“So I gave my attention to the Lord God
to seek Him by prayer and supplications,
with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.”
~ Daniel 9:3
Intercessory prayer is praying on behalf of others, it is pleading with God for them, standing in the gap for them.
~ Love on its knees ~
It is not uncommon that when intercessors pray for others they fast, they pray with urgency, with expectation, with hope – Believing that God will move on behalf of the person being prayed for. Intercessors are often persistent and determined. They will continue praying for a request until the requests is answered. They rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide them in praying for the person. They tend to identify with the needs they are in prayer for. They are often in tears, travling at times, for those they pray for, feeling a sense of burden and responsibility and sometimes feeling their pain.
I am convinced that God would welcome everyone to be an intercessor. He tells us to pray for one another. It is a way of showing love toward another. In Ezekiel, God says He sought someone to stand in the gap before Him and found no one.
“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” ~Ezekiel 22:30
Andrew Murray says, “If we desire the gift of intercession, grace, and power to pray aright, our heart must be drawn away from lesser things; we must give ourselves wholly to what is most important. We must be willing to live to intercede for the kingdom.”
Here are a few great examples of intercession from the Bible…
Daniel prayed on behalf of his people. (Daniel 9:4-19)
Abraham prayed on behalf of the people of Sodom (Genesis 18:20-33)
Moses prayed on behalf of Israel (Exodus 32:11-13and 32:31-32)
Ezra prayed on behalf of his people (Ezra 9:6-15)
Nehemiah prayed on behalf of his people (1:3-11 and 9)
Jesus prayed on behalf of His people (John 17:6-26) and for those who killed Him (Luke 23:34)
Stephen interceded for those who killed him, Paul interceded for the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians….
The prayers of these men were selfless, God seeking, humble, heartbroken prayers.
” Christ meant prayer to be the great power by which His church should do its work,
and the neglect of prayer is the reason the church lacks greater power.
We have far too little understanding of the place that intercession
(as distinguished from prayer for ourselves)
ought to have in the church and in the Christian life.”