It takes kneeling knees and upraised holy hands to draw down the power of God to heal, to break yokes, to restore, to console, and to bless.
Intercessory prayer | St. Peter's Episcopal Clearfield, UT
You are called to be a member of this noble class: an intercessor. The Church, the sacrament of salvation instituted by Christ, would not have survived the mortal persecutions that confronted her at a very tender age, and buoyantly flourished nonetheless, if the community of believers was prayerless and slumbering.
The Church knew that her Master succeeded in establishing her because He was and remained a great intercessor, who never slept with two eyes closed. They knew, therefore, the source of their strength and survival — intercession — and exploited it to the full. Because they had been saturated with passionate prayers during this time of waiting in the upper room, Pentecost became a great harvest of souls. Following the Pentecost experience, the apostles began the ministry of intercession in earnest, having been equipped with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
That means that they continued with the tradition that the Master had handed over to His apostles.
A Clarion Call to the Ministry of Intercession
Through prayer they made themselves always present at the divine council, where they obtained the grace to expand the number of those who believed and to dismantle the roadblocks of the forces of darkness. Through the ministry of intercession, they were able to move the hand that moves the universe, overthrow spiritual territorial powers, and hoist the emblem of the Master, marked with the blood of the Lamb and the power of the Resurrection.
Because they maintained the tempo of the required commitment and did not relent in participating in the divine council through constant prayers and flooding heaven with tearful petitions for the salvation of souls, the Pentecost anointing continued to flow generously. The power associated with the ministry of the early believers was made amazingly manifest after Peter and John were released by the Jewish authorities, following their arrest after the healing of the cripple at the Beautiful Gate. When they gave to the other disciples the report of their encounter with these authorities, who were resisting the power of God, they called upon the name of the Lord as a team of intercessors with one mind and one voice.
Heaven responded with a blessed assurance. The story of the experience of Peter in prison will, however, suffice for these pieces of evidence that indicate the place of intercession in the life of the first-century believers. The early Church was a praying Church. She had no other defensive or offensive weapon more effective than prayer.
Thus, while Peter was in prison, believers were in the divine council, wrestling with the intrigues of the accuser and asking the Supreme Judge for justice. They thus blew the war trumpet, gathered their army, and went to battle. The experience of Joshua, the successor of Moses, was then repeated with the apostles.
When Joshua gathered his army and marched out to take over Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Whenever the army of the Lord gathers for battle, the Lord always sends His angel to lead it to battle. The Master sent His angel to lead them in battle even though they were not conscious of this like Joshua. As the commander of the army of the Lord, this angel went into the prison and released Peter unconditionally. The intercession of believers has the power to obtain the services of heaven. The early Church was always in contact with heaven and always present in the divine council.
This was how they made heaven always present in the world of their time. Do we still wonder why the Church appears today more or less feeble and battered? Do we still wonder why demons can perch comfortably on the pews of our churches? Believers have grown more and more ignorant of their roots and neglected their source of strength. They have grown too fat to go to war and too busy and distracted to appear in the divine council.
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The devil has used the enticements of the world as a lullaby and soothed them into drowsiness and stupor. When it is the time for kings to go to war, they stay at home like David 2 Sam. As a result of this situation, the devil has been enjoying a field day, wreaking havoc in the world and steadily dragging millions of souls to destruction. Would that the Church, the Body of Christ, might rediscover herself and exploit her powers once again. Would that believers might reclaim their dignity and measure up to their calling. Tagged as: intercession , intercessory prayer , ministry , prayer , Sophia Excerpts.
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Email Login. Otherwise, it's too cheap to be real. Your private devotions are not just for your own benefit. If God's love is at work in you, you will care about others, and your love for them will lead you to take it to the ultimate Source of strength, healing, and love. Don't be fearful; be persistent and stubborn. God doesn't mind; God likes to see divine love at work in you. God honors your part in the relationship. It is best to always be aware that you never really pray alone. For when the honest love in you for other people causes you to ask God to act to strengthen, heal, defend, change, or bless them, there is someone else praying with you: the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit is leading you to pray. When your love is not whole or your mind is not clear, the Spirit steps in for you, to express the intercession and draw you into it. Christian intercessors over the past two millenia have prayed their intercessions in a 'Trinitarian' manner : to the Father, through the Son, and in and with the Holy Spirit. God isn't fussy about the pattern, but it helps us to see some part of how God works in prayer. The intercessory prayer you first pray about someone may not be what God wants you to pray for.
For instance, you might be praying to lift a burden, but the Lord might be using the burden to prepare them to do something for God. Then again, your prayer might be what God wants to happen. Thus, we are to pray listening for the Spirit, and pray that God's will be done. I find myself concentrating better when I mutter the words; it gives my mind more focus. The mind may go off to explore something during personal devotions, but not while you're interceding for others -- those others must be your first concern.
So, it's sometimes best to do it before you seek stillness though God will sometimes lead you out of stillness into intercession -- be open to it. Don't be surprised if the Spirit starts tugging on your heart to take some sort of action about a matter you're praying about. You may be the answer God sends into their lives.
That's not a license to be a buttinski, stepping into everyone's private lives like some sort of conquering hero. But the Spirit might be calling you to be more than a bystander. Be ready for it. Be open to it. When you intercede in prayer, bring your knowledge, gifts, abilities, attention and energies before God and say, 'use these, if that's what it takes to set this right'. Anyone can pray for others and step in with God on their behalf.
But some people are gifted at prayers of intercession. They have an ear and a passion for the needs of others, and take them before God even when those other people reject God. An intercessor's heart is touched for those in need, not so much on their side as by their side and on their behalf. They have a burden for that person. They persevere. They let the Spirit give them comfort about it, instead of worrying. And when word of results comes, they celebrate and are happy about it. If that sounds like you, then you may be a gifted intercessor. Sometimes, someone is led to be an intercessor for a specific person or mission or task.
Such people are valuable even beyond donors. Such intercessors sometimes get a strong sense of coming danger about whom they're praying for. They often report they're driven to their knees to pray about something they can't otherwise have known was happening. Sounds weird, but it's true. Intercessors also pray for world, national, and local political leaders.
This follows in the tradition of the early church's prayers for the Roman authorities.
What is Intercessory Prayer?
Some people actually think it's good to pray against evildoers and oppressive leaders, even to pray for their death. Not that God would pay any attention to you if you did.
But such thinking poisons your attitude. Pray rather that the Spirit would lead them or change them.
When James and John asked for permission to do harm to their enemies by praying for divine acts of judgement, Jesus reminded them of why He was there and they, too :. Some people claim we can ask God to do things on behalf of people, and know it will be done. It's understandable to think that, for Jesus promised that our prayers would cause things to happen, especially when we keep at it. But look again at the intercessors in the Bible. Their success was very real, but far from complete. In such cases, God's mercy does not override God's purpose nor God's justice, not to mention our own wills.
We cannot fathom God's purposes or know for certain what God knows about what is to be. God's love simply has a broader, deeper, longer work to do, and sometimes what we pray for simply cannot find a place within that work.
see Intercessors sometimes must accept even the most bitter of losses, with the awareness that their prayers did not -- and sometimes must not -- avail.