Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-20 – Paul Interceded for the Church.
GOD IS LOOKING FOR MEN AND WOMEN WHO WILL PRAY CONTINUALLY WITHOUT CEASING.
1TIM. 2:1-4; ROM. 8:26; EZEKIEL 22:30; JAMES 5: 16
1Timothy 2:1-4: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Romans 8:16. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Ezekiel 22:30. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
James 5:16: Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
WHAT IS INTERCESSION?
A. Intercession might be defined as love on its knees in prayers for others. It is pleading to the father on behalf of the needs of someone else. (Eph 3:14 – 20; Col. 1:9 – 17)
B. It is standing in the gap in prayers to God for someone who is unable or not sufficiently capable of doing so himself (Lk. 22:31; John. 17:9 – 26)
C. It is identifying with the sins of those you are praying for. Asking for forgiveness and mercy on their behalf. (Job. 33:23; Acts 7:60)
D. It is prayers offered for others as directed by the Holy Spirit (John 10:27; Micah 7:7) knowing there will be divine result. (Rom. 8:26-27)
THE CALL TO INTERCESSION – Isa. 59:16; Rev. 1:6
God is in need of intercessors, for those who can actually change life’s situation, circumstances and people through fervent prayer to the glory of God. God has given us the authority through Jesus to change circumstances and the works of the devil through intercession. (Jn. 22:21; Lk. 10:19). To be an intercessor is to be like Jesus, because it is activity that identifies us with Him (Heb. 7:24-25, 9:24).
There are two acts that go on continually before the throne – intercession and accusation. The conflict between these two is the focal point of the battle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God.
THREE IMPORTANT CONCEPTS IN INTERCESSION
a. Intervention – To step into a situation with divine purpose in view. By doing this we put the power of darkness under our feet (Matt. 28:1218; Rom. 16:20)
b. Intersection – An intersection is the place where two roads meet and path. Through prayer we bring the power of God to bear on the situation.
c. Interception – Means to stop, takeover and even reverse the direction of something.
WHO DO WE INTERCEED FOR: 1 Tim. 2:2
Intercession means praying for somebody besides you. The ‘somebody’ may be someone near and dear to you; his welfare, eternal wellbeing. May be the somebody you don’t even know personally, lives far off. Missionaries and any other individual, situation or circumstance God asks or desires you to pray for.
EXAMPLES OF THOSE WHO INTERCEEDED
a. Abraham for Sodom – Gen. 18:20 – 33
b. Moses for Israel – Exodus 32:11 – 13; 32:31-32
c. Ezra identifies with the sins of Israel – Ezra 9:6-15
d. Elijah ask God to reveal Himself to his people – 1Kings 18:36-37
e. Daniel for his people – Dan. 9:4-19
f. Jesus for His people – John 17:6-26
Scriptures: Acts 7:60, Ephesians 3:14-20, Exodus 32:11, Ezekiel 22:30, Ezra 9:6-15, James 5, John 10:27, Micah 7:7
SIGNS TO LOOK FOR THAT YOU MAY BE A PROPHETIC INTERCESSOR
Following are some of the signs that I have observed and also experienced in those who have a calling to the ministry of prophetic intercession. The first three signs are common to all of those who have a calling to the ministry of prayer:
- You believe that God has called you to pray and you love to pray more than most people do
- You place a high value on prayer and sometimes wonder why or get frustrated when others do not share it
- You have seen significant answers to your prayers
SPECIFIC SIGNS RELATED TO A PROPHETIC INTERCESSORY PRAYER GIFT
If you are called to the ministry of a prophetic intercessor, you will find that you relate to some or many of the following additional things:
- You tend to pray more at times when you feel urged by the Holy Spirit (you may know this as a ‘burden’ of prayer).
- Prayer is easy for you when you sense that the Holy Spirit has given you a specific burden or assignment. However, you find it harder to pray when people assign prayer to you as a task, or give you lists and times to pray (unless you feel drawn by the Spirit to these). In the past, you may have been intimidated by those who are ‘task intercessors’, who happily spend hours praying over lists. However, God is calling you to embrace your particular gift and calling and see it as He does—highly valued and powerful.
