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Prayer of Intercession

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cropped-qpfocused1.jpgThe privilege of prayer, in itself, is really beyond our comprehension— the Creator of the Universe wants to talk to us. However, even more mind-boggling is knowing that He wants us to talk to Him, make request of Him on behalf of other people.  This says that He is concerned about everyone!

Prayer of intercession is simply praying (talking) to God on behalf of someone else, or something life event.  Although intercession is also petition, what distinguishes it from personal petition is that of approaching God on behalf of others.  The other person you pray for may be known or unknown.

Prayer of intercession is most effective through the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit.  We can pray for others based on our knowledge of their needs at any given time.  However, there are times when our knowledge is limited; and we don’t the person, or anything concerning their circumstances, and the Holy Spirit brings them to our mind, or gives us an unction to pray for them.

Many individuals have been called to ministry of intercession (another topic).  God has given them the responsibility of seeking Him and crying out (praying) to Him on behalf of others, even nations.  They are called “intercessors.”  While all believers should be intercessors to some degree, some persons are chosen specifically for the purpose of praying intensely and fervently for others, so that God’s will to be done on earth as it is heaven, and for His purposes to prevail.

A word of encouragement:  Your consistency and faithfulness to prayer, seeking God and His plan/purpose  for your life can “stir up” the gift, cultivate and bring forth the call to intercession, which has been in you all the time. You will sense the call, and know this if you’re constantly being “wooed” to pray…if there is always a desire to pray for others; or if the Holy Spirit always places people on your heart to pray for.  I encourage you to remain faithful to the “call to pray.”  Although, intercession may not be a glamorous, out-front area of ministry, it is one of the most humbling experiences and responsibilities to be entrusted with in the Kingdom of God.

A common example of intercession is apostle Paul. Intercession was Paul’s trademark evident throughout his letters recorded in the New Testament. Below are just a few things we should pray for on behalf of other

  • Physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of other believers; those we know personally, and those we don’t know or may never meet (Ephesians 1:15-19; 3:14-19; Philippians 1:4, 9-11
  • Salvation of unbelievers; that they would accept Jesus as Lord over their life; and that laborers to be sent forth into the harvest (Matthew 9:38)
  • Open doors to witness; boldness and courage to make known the mystery of the gospel (Eph. 6:18-19)
  • Clarity in the communication of the gospel (Colossians 4:3-4)
  • Government, leaders and all in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Our greatest example of a prayer of intercession is recorded in John 17th chapter. We find that Jesus prayed for Himself and others—His disciples then and for all that would believe afterward, which includes you and me.  Please read John 17:20-23.  Note that Jesus’ prayer for all believers is that we be one (united)! And guess what? I believe that Jesus’ prayer of intercession to the Father  is already answered, and it will be manifested among the body of Christ.

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4 Comments

  1. rebelsprite says:

    Thank you for this excellent post! I have a question – someone stopped by my blog and asked why we would ask for intercessory prayers from Christians who have already died. In my church, this is a very natural thing to do – because though our brothers and sisters have fallen asleep in Christ, they now form a great cloud of witnesses – and being united in one body of Christ, we still love them and ask them to pray for us. We also ask those who are living to pray for us and pray for them as well. What has your experience been in this?

  2. Admin says:

    Rebelsprite, thank you for commenting on my post. I must say, in my church, asking for intercessory prayers from the dead—Christians who have transitioned from this earthly life is not in accordance with our beliefs. In hall of faith chapter in Hebrews 11, the great cloud of witnesses refers to all those in the Old Testament who set examples as our witnesses by showing Christians in our day how to live by faith as they did. Once those who accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior enter eternal rest (fall asleep, die, transition from their earthly, whichever terminology used) they’re at rest from their works here below, and shouldn’t be disturbed (1 Sam. 28:15). And, of course we love them and miss them (the ones we knew personally). But, we believe that they are at rest (Revelation 14:13), and that we should remember them and celebrate their Christian service. In my church, we find nowhere in Scripture to support asking Christians that have falllen asleep in Christ to pray for us. Also, it our belief that we should not consult with the dead, period (Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27). We do find in Scripture where the “living” are to pray for one another (James 5:13-18, in addition to the Scripture noted in my post).

    I believe that asking for prayers from the dead undermines the prayer principles of the living, and invalidates the power and authority of an all-powerful, living God who hears us individually when we pray to Him for ourselves and for others.

    I hope my reply provided some insight on my belief. Again, thank you so much for responding to my post.

    • rebelsprite says:

      Thanks! I didn’t mean to imply that we don’t also pray to God – that is the major part of our prayers. Nor that we are trying to bring souls back to earth to interact with us. But this explanation is useful to me – your understanding of the “cloud of witnesses”. Our understanding is that the cloud of witnesses also includes people who have fallen asleep in the Lord since Old Testament times, that there is no division between the people of the Old Testament and afterwards.

      In the Book of Revelation, we read that the martyrs cry out to God for justice, and in the Gospel account of the Transfiguration, we read that Moses and Elijah converse with Christ. That is evidence that they are not necessarily entirely at rest. I do hear many Christians, who may not necessarily ask for prayers from those who have passed on, still claim that such and such person who has passed on must have been present, aware, or watching over someone they love here on earth – for example a mother who has died may be watching over her child. Do you believe those are basically just nice things people say – but that aren’t necessarily true? The same way that many seem to think that we become angels after we die, but we know from the Bible that angels are a totally different creature from humans.

      I can’t say that I see how extra prayers would undermine the power and authority of God. Yes, He hears us individually – He also hears when others pray for us – otherwise we wouldn’t be encouraged to pray for eacho ther. But whether those people are living vs. dead, either both should be considered to invalidate God’s authority and power, or neither should – and their prayers must not invalidate His power or authority, since we are encouraged in this practice by the Bible. So that part doesn’t make sense to me, but I can certainly accept that it is your belief and practice.

      Thank you again for your explanation, it helps me understand this point of view.

      • Admin says:

        Thanks again for your response and sharing your beliefs and thoughts on prayer of intercession. Let me clarify, “undermine” the power of and authority of God… It is our belief that Jesus Christ is alivee and seated at the right hand of the Father; He is our High Priest and chief intercessor, who lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25), and God the Holy Spirit lives within us and also intercedes on our behalf (Romans 8:26-27). So when I say to ask the dead to pray (intercede) for us who are alive, is like saying the power and authority of the “living” Christ and Holy Spirit within us is not enough to get the results we need. Sorry I didn’t make myself clearer. And, again thank you for engaging in dialogue. The supernatural/spiritual realm is a very complex subject with different perspectives and beliefs. May the Lord Himself enlighten us as we all seek to know truth. Blessings, my Sister.

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