What intercessory prayer?
In many circles intercession and prayer, in general, are considered to be left for select few. We are all called to pray. We are all called to stand for the least among us. The apostle Paul says ‘We have a ministry of reconciliation.’ [Bible Gateway]. Reconciliation starts with intercession. This is how we can influence events in places where we cannot physically be of influence. This is the life of a prayer warrior!
Intercession comes from the word intercede. To intercede is to stand in between, “to interpose on behalf of another,” from Latin intercedere “intervene, come between, be between” (in Medieval Latin “to interpose on someone’s behalf”).[E.O]
To highlight the importance of intercessory prayer, we ought to consider Ezekiel 22:30. The Lord is a God of redemption, he seeks a way out for people. Intercessory prayer creates a way for us to be a bridge between God and the world. There is a great need for this ministry. Romans 8:22-24, tells us that creation groans, waiting for sons and daughters of God to take their place.
Intercession gives an opportunity to stand in the gap, even for those who don’t realise they need it. It allows us to make an impact in the lives of people you may never physically reach.
How important is Intercessory prayer?
Intercessory prayer is arguably the most important arm of ministry. Prayer lends power to the other arms of ministry. It propels everything else that we would ever do. Jesus would pull away from the crowd, or in the morning before he went about his day. He would intercede for the day ahead. I believe this is why his ministry was so powerful. The miracles that would manifest in the day were birthed through intercessory prayer.
Over the years more and more people in positions of power are either non-believers or believers who are no committed to seeing the will of God through. The role of intercessory prayer is to exert influence even in these positions of power. When you understand that the spiritual realm plays an incredibly significant role in everything that we see in the physical, you will know why interceding is important. This is the only way that we can make a mark in the realms of the spirit.
Intercessory prayer and free will
The concept of free will is another one that explains why intercession is needed. When we pray, we commit the things of this world into the capable hands of our heavenly father. We give him access to step in. When we do this he does not impede our right to free will. God is a principled God, he does not interfere with our free will.
Intercessory prayer and fasting
Prayer and fasting should always go hand in hand. We understand from Jesus, there are some things that cannot be moved by prayer alone. These can be moved when prayer is partnered with fasting.
Mark 9:29 (NIV)
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.
We have a good post on fasting, as well as on the Daniel fast, that would cover this in more detail. In intercessory prayer, we are standing against all sorts of entities in all sort of spheres. Powering up our prayer with fasting couldn’t go amiss. We don’t know if the prayer of Jabez was backed by fasting. What we know if that it was earnest.
Intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare
All prayer is a form of spiritual warfare. You may not always be standing against the works of the enemy or challenging the influences of principalities and rulers of darkness in every prayer, but even thanksgiving is a form of spiritual warfare. When we show true gratitude, it is a pleasant aroma in heaven.
We are at war, whether we realise or acknowledge or not. Intercessory prayer is an incredible weapon for spiritual warfare, because there are a lot of people and situations that need intervention from God, but do not ask or perhaps do not know the Lord. We have the duty to stand up for those that cannot or will not stand up for themselves.
Intercessory prayer and the Holy Spirit
Intercessory prayer tongues
Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
As we intercede, we often do not know the needs of those on whose behalf we pray. At times we may not even know who they are. This is the important role that the Holy Spirit plays. Through wordless groans, we are helped by the omniscient God through our prayers. He knows where the need is. He then guides us in praying for said need.
Some FAQs about intercessory prayer
We have answered some of the most asked questions about intercessory prayer. If you have other questions that have not been addressed in this post, leave them in a comment and we will respond with an answer.
Does intercessory prayer make you tired
Prayer, when done well, is a difficult task. It often requires us to be alone for prolonged periods, to be with the Lord. This is not in everyone’s nature. Intercessory prayer will definitely make you tired. It is a physical, spiritual and mental exercise.
Is intercessory prayer biblical?
Absolutely, we are called to stand in the gap.
Ezekiel 22:30 (NIV)
30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.
Is intercessory prayer a spiritual gift
This is often used as an excuse for people to not be intercessors. There are certainly people who are gifted in this area, and find it easier than most to do. However, we are all called to be intercessors.
