What comes to mind when you think of “intercessors”? Maybe a small group of old ladies who meets at church on Tuesday mornings to pray?
Maybe it seems like a weird, or even mysterious, calling. Maybe you’ve thought you could never pray like the “intercessors”.
But every believer is called to pray and intercede. Intercession is not a spiritual gift for some, but it is the joy and calling of every Christian.
In the midst of a growing global prayer movement, God is inviting His people into the place of prayer and intercession. However, it can be daunting to know how to engage.
Back in 2011, I did a teaching on Intimacy & Intercession at the Boiler Room. I posted the whole 45 minutes on Youtube below, and I pulled out a few key points in the blog below. I hope it helps you on your journey as an intercessor (aka a Christian who prays)!
1. Intercession is partnership with Jesus
To intercede means to “stand in the gap”.
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Ezekiel 22:30
Jesus interceded for us at the cross, and is now our eternal intercessor between us and God (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25). His blood gives us access to God. This is why we pray “in Jesus’ name” – we are going to the Father through Jesus Christ and on behalf of His intercession. He is the WAY. Intercession then is standing in unity with Christ in the gap between heaven and earth.
2. Intimacy Births Intercession
There is a direct link between intimacy and constant intercessory prayer (Isaiah 62:5-7). Before God sets intercessors as “watchmen on the wall” of prayer, He reveals Himself as a Bridegroom King who loves His Bride (The Church) and rejoices over His people.
For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent.
As we draw near to God in intimate love and worship, we become what we behold. We begin to know His will. We begin to love what He loves, hate what He hates, cry when He cries and rejoice when He rejoices. His desires become our prayers.
3. Intercession Births God’s Purposes on the Earth
In Romans 8:19-27, we see intercessory prayer being likened to giving birth, particularly the groaning of laboring in childbirth – or travail.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
In the context of deep intimacy, there is a seed that is sown. This happens naturally just as a child is conceived in the womb. As we draw near to God, He deposits seeds of His dreams in the womb of our heart. He has dreams for your life, for our city, for our nation and for the nations of the earth.
We have a choice to either abort the dream or give birth to it through faith by prayer and obedience. If we choose to give birth to God’s dreams, we must be willing to birth these dreams through intercessory prayer. God invites us to “labor” in prayer -to be pregnant with deep, groaning intercession that brings forth His purposes on the earth.