Thoughts on Intercessory Prayer

I love to pray, I love the idea of praying, I treasure the ability to pray . . . come to think of it, I love every aspect of prayer. Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) defines prayer as:

“[T]he practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord”

Cool huh? This is why Paul encourages us to pray all kinds of prayers:

I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of kinds for all people, for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way. This is good and pleases God our Savior. He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth. There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and humans — a human, Christ Yeshua. He sacrificed himself for all people to free them from their sins. (I Timothy 2:1-6)

Look, we should never go begging our Father for things we don’t need. nor should we be nonchalant and cavalier in our prayers. A few months ago, I had an amazing experience. And come to think of it, I wasn’t praying or being “spiritual” at the time. But the Spirit of God gave me an absolute awareness that I could ask for anything of my Father, and He would do it! It was as real to me as I am typing the event to you now. Yes, yes. I know that is what Jesus said would happen, but this time it suddenly became an absolute reality that if I asked anything of my Father, it would be done! This is why I no longer pray frivolous and wasteful prayers. I could say that I almost had a vision, where I saw my Heavenly Father leaning back, His arms open wide and a smile on His face.  I gasped in wonder at the site.

I especially love praying for the needs of other people. It’s funny, actually. Once you are willing and available, the Holy Spirit will put people on your heart to pray for. I realize that Many of you already know this feeling. You are extremely proficient and active in your time of prayer, especially as an intercessor. For those who far more experienced at this than I am, can you confirm this for me? Sometimes, the Spirit of God instructs me to focus my prayers on specific people. Now those who receive these messages in their email already know that I pray for them; and several members of our church (including our Pastor and his wife), know they are prayed for. But there are times, when I have a particular “burden,” if you will, to pray for someone specific. They may be friends, members of our church, and on rare occasions, for people I see passing me on the road. For instance, for many years, whenever I see a during funeral processions, I begin to pray for the family. I ask the Lord to comfort them during that time, and to draw them closer.

Many preachers call this the Prayer of Intercession.” An intercessorcomes to mediate” for someone; to “stand on their behalf.” True intercessory prayer seeks our Father’s glory, not our own. In some circles you will find a teaching that says only “super-Christians” are called to a specific ministry of “intercession.” Hogwash! Scripture makes it quite clear that every Christians is called to be an intercessors. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit in their hearts and, just as He intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27), we are expected to intercede for each other. This isn’t something that is limited to an exclusive Christian elite; this is the command to every believer. In fact, if you don’t intercede for others, it is sin! As Samuel declared, “It would be unthinkable for me to sin against Yahweh by failing to pray for you” (I Samuel 12:23).

In Ephesians 6:16-18, Paul exhorts the Ephesian believers — all of them — on the fundamentals of the Christian life, which includes intercessionin every situation. With every kind of prayer and request there is.” Oh man, I wish all of us could understand that Intercessory Prayer is part of the Christian life for every believer.

I believe that the church should rally around the prayer of intercession. We are entering into the most exciting move of the Holy Spirit that the church has ever experienced. But have you ever wondered why are we called to intercession? I mean some of us feel so inept and weak in our prayers. But, according to the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit doesn’t do anything in the earth without the cooperation of His people. His plan is for us to work together with Him to accomplish His will. We are still in authority in the earth. Our Father has put us in that position by His will. Now in some cases, I suppose we could question His wisdom, in that. I mean, have you met some of the believers out there? But He has confidence in our ability to pray!

James wisely wrote, “Brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord comes again. See how farmers wait for their precious crops to grow. They wait patiently for fall and spring rains” (James 5:7). In the fifteenth chapter of John, Jesus said,

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit! You are already clean because of what I have said to you.

Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me” (John 15:1-5)

Aah, but Hosea pointed out,

Let’s learn about Yahweh. Let’s get to know Yahweh. He will come to us as sure as the morning comes. He will come to us like the autumn rains and the spring rains that water the ground” (Hosea 6:3)

What Hosea was saying is that the fruit of the earth is the harvest of souls. And the rain is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! So, our intercessory prayer will cause the rain of the Holy Spirit to bring the harvest of the human race into our family. Right now, all over this world, our Lord is bringing His body of believers into unity. And as rivers of living water, the believers who are joined together are going to cause a flood of God’s power in the earth.

In the last days, God says,
    I will pour my Spirit on everyone.
        Your sons and daughters will speak what God has revealed.
        Your young men will see visions.
        Your old men will dream dreams.
In those days
    I will pour my Spirit on my servants, on both men and women.
        They will speak what God has revealed.
I will work miracles in the sky and give signs on the earth:
    blood, fire, and clouds of smoke” (Acts 2:16-19).

Oh Glory to our God! Certainly here in Acts, but all throughout the Scriptures, Yahweh manifested Himself as fire and lightning, cloud, wind and rain. However, never all four at the same time! Oh man, He will in this hour! Let me ask you, when you see rain and clouds and wind and lightning, what do you have? A storm! A flood of spiritual power is coming. Our Father, our God, is about to manifest himself as a cyclone of sweeping spiritual power.

D.M. Patton wrote,

“Vastly more was wrapped up in the descent of the Holy Spirit than the Church has yet experienced, or than the world has yet seen; and the Spirit himself thus reveals that while the Christian centuries are ‘the last days’ and Pentecost began the wonder, we today, standing in the last of the last days, are on the edge of a second and more tremendous upheaval of the Holy Spirit.

“And whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved!” (Acts 2:21).

Think of prayer as being the doorway into the mightiest release of power that is known. It brings the very presence of God. That power operates as every believer allows 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 (I Peter 1:23).

I believe that the Spirit of God is drawing us to pray for one another. It is our intercession that gives Him the opportunity to bring the fullness of God’s will to pass in the lives of those we are interceding for.

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your generous gifts.
It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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