Does intercessory prayer work
Yes, intercessory prayer works. There are countless examples of this in the bible. Some of these include: Abraham intercedes for Sodom, Jesus intercedes for his killers, Peter’s friends intercede for him while he is in prison. The results of all these cases are evidence that intercessory prayer works.
In more modern times, we only ought to read about the Welsh Revivals and other examples.
Is intercessory prayer a calling
Yes, it is a calling. One that we all have. Prayer may be somewhat vocational for some, but it is an essential exercise for all believers.
Is intercessory prayer in the bible
Yes, examples include: Abraham intercedes for Sodom [Genesis 18:22-33], Jesus intercedes for his killers[Luke 23:34], Peter’s friends intercede for him while he is in prison[Acts 12:5]. There are many more. Prophets intercede on behalf of nations and kings.
What intercessory prayer can do?
Here are some things that it can do, the list is endless:
- It can bring healing.
- It can break chains and set captives free.
- Save from impeding distraction.
What is intercessory prayer ministry?
It is the ministry of standing in the gap for those who cannot stand for themselves or those who may not know that they need to be doing so.
What is an intercessory prayer group?
An intercessory prayer group is a gathering of like minded individuals for the purpose of praying for people and situations that may not directly affect them:
And so on.
What happens during intercessory prayer?
During intercessory prayer we call unto the Lord to intervene in situations that we bring to his attention. This may be done in natural language or with the aid of the Holy Spirit through groaning. Romans 8:26-27
What is true intercessory prayer?
True intercessory prayer is the pursuit of change that does not have any direct benefit to us. True intercessory prayer seeks to see God’s will done. It seeks to extend reconciliation and salvation to those we may not agree with or care for. More importantly, it is done with no personal reward or gratuity in mind.
How intercessory prayer works
- Intercessors commit situations &/or individuals to the Lord and ask for him to intervene.
- The Lord answers, in the way expected/asked or in ways that are higher than ours.
How to lead intercessory prayer in church
Intercessory prayer, as with any other form of prayer ought to be deliberate. It should be prepared and planned for. Here’s an idea for leading intercessory prayer:
- Create a list of needs that your local church and community have.
- Search and write down biblical promises and principles that show God’s will concerning these needs. For examples, Philippians 4:19, promises that the Lord will supply our needs.
- Expand these to nations, leaders, the world and so on.
- Repeated step two for each one.
How to start intercessory prayer
All intercessory prayer should be started by asking God to lead. This is the role of the Holy Spirit in intercession, to cause us to pray over situations that we don’t even know are situations. If done without the Lord, it is vanity. Psalm 127:1
How to conduct intercessory prayer meeting
Intercessory prayer group ideas
There are many ways to conduct in intercessory prayer meeting. Preparation is important. It is also important not to be too constrained by preparation, that you would stop the Holy Spirit from directing the meeting.
- Come with things to pray for already written down.
- Get everyone involved, ideas are key.
- Ask everyone to bring their prayer requests and prayer points written down.
- These will then be prayed during the course of the meeting.
- An idea would be to cut the requests and put them into a hat. Pick them out one at a time, randomly and pray over it.
How to teach intercessory prayer
How to learn intercessory prayer
One way to teach intercessory prayer is to start by highlighting its importance. Bring up biblical as well as more recent examples of results that have come out of it. If you are looking to learn, apply these ideas independently. Find a mentor who is prayerful.
Intercessory prayer training
- Encourage the students to take a keen interest in events around them, as well as the world.
- Once they have noted these down, consider where God is desperately needed.
- Prayer over these situations
- Develop a routine, specific time, and perhaps even place to be alone or meet as a group for this purpose.
How to explain intercessory prayer
It is asking that the Lord would intervene in situations. Giving him dominion over situations and a right to impede the principle of free will.
Why intercessory prayer is important
why is intercessory prayer needed
It gives a chance to assist those who have needs, whether they are within our physical reach or not. Whether we know their needs or not. More importantly, regardless of whether we have the means to make a difference in these situations or not. Intercessory prayer places them in the hands of a capable God.
Somes Aids and Templates for intercessory prayer
Intercessory prayer for church growth
- Consider what church growth means, define it as best you can.
- Consider what would need to change for this to happen.
