Do You Know What it Means to be a Christian?
The Bible says:
1. God created you to have a relationship with Him. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him. (Genesis 1:27)
2. But because of sin, you have infinitely offended God. For all have sinned and fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)
3. This offense of sin carries with it a present separation and, if not dealt with, the ultimate separation of death. But your iniquities have separated you from your God. (Isaiah 59:2) For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
4. But God, in His great love for you, took the initiative to restore your relationship with him. But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
5. Jesus, God’s Son, removed the offense of your sin and made reconciliation possible. For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21)
6. OUR PART is to accept God’s gracious gift of forgiveness by embracing His Son Jesus Christ, by faith. God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)
One way to express your faith and your trust in Jesus is with a prayer like this:
Dear God, I want to be in a right relationship with You. I understand that I have offended You by my sin. God, please forgive me. Forgive me through Your Son, Jesus. I accept His sacrifice for me. I trust Him right now as my personal Savior from sin. God, thank you for taking the initiative to save me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
If you have come to God through Jesus Christ, your spiritual journey has begun! We would like to put materials in your hand to help you understand this step and to begin to grow in your Christian faith. Call or e-mail us to get started. God bless you!
Intercession is prayer that pleads with God for your needs and the needs of others. It involves taking hold of God’s will. Here is a look at more than a half dozen prayers for intecessors that are perfect to recite.
Thank You Father for the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the ministry of intercession and we pray Your protection over each one, knowing that they are in the front line of a spiritual warfare that has been raging in the heavens, since man chose to rebel against his Creator, and Satan took the reins of power over this world system.
Help each one to recognize the significance of the spiritual conflict in which they are involved and we pray that they would be vigilant in putting on the whole armor of God daily, knowing that the enemy is seeking to destroy their testimony and cripple their effectiveness.
Direct and govern their prayers and intercessions and give them an ever present recognition that greater is HE that is in them than he that is in the world. May each one rest in the knowledge that the victory is secured the Lord, which has already been won at Calvary. May each one simply abide in Christ and remain faithful to their post, so that the Spirit of God may use them as a vessel to forward His plans and purpose in the world – until Christ is all in all. Thank You Father for the ministry of intercession and raise up we pray, many who will take up the baton of prayer, to Your glory, in Jesus name we pray,
Give wisdom we pray to the faithful little band of Christian intercessors that are standing in the gap before the Lord, on behalf of so many, who are unaware of the spiritual battles that are raging in the heavenlies. Develop in each one the heart of a true servant that is so vital for this special ministry to be effective – the sort of servant-heart that was so exemplified in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Help each intercessor to disregard their own interests, and so develop the mind of Christ.. so that their will is swallowed up in His as they become immersed in this vital service to God. May they learn to say..as did Christ in the garden of Gethsemane,”Thy will, not mine be done..” until they are absorbed in the will of the Father, to His praise and glory,
Heavenly Father we lay before You all those men and women who have been called to the important ministry of intercession and prayer, and that You would give them wisdom and understanding as they stand in the gap between God and man – and man and God. Give them we pray a deep discernment to know how to pray and what to pray for, so that their intercession may be effective in the spiritual battle with which they are engaged and in bringing forth much fruit, to Your praise and glory.
We pray that each one may have a servant heart, be led and guided by the Spirit of God and yielded to Him in thought, word and deed.. so that day by day they are waking in spirit and truth, and living in newness of life, in Christ. May each one have an understanding of the evil power and plan of Satan, and learn to cover themselves (and those for whom they pray) in the armour of God, and having done all may each one abide faithful. This we ask in the precious name of Jesus,
Father, we know the importance of having two or three that are gathered together to pray in Your name, and we ask You to look down in grace and favour on all the many groups and ministries that meet together to intercede on behalf of others.
We ask You to watch over and protect each group, however large or small they may be – and we pray that there would rise up many clusters of intercessors in every country of the world, who are prepared to lift up.. 1) the leaders of their nation, 2) those that have never trusted Christ as Saviour, 3) and their brothers and sisters in Christ.
We ask that You would equip each group with the facility to pour out their hearts to the Lord,as they pray into the will of God in the lives of all those for whom they are interceding. May they learn to travail in prayer as they unite to pour out their hearts, in intercessory prayer together. May they learn to abandon their soul unto death.. as did Christ Himself in the garden – as they allow the Holy Spirit within to pray through them.. and to persevere in prayer together.. until Your purpose is carried out to Your praise and glory,
Prepare the hearts of all those that have been called into the important ministry of intercession, so that they may be equipped to stand as intercessor between man and God and act as watchmen on the wall. May their ministry be approved of God so that they may offer up earnest pleadings for the souls of those that are lost, knowing that without the saving blood of Christ to wash them clean of sin, there shall no flesh be justified before almighty God.
