The 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.
- Prayer of Petition (prayercoachingprinciples.wordpress.com)