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
- 1 Do You Know What it Means to be a Christian?
- 2 What is Intercession and Intercessory Prayer?
- 3 Example Intercessory Prayer
- 4 Word Ministries invites all intercessor partners of any tier to join a conference call with Germaine Copeland and the Global Company of Intercessors to pray every Tuesday night at 8:00 pm EST.
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!
Have you ever felt an unexplained burden on your heart to pray for the masses, for unnamed others, for your community or the world at large? The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who lifted up others in prayer, and Ephesians 6:18 tells us to: pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
What is Intercession and Intercessory Prayer?
The primary principle of intercession is simply to tell God what He tells us to tell Him as the means of releasing His power. He tells us what to pray in His Word. We can pray the Bible. It is profoundly simple. Intercession is God’s brilliant strategy for including the saints in ruling with Him in power. Its mystery is in its weakness, simplicity, humility, and accessibility to all.
God has chosen intercession as the primary means in which He releases His power now and forever. Jesus operated in the principle of intercession when He created the earth by speaking the Word to the Father (Genesis 1). He releases His power now and will rule the nations forever in partnership with His people through intercession.
- Intercession causes us to internalize God’s Word and changes us.
- Intercession unites our heart to people and places we pray for.
- Intercession renews our hope and faith.
- Intercession imparts life (John 6:63).
- Intercession makes a long-term impact beyond this age (Rev. 5:8, 8:1-6).
- Intercession humbles us.
- Intercession changes the spiritual atmosphere of cities and nations.
- Intercession causes multiple blessings to return to the intercessor (Luke 6:38).
Example Intercessory Prayer
Lord Jesus, I come to you today and thank you for the privilege of praying for others. I’ve been the recipient of others’ prayers so often, I understand how powerful intercessory prayer can be. I ask you first to cleanse my heart and show me if there is any unconfessed sin in my own life so that my prayers for others will not be hindered. I thank you that through your name, I can come boldly before you and pray with confidence, according to your will and know that you hear me.
I lift up those in my neighborhood, in my city, and in my church. Begin with those who follow you, and help them influence others for good. Let them be salt and light, pointing others to you. Deepen their love for you and for the people around them. Guard them from hypocrisy or from giving in to temptations that could harm the cause of Christ. Raise up leaders who will serve you faithfully at all costs. Turn the hearts of fathers toward their children, and families toward you. Help them to exemplify your values, and make them bold in their faith. Strengthen my own family, and those closest to me, Lord. May our love for you help us to love and forgive others and make a difference in our world.
I pray for teachers, for students, and for all those in authority and leadership, both locally and throughout the world. Give them your mind, and surround them with godly counselors who will exercise integrity and work for justice, morality, and freedom. Help them to esteem you, not dismiss you. Send revival, Lord.
I pray for the lost, the hurting, the lonely, the sick, the bereaved, and those who are imprisoned—behind both visible and invisible walls. Send your comfort, your peace, and your calming presence to those who are without hope. Protect the defenseless, and hold them close to your heart. I pray for laborers to tell the good news of Jesus to people around our world. Jesus, my heart cries out for persecuted believers, too. Make them brave, and give them your powerful protection. I pray you will bring swift justice to those who want to destroy the innocent and those who carry your name. Bind the power of Satan, and strengthen believers everywhere.
So many needs, Jesus, but you are adequate for every need. Your name is powerful, and your power is great. So it’s in your name that I pray—and believe.
Who are you seeking intercession for today? Join our amazing praying community in the comments below and see God move in wonderous ways!
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart. She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.
Publication date: September 7, 2016
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
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Word Ministries invites all intercessor partners of any tier to join a conference call with Germaine Copeland and the Global Company of Intercessors to pray every Tuesday night at 8:00 pm EST.
God is looking for just one person committed to pray! Are you willing to be the one?
An intercessor is an individual who prays for others. That is the simplest yet most comprehensive definition that one could have. The person who is willing to pray for others sometimes states that she/he felt that it was a deep seated desire or a prompting of the Holy Spirit that drew them to times of prayer for others. The individual may pray for family members, communities, elected officials, entire regions of a country or at times for a particular nation or its leaders.
Intercession is a part of the life of all believers but for some individuals there is a heartfelt desire or stirring within them to spend time dedicated to bringing individuals and their concerns before the Lord in prayer for extended periods of time. They are drawn to the prayer times at their church to pray not just for themselves but for the concerns of the church and others. They read books on prayer and find themselves drawn to them. Intercessors tend to flow in compassion and operate in the gift of faith, believing that the Lord will intervene in situations as they pray. They spend time studying scriptural promises connected to God’s answers when His people intercede in prayer. The intercessor stands in the gap and makes up the hedge (Ezekiel 22:30) for the people of God. They have an ear toward the people to hear their burdens and a heart open toward the Lord in prayer to take these burdens and cares before the Lord. They learn to walk in humility and the grace of the Lord, knowing that all the glory for answered prayers belong to Him.
If you are interested in joining the great company of Intercessors here at Word Ministries check out the options below. Join us as we join the innumerable company of praying people on the earth believing in a God and Savior that will hear and redeem us.