Give them a heart that is also prepared to plead that the Body of Christ as a whole, that she may mature in the faith and grow into a deeper knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.. both corporately and individually. May these men and women intercessors be approved of God, so that they may show forth the love of Christ, to a lost and dying world.
Father we pray for all those that have been called to the all-important throne ministry of intercession, and ask that they may be led by the Holy Spirit of God to pray into His perfect will.. and to come into a deeper understanding of God’s perfect plans and purposes for this lost and dying world. We pray that You would guide their intercessions and prayers, so that they may pray in spirit and truth, to Your praise and gory, in Jesus name we pray.
Father, not only do I have the assurance of my salvation, but I also know that You intercede for me as a man who has experienced life on this earth. Thank You for being both God with men and man with God.
Here is a great message and prayer of intercession with Bishop T. D. Jakes during this session at the Baptist Church Fellowship.
Intercessory Prayer – What is it?
Intercessory prayer is prayer for others. An intercessor is one who takes the place of another or pleads another’s case. One study Bible defines intercession as “holy, believing, persevering prayer whereby someone pleads with God on behalf of another or others who desperately need God’s intervention.”
Intercessory Prayer – The Biblical Foundation
The Biblical basis for the New Testament believer’s ministry of intercessory prayer is our calling as priests unto God. The Word of God declares that we are a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:4), a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), and a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:5).
The background for understanding this calling to priestly intercession is found in the Old Testament example of the Levitical priesthood. The priest’s responsibility was to stand before and between. He stood before God to minister to Him with sacrifices and offerings. The priests also stood between a righteous God and sinful man bringing them together at the place of the blood sacrifice.
Hebrews 7:11-19 explains the difference between the Old and New Testament ministries of the priest. The Old Testament Levitical priesthood was passed on from generation to generation through the descendants of the tribe of Levi. “The Melchizedek priesthood” spoken of in this passage, is the “new order” of spiritual priests of whom the Lord Jesus is the High Priest. It is passed on to us through His blood and our spiritual birth as new creatures in Christ.
Intercessory Prayer – Our Model Intercessor
Jesus Christ is our model for intercessory prayer. Jesus stands before God and between Him and sinful man, just as the Old Testament priests did: For there is one God, and one mediator (intercessor) between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us (Romans 8:34). Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25).
Jesus brings sinful man and a righteous God together at the place of the blood sacrifice for sin. No longer is the blood of animals necessary as it was in the Old Testament. We can now approach God on the basis of the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross of Calvary for the remission of sins. Because of the blood of Jesus, we can approach God boldly without timidity (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Jesus was an intercessor while He was here on earth. He prayed for those who were sick and possessed by demons. He prayed for His disciples. He even prayed for you and me when He interceded for all those who would believe on Him. Jesus continued His ministry of intercession after His death and resurrection when He returned to Heaven. He now serves as our intercessor in Heaven.
Intercessory Prayer – Effective Intercession
In intercessory prayer, we follow the Old Testament priestly function and the New Testament pattern of Jesus – standing before God and between a righteous God and sinful man. In order to be effective standing “between” we must first stand “before” God to develop the intimacy necessary to fulfill this role. Numbers 14 is one of the greatest accounts of intercessory prayer recorded in the Bible. Moses was able to stand between God and sinful man because he had stood “before” Him and had developed intimacy of communication. Numbers 12:8 records that God spoke with Moses as friend to friend and not through visions and dreams as He did with other prophets.
As New Testament believers, we no longer sacrifice animals as in Old Testament times. We stand before the Lord to offer up spiritual sacrifices of praise (Hebrews 13:15) and the sacrifice of our own lives (Romans 12:1). It is on the basis of this intimate relationship with God that we can then stand “between” Him and others, serving as an advocate and intercessor in their behalf.
Peter uses two words to describe this priestly ministry: “Holy” and “royal.” Holiness is required to stand before the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). We are able to do this only on the basis of the righteousness of Christ, not our own righteousness. Royalty is descriptive of the kingly authority that is delegated to us as members of the “royal family,” so to speak, with legitimate access to the throne room of God.
Go Deeper Now!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions
God appreciates people who pray fervently for other people facing trials. Why does God command intercessory prayer, and how does He want us to do it?
