Intercessory prayer is when we pray for other people, ourselves, or situations. We stand in the gap for a person’s salvation, for a nation, or for God’s redemptive purpose to be known concerning an issue facing the Body of Christ or the world. Most simply, intercession is when we pray for what God leads us to pray.
God’s Kingdom is founded upon us asking Him in prayer. God could do it all without our help, but He desires partnership with us in relationship.
Key #1: Pray in agreement with God’s Word and will.
It is essential that we pray in agreement with God’s will. When we pray in agreement with His Word, we know He hears us.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.“ 1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)
To pray Scripture, we simply turn it into a prayer.For example, using Philippians 1:9-11, one might begin to pray in this way:
Heavenly Father, I pray that the love of those in our church would increase more and more as we know You and Your Word of truth, so that we would choose the things that are excellent and pleasing to You…
We can pray effectively by using the prayers recorded in the Word by Christ and the apostles like the one above. Just as these prayers were fruitful during the time of the early Church, they are still of use today.
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What about when you aren’t at all sure of what to pray? When we do not know how to pray, it is best to simply ask God to do His perfect will.
Key #2: Focus on praying what God desires to do as we pray, versus praying against what the enemy is doing.
For example, instead of praying against deceit and dishonesty, pray for God to bring conviction and truth by His Holy Spirit, flooding the person with His love so they instead choose to repent and instead speak and act in godly ways.
When we focus on God’s power and redemption in a situation versus the enemy’s actions, we are encouraged and strengthened in our faith as we pray.
Key #3: Be sure you are actually praying.
Yes, that sounds strange, but how often have we found ourselves venting or worrying over something instead of truly praying? In group prayer meetings, we can even be guilty of “preaching” to people instead of actually praying. Worse yet, we could be sharing something of gossip in the guise of a prayer concern!
These keys are by no means an exhaustive list, but I pray they help you in praying for others in intercessory prayer.
Intercessory prayer is asking God to do His will in agreement with His Word. When we pray, let us seek to honor Him and pray in a way that pleases Him.