- Pray for those changes to begin to happen.
Intercessory prayer for church leaders
- Consider who the church leaders you would like to pray for are unless this is a general term. We encourage prayers to be as precise and targeted when possible.
- Consider what needs these church leaders may have if you don’t know them.
- Prayer over their needs.
- Prayer over their ministries.
- Prayer over their families and friends.
- Pray over their finance.
We have a more detailed plan for prayer for church leaders and pastors.
Intercessory prayer for healing
- Consider whether this is for healing in general, or for a specific person with a specific condition.
- Consider the Lord’s will and his word over healing, note it down.
- Speak life, healing and restoration.
We have a more detailed prayer for healing guide with many prayer points.
Intercessory prayer for backslider
- Be specific, is it an individual that you have in mind? Or is this a prayer for backsliders in general.
- Consider what has landed them in this place, life events or otherwise.
- Pray over that root cause.
- Declare reconciliation between them and the Lord.
- Scripture teaches us that no one comes to the father except through Jesus. Pray for Christ to pursue them.
Intercessory prayer for evangelism
Intercessory prayer guidelines towards fruitful outreaches
- Be specific. Is this evangelism taking place in a specific place?
- Prayer over those you will meet, that God would go ahead of you and soften their hearts.
- Pray for God to cause you to meet with the right people, who need to hear this word.
- Thank the Lord for results!
Intercessory prayer for family
- Consider the needs of the family.
- Consider the needs of individuals within the family. Write them down next to their names.
- Pray over each of them and their needs.
- Finally, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, pray over situations and needs that you are not aware of.
We have a more detailed guide on prayer for family, with a lot of prayer points that would help.
Intercessory prayer for students
- Are you praying for students in general or individuals, perhaps both.
- Write down the names of the individuals you will be praying for.
- Consider the needs that you know they have, and write them down next to their names.
- Pray over each need, one at a time.
Intercessory prayer for school
- Consider the challenges that the school may be facing.
- Consider any needs that the school has.
- Consider individuals within the school.
- What changes would better the school.
- Pray over these things.
Intercessory prayer for teachers
- What needs do the teachers have?
- Do you have any specific teachers in mind?
- Write down their names, and needs next to them.
- Pray over these needs.
- Pray for their hopes for the year.
- Pray for their ambitions.
- Pray for their students.
Intercessory prayer for youth
- Consider what the needs of the youth are.
- Consider what challenges and pressure they face.
- Consider what/who would make a difference?
- Pray for the difference to occur.
- Ask the Lord to guide you on needs that may not have occurred to you.
Intercessory prayer for salvation
- Have you got a specific person/people in mind?
- Pray that the truth and beauty of Christ will be revealed to them.
- Pray that their hearts would not be hardened.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to convict them, and guide them to God.
Intercessory prayer for the nation
- Consider the needs of these nations.
- Write down names of key leaders to pray for.
- Pray for the nation’s needs.
- Pray for leadership.
- Pray for the church in the nation.
We have a goal to create prayer points for every single nation in the world, by the end 2021. This has already started, you can find them here. Please get in touch, if you would like to contribute to this goal.
Intercessory prayers for orphans
We are called to the champions for widows and orphans! This is commended.
- What needs come to mind when you think of orphans?
- Consider situations and challenges orphans face.
- What can be done to change them?
Intercessory prayers for your pastor, leaders and church
As shepherds, pastors and church leaders face a lot of challenges. Intercession carries them forward and keeps them covered.
We have a complete set of prayer points and a guide for praying for pastors and church leaders
Intercessory prayer ministry vision
It is not easy to define a vision for an intercessory ministry of prayer. Some of the things that you can consider may be along the following lines:
- Geographical goals, what continent or nation/s will you intercede for?
- How will you make sure the ministry lives on beyond you?
- What things would you want the next generation of servants in your ministry to be able to carry on?
Once you define these three elements, you will have a great foundation for building a vision. We are encouraged by scripture to write down vision, with the express purpose that others may pick it up and run with it.
Habakkuk 2:2 [Full Chapter]
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
Hope this has been inspiring as well as challenging. We would love to hear about your prayer ministries, or what other resources you would like us to create to aid and enable prayer warriors.