would like to talk with someone please contact us at New Life Center in Hays Kansas.
If you are a believer do you know in your heart of hearts that your prayer life is lacking? Or have you become weary in well doing in prayer?
My friends, get started if you’re lacking and don’t give up if you’re weary!
God’s not only calling us to pray and intercede, but if He’s calling us to pray and intercede, He’s also calling us to experience the power of answered prayer in our life, and to testify to a doubting world the power of God lived out in our prayer lives…
Make a commitment today to become the intercessor God’s calling you to become, and like the angel spoke to Gideon I will say to you, become who God’s called you and equipped you to become you “valiant” prayer warrior…