- You receive revelation from the Holy Spirit concerning what to pray and how to pray. You may receive prophetic insights concerning the situation you are praying about, to pass on or to pray further into.
- You may be more spontaneous in the expression of your prayer gift than others who are gifted in prayer.
- You have a strong sense of intimacy with the Holy Spirit when you pray and this fuel your prayer life.
- Travail is familiar to you, a sense of birthing the purposes of God and you may have experienced wordless groans or weeping in your prayer times. In this, you can identify with Hannah (1 Samuel 1:10-13) and Elijah who prayed for rain in the birthing position (1 Kings 18:41-44).
- You do not always need to have specific knowledge about what you are praying for. Sometimes you pray in the realm of ‘mystery’. (1 Cor 14:2) It is enough for you to know that the Spirit has called you to prayer.
- When you have a prayer assignment, it may feel as though you are personally involved and invested in the situation. You may have a sense of identification in the Spirit with those you are praying for. You may feel what they are feeling, or sense God’s heart towards them, such as compassion, grief or mercy.
- You know the ‘secret place’ of prayer. Your prayer life is often hidden, and sometimes not understood or appreciated by people. However, your reward is found in the Presence of God.
(As with all prophetic gifts and ministries, the ministry of prophetic intercession flourishes in local church community and benefits from oversight. It is a temptation for those with a prophetic prayer ministry to isolate themselves, especially if they feel misunderstood.)
- You experience a deep sense of satisfaction in prayer, especially in being at the right place, at the right time for your God-given assignment to pray on behalf of a person, family, group, community, region or nation or for a situation that pop up.
- You may be sent by God to be in certain places at particular times to intercede on behalf of a situation, person or region, especially if you are a prophet-intercessor operating in a ‘prophetic office’ ministry.
- Your journey has been lonely at times. Even those around you who love prayer do not always understand the dynamics of prophetic intercessory prayer. You may have experienced some unusual manifestations of the Holy Spirit whilst praying (Rom 8:26-27), that others do not understand. (Note: It is very important that we focus on the fruit of the prayer and the message of the prayer, rather than manifestations, when communicating to others).
- One of your challenges has been to learn to fully release the burden of the Spirit in prayer not to hold onto it. You have also had to learn not to personalize or hold onto the emotion that identification with point 11 mention above that can sometimes bring with it.
- You prefer prayer meetings that have some room for listening to and being led by the Holy Spirit in prayer.
(Note: This does not mean that other types of prayer meetings are wrong, we must always honour others who lead prayer meetings, regardless of their culture, methods or emphasis. They are not wrong just different to us.
The ‘Prophet-Intercessor’ is someone who has a five-fold ministry office of a prophet (Eph 4:11-13), and who also has a primary calling and gifting of intercessory prayer. As mentioned in point 14, above, a prophet-intercessor may be stationed or sent by God to specific places to pray and make prophetic declarations.
A prophet who is an intercessor will have a greater level of authority in prayer and prophetic ministry, than a prophetic intercessor. He or she may be used by God to minister through prophecy and intercessory prayer in significant arenas—these may include nations or regions, governments, education, business and church movements.
IS INTERCESSORY PRAYER A SPIRITUAL GIFT?
Is prophetic intercession, or intercessory prayer, a spiritual gift? I personally believe so. The prophetic intercessor is graced and anointed to pray. One way of looking at this, is to see prophetic intercessory prayer as an expression of the prophetic gift.
Our God who created the snowflake and fingerprints gifts His people in many unique ways. Those of us who are prophetic intercessors know when we find others who have a like calling, that we have found one of our own ‘tribe.’
Intercessory prayer is a significant ministry and eternity will reveal the fruit and power of the hidden work of prophetic intercession.
Some examples: Moses intercedes for Israel (Exodus 34:8-9), Daniel for the Jews (Dan 9:3-19), Jeremiah for Jerusalem (Jer 14:20-21) and Elijah prayed for the drought he prophesied to begin and end (James 5:17-18)