In the midst of His greatest trial, Jesus prayed fervently. What would you have prayed about when facing torture and death? It’s fascinating to see what was on Jesus’ mind as He prayed, not only for Himself (Luke 22:41-42), but for His disciples and for us:
“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:18-21).
Jesus did not just focus inward, but by His words and His prayers (John 13-17) showed that He wanted love and joy and peace and patience and all the fruit of God’s Spirit for His followers.
He knew that His trial would be their trial. He knew that when He, the good Shepherd, was struck, “the sheep will be scattered” (
Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:
‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered.’
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Mark 14:27). He prayed for them—and us—out of love and deep concern.
He is our Intercessor (
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Romans 8:34;
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Hebrews 7:25). He is at our side and can sympathize with our weaknesses, and He makes it possible for us to receive the mercy and help we need (
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Hebrews 4:15-16). And He wants us to learn to be intercessors too.
Commands to pray for others
God gives us instructions to pray for others in several places in the Bible. The apostle James tells us to “pray for one another, that you may be healed” (
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>James 5:16).
The apostle Paul encourages us to intercede for Church members and ministers, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
Paul exhorts us “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, emphasis added throughout).
Jesus Christ even commanded, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, emphasis added).
Why does God want us to pray for others? Because intercessory prayer reflects God’s own character of outgoing love and mercy. God wants us to think like He does, and praying for others helps us to think beyond ourselves and to grow in compassion for others.Why does God want us to pray for others? Because intercessory prayer reflects God’s own character of outgoing love and mercy. God wants us to think like He does, and praying for others helps us to think beyond ourselves and to grow in compassion for others.
God compares prayer with sweet-smelling incense that pleases Him (
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Revelation 5:8).
Misconceptions about intercessory prayer
Intercessory prayer is not a numbers game. God does not have to wait until 10 or 20 or 100 people pray about a situation in order to intervene. Prayer is not a vote or petition that God has to act on if enough people “sign” it. Our prayers can’t force God to do anything. He can and does act when the time is best, whether one or a million pray about it.
Also, intercessory prayer is not something we should do to try to earn points with God so we can collect when something bad happens to us. Our motivation must be love—outgoing, unselfish concern.
What about the person seeking prayers? Can a person ask other believers to pray for him and then find it unnecessary to pray himself? No, we can’t delegate prayer. Prayer is part of our personal relationship with God, and so we must go to Him fervently ourselves, whether or not others are praying for us.
How to intercede in prayer
Prayer is a vital part of our communication with our loving Father in heaven. In the Bible He tells us how we can pray most effectively—in a way that pleases Him. Here are a few biblical principles for effective intercessory prayer. We should pray:
From the heart. (See our article “Prayer From the Heart” for more about this.)
Regularly. In what is often called the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus told us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11; see “The Lord’s Prayer”). We should pray for our needs and the needs of others every day.
In detail. God knows everything; but He wants us to come to Him with all our specific requests because He likes to hear from us and to know what is important to us. The Bible compares our prayers to incense, and God loves prayers that are like “sweet incense beaten fine” (
Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Leviticus 16:12).
With faith, knowing that God has all power and loves the people we are praying for. (For more about faith, see “What Is Faith?”)
With love. Godly love is totally unselfish and is the essence of God’s character (see “God Is Love”).
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>James 5:16 tells us “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
With a desire to help where we can. This might include physical help and encouragement. Cards, calls and visits might be helpful. It is not wrong to tell a person you are praying for him or her if it will help encourage the person.
Occasionally with fasting. When a situation is very serious or hits close to home for you, you may decide to fast and pray to draw close to God to present your supplication to Him. (Read more about fasting in our article “What Is Fasting?”)
Study biblical examples of intercessory prayer
The Bible gives many examples of people praying for others, and we can learn a lot by studying and meditating on these examples. Here are just a few:
Abraham interceded for the people of Sodom for the sake of his nephew Lot (Genesis 18:23-33).
Moses pleaded for God’s mercy for the sinning people of Israel (
And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: “Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Exodus 32:9-14; Numbers 14:11-20).
Daniel made supplication to God for his people (Daniel 9:3-19).
The apostle Peter prayed for Dorcas (
At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Acts 9:36-41).
The apostle Paul prayed for the people he served (
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Romans 1:9-10;
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>10:1;
Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Ephesians 1:15-19; Philippians 1:3-11;
For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?
Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson”>1 Thessalonians 3:9-13).
For more about prayer, see the articles in the section “How to Pray.”