Several years ago, I received a summons for jury duty. I apprehensively approached my assigned day with an excitement to serve. The day of my service, which began rather uneventfully, rapidly changed as I was chosen to sit on a panel. The interview process began with the lawyers asking each candidate what he or she did for a living. One by one, each person offered his or her résumé. My turn was quickly coming, and I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t have a job or a résumé to give, so I asked God, “What do I do?” By the time the lawyer got to me, God had answered, and I said, “I’m an intercessor.” When asked what an intercessor was, I simply answered, “It’s someone who functions much like you, a lawyer. I advocate for others. I use the Bible as my law book. Then I present cases before God for justice to be done for people, places or situations.” Needless to say, I wasn’t selected to serve on a jury. But in truth, that is who I am and what I do ... and the same is true of you.
The most perfect picture of intercession is the cross. It’s where Jesus petitioned the Father (our Judge) on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sins, and it was granted because the payment of His blood was rendered and accepted. The verdict was “Not Guilty” and Jesus connected God and man. It was the perfect act of mediation. But, this is where our work begins. 1 Timothy 2:5 says that Jesus is our Mediator, and because of His finished work on the cross, He has made a way for us to advocate for others. He stands ready to walk us into the throne room and introduce us to our Father. We make our appeal for others based on what God has said and what Jesus has done for us.
When you pray for someone or something because of a godly burden and a desire for God’s justice and will to be performed, you’re interceding. When we intercede, we become prayer partners with Christ, who is always interceding before His Father (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus placed a high priority on praying for others. When our desire is to be like Him, we also come to understand not only the importance of intercession, but the powerful influence of those prayers. You are the righteousness of God in Christ and your prayers will accomplish great things— salvation to the lost, deliverance to those who are oppressed, healing for the sick and provision for those who are in need. Your prayers also prepare the way for people to hear truth and understand it in their lives and situations. Many times they are then able to overcome the issues they’re dealing with and experience freedom and healing.
Ask the Father to help you desire the thoughts, feelings and purpose of His heart. He’ll give you a new heart—His. You’ll begin to have His perspective and a supernatural love, compassion and righteous indignation that will stir you to pray on behalf of others, our government, families, nations, for Israel and so much more. This is the gift of intercession. It’s in this place of partnering with God— asking for His will on earth to be released as it is in heaven—where great joy is found.
The greatest adventure and fulfillment in life lies ahead of you. When you ask God to give you His heart, partner with Him through the finished work of Jesus Christ and allow Him to give you His assignments and guidance in praying for others, you will see lives changed ... including your own.
Prayer is essentially a partnership of the redeemed child of God working hand in hand with God toward the realization of His redemptive purposes on earth.
~ Jack Hayford
Father, I’m humbled that You would entrust me with Your heart for others. Please quicken my spirit to know the assignments You’re giving me, the strength and tenacity to pray them through, and the wisdom and revelation of the Spirit to pray Your heart so Your will can be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:1–3 (NLT)
30And 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.
28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
1 Timothy 2:1-5
1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1 John 5:14-15
14And if this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
1 Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.
2Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
3My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.