“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Jesus Christ our Saviour and redeemer was and is a man of prayer... Whilst on earth, He rises early in the morning into the mountains to pray. When the day ends, He withdraws Himself from the crowd into His “closet“ to pray. I have used “was” and “is” to differentiate the period Jesus walked on earth and His current exalted position at the right hand of the Father interceding continously for the saints. If Jesus was and is a man of prayer; it equally places a responsibility on every believer to be a man and woman of prayer.
In Scriptures; there are different categorisation of prayers:Prayer of Faith(James 5:15), Prayer of Agreemen(Matthew 18:19), Prayer of Intercession(Acts 12:5), Prophetic Prayers(Colossians 4:2) and Prayer of Supplication(Acts 1:4). I believe these are not an exhaustive list; but these are the most common ones we find ourselves engaging in at different instances and situations. In this series, I will attempt to write on the various kinds of prayer starting with Prayer of intercession(Intercessory Prayer). I pray this series will be a blessing to you.
Intercession by dictionary definition can be seen as arbitration, negotiation, mediation or intervention. These words denote standing in-between two parties to make various request on their behalf. Prayer of intercession therefore can be described as standing in-between two parties to make various requests on behalf of the parties; in this case, standing between humanity and God, and making various requests on behalf of humanity. I am using humanity here in a wider sense to represent individuals, families, nations and other human institutions. Intercession actually is God ordained.
“And 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.” (Ezekiel 22:30). “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence” (Isaiah 62:6).
- REASONS FOR INTERCESSION
The most scripturally appropriate definition for Prayer of Intercession is standing in the gap as indicated in Ezekiel 22:30. Persons involved in intercessory prayers are commonly referred to as Intercessors. In different settings, intercessors are referred to by different terms common amongst them is prayer warrior and armour bearer.
I believe some people are specially called into a full-time ministry of intercession; but generally, every believer functions as an interccessor in everyday life. Whenever you promise somebody “I will be praying with you“ and you actually pray with them, you have stepped into the prayer of intercession. Let‘s consider some of the different situations or reasons for which Prayer of Intercession is offered
- The Salvation of an unsaved person(s)
- Pleading forgiveness and repentance for a believer walking in sin
- Pleading for the forgiveness of sins for a nation
- Praying for the healing(physical or emotional) of a person
- Averting God‘s wrath on a person, group of people, families or nations
- Averting an evil act or plans of the devil against a person, group of persons, families or nation.
- Requesting God‘s blessings, favour or breakthrough for an individual, people or nation.
- Praying for revival in a nation or among a group of people.
This list of course is not exhaustive.