The key element in intercessory prayer is not how loud we pray, nor how energetic we are in our prayers (this is not say that these are wrong), but how sincere our requests are as we make them known unto God. It is imperative that God’s glory be the end of our intercession because Satan’s chief goal is to prevent God from being glorified. Therefore if we are to have as our primary goal, the glorification of God, and commit our whole soul and being to the movement of intercessory prayer, God will manifest Himself. “Then you will call upon me and when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you…” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
Prayer should be offered in faith and according to the will of God:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him. (I John 5:14-15)
In this lesson you will learn what the Bible teaches about how to intercede and what to intercede for.
You will also learn how to base your intercession upon the promises of God’s Word.
HOW TO INTERCEDE
Look up each of the following references in your Bible. These passages provide Biblical guidelines for intercession:
· Prayer is to be made to God: Psalms 5:2
· Quality rather than quantity is stressed; Matthew 6:7
· Prayer is not successful because of “much speaking”: Daniel 6:10; Luke 11:5-l3;
· Empty repetition is forbidden, but earnest Luke l8:l-8
· Pray with understanding (in a known tongue): Ephesians 6:l8
· Pray in the Spirit in tongues: Romans 8:26; Jude 20
· Intercede according to the will of God: I John 5:l4-l5
· Pray in secret: Matthew 6:6
· Pray always: Luke 2l:36; Ephesians 6:l8
· Pray continually without ceasing: Romans 12:12; I Thess. 5:l7
· Intercede to the Father in the name of Jesus: John l5:l6
· Pray with a watchful attitude: I Peter 4:7
· Pray using the example of the model prayer: Matthew 6:9-l3
· Pray with a forgiving spirit: Mark ll:25
· Pray with humility: Matthew 6:7
· Sometimes accompany prayer with fasting: Matthew l7:2l
· Intercede fervently: James 5:l6; Colossians 4:12
· Pray with submission to God: Luke 22:42
· Use the strategies of binding and loosing in prayer: Matthew l6:l9
PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE INTERCESSION
Here are some principles of effective intercession drawn from the foregoing Scriptures:
1. Praise God for who He is and for the privilege of engaging in the same wonderful ministry as the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 7:25). Praise God for the privilege of cooperating with Him in the affairs of men through prayer.
2. Make sure your heart is clean before God by having given the Holy Spirit time to convict, should there be any unconfessed sin (Psalms 66:28;239:23-24).
3. Acknowledge you cannot really pray without the direction and energy of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26). Ask God to utterly control you by His Spirit, receive by faith that He does, and thank Him (Ephesians 5:18).
4. Deal aggressively with the enemy. Come against him in the all-powerful Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the “sword of the Spirit”–the Word of God (James 4:7).
5. Die to your own imaginations, desires, and burdens for what you feel you should pray (Proverbs 3:5-6; 28:26; Isaiah 55:8).
6. Praise God now in faith for the remarkable prayer meeting you are going to have. He is a remarkable God and will do something consistent with His character.
7. Wait before God in silent expectancy, listening for His direction (Psalms 62:5; Micah 7:7; Psalms 81:11-13).
8. In obedience and faith, utter what God brings to your mind, believing (John 10:27). Keep asking God for direction, expecting Him to give it to you. He will (Psalms 32:8). Make sure you don’t move to the next subject until you have given God time to discharge all He wants to say regarding this burden, especially when praying in a group. Be encouraged by the lives of Moses, Daniel, Paul and Anna, knowing that God gives revelation to those who make intercession a way of life.
9. If possible, have your Bible with you should God want to give you direction or confirmation from it (Psalms 119:10-5).
10. When God ceases to bring things to your mind to pray for, finish by praising and thanking Him for what He has done, reminding yourself of Romans 11:36,”For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”
WHAT TO INTERCEDE FOR
Study the following Biblical references which reveal what you are to intercede for:
· The peace of Jerusalem: Psalms l22:6
· Laborers in the harvest: Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2
· That you enter not into temptation: Luke 22:40-46
· Them that despitefully use you (your enemies): Luke 6:28
· All the saints: Ephesians 6:l8
· The sick: James 5:l4
· One for another (bearing each others burdens): James 5:l6
(You sin by neglecting to pray for others: I Samuel l2:23)
· For all men, kings, and those in authority: I Timothy 2:l-4
· For daily needs: Matthew 6:ll
· For wisdom: James l:5
· For healing: James 5:l4-l5
· For forgiveness: Matthew 6:l2
· For God’s will and Kingdom to be established: Matthew 6:l0
· For relief from affliction: James 5:l3
· For unity in the Body of Christ: John 17
· For the persecuted church around the world: Hebrews 13:3
INTERCEDING WITH THE PROMISES
God answers prayer according to His will and His will is revealed in the promises recorded in His Word. When you do not ask on the basis of these promises your prayer is not answered.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)
It is similar to how a father relates to his children. No parent commits to give his youngsters anything they want or ask for. He makes it clear that he will do certain things and not do other things. Within these limits the father answers his child’s requests.
It is the same way with God. He has given promises and they form the proper basis for prayer.
Learn what God has promised and pray according to these promises, then you know your prayer will be answered. One way to do this is to go through the Bible and mark all the promises of God and then base your prayers upon these promises. When you pray a promise, you actually declare God’s Word back to Him. Here is an example:
“Thank you God that you know what is needed even before I ask (Matthew 6:8). I come to you in the name of Jesus, knowing what I ask will be done (John 14:14). I pray for laborers for the harvest to be raised up to extend the Kingdom of God…”(Matthew 9:37-38)
Here are a few examples of Biblical promises. These promises focus specifically on the subject of prayer:
· The Father knows what you need even before you ask: Matthew 6:8
· If any two agree in prayer, it will be answered: Matthew l8:l9
· All things are possible with God: Matthew l9:26; Luke l8:27
· Prayer combined with faith is effective: Matthew 2l:22; Mark ll:24
· If you ask in the name of Jesus, it will be done: John l4:l4
· The effectual fervent (heart-felt) prayer of the righteous availeth much: James 5:l6