Prayer plays a strategic role in the life of every believer; intercession is only one dimension of that prayer. It is a critical tool in the spiritual arsenal available for us. Yet, it is perhaps the least understood!
“I urge, then, first of all,
that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for all people…”
I Timothy 2:1
Paul urges Timothy to utilize four distinct types of prayer because
“This is good, and pleases God our Saviour,
who wants all people to be saved
and to come to an knowledge of the truth.”
I Timothy 2:4
Perhaps one of the best books written on the subject is “Intercessory Prayer” by Dutch Sheets. It is worth both a read and a study. I’ll just scratch the surface and leave the deep theological stuff to the pros.
The word Paul uses here for intercession is (1783 Strongs) énteuksis. It means intervention or more literally “to strike, hit the mark or the bulls-eye“.
1783 /énteuksis (“Spirit-directed intervention“) refers to the petitions (intercessions)
of believers as they “fall in line with” God’s will –
revealing how the one intervening should get involved after drawing near to God
and agreeing with His revealed will. True intercession
(1783 /énteuksis) seeks to act only as the Lord directs,
i.e. following His will to act as His hand extended (cf. 1 Jn 4:17).
( copyright © 1987, 2011 by Helps Ministries, Inc.
For complete text and additional resources visit: TheDiscoveryBible.com)
Intercession is the faith prayer joining God’s will in heaven and His perfect desire on earth. The mystery is He chooses to use His people as the conduit through which His power flows.
Therefore, the first posture of the intercessor is on our knees waiting to hear and to know what God’s perfect will is in a situation.
In the midst of a fast-paced culture where identity often rests on results, this can be a difficult position to assume. First, it requires the laying down of our own desires and longings. Then it demands perfect trust in knowing we can hear the voice of the Shepherd clearly.
“My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10: 27
God’s voice will always line up perfectly with His Word. His word reflects His heart and character. Just as in any relationship, the only way to truly know His heart is by spending copious amounts of time with Him.
Jesus led by example when confronted by the chief of adversaries. To every attack He used the word of God as His only weapon! It is obvious that the devil also knows the word of God and from the beginning has used it in a variety of twisted and distorted forms.
¹²For we have the living Word of God which is full of energy,
and it pierces more sharply than a soldier’s sword…”
Hebrews 4:12 (Passion Translation)
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.”
The sword is part of the armour to be employed daily. It is interesting to note the word of God is our only offensive weapon. Intercession, more than any other type of prayer, is a precise instrument for offensive attack on the enemy’s onslaughts.
To know the word, here meaning the written word (logos), of God is imperative to our ability to wield the sword hitting the mark.
Sometimes impossibilities become possible simply through spoken praise, adoration and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of my absolute favourite passages of scripture is 2 Chronicles 20. The enemy was fierce! King Jehoshaphat goes to the temple, the place of divine strategy, and lays out the situation before God. At the Lord’s command they
“Take up your positions;
stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Go out to face them tomorrow.” (vs 17)
That sounds familiar! But what is surprising is that he appoints singers to lead!
“to praise him for the splendor of his holiness
as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
‘Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever.’
As they began to sing and praise,
the LORD set ambushes against the men of Moab and
they were defeated.” (vs 21, 22)
How many volunteers would we get for that choir today? The strong guys with weapons were in the rear! Now that is faith in motion!
Under the Cross
As an intercessor, one simultaneously and interchangeably assumes all three roles: waiting on the Lord, warring on His behalf, and worshipping and adoring Him alone. Positioned under the finished work of the cross of Christ, the intercessor stands in the chasm between heaven and earth releasing the will of the Father towards the children of man.
Though God can work independently of humans, He has chosen to limit Himself to work through us by Holy Spirit. We have no ability to set captives free, but we call upon the One who has paid the ransom for freedom for all. We have no power to heal, but we seek the Healer to move bringing alignment of afflicted bodies into heaven’s order. We stand on Christ the Rock and in the authority of His Name expect
the release of the demoniac,
soundness of mind to the tormented,
restoration to the oppressed,
chains of bondage broken over captives,
eyes once spiritual blind to see the Light of Life.
Soldiers take your positions! Strike the mark!