Monday, June 16, 2008

Intercessory Prayer

Intercessory prayer is so desperately needed in the church that we would pray with the kind of fervent heart that Paul expressed in his prayers for so many of the churches. For Paul there was no doubt that prayer was a real workout. It was an intense and passionate struggle that brought him to his knees whether it was for believers to experience the vast love of God, Holy Spirit enlightenment or enablement. At the end of Colossians 1 we see it is a good struggle to come to grips with the energy of God that overtakes you in prayer and moves you so deeply to cry out, to break you to tears especially for all those who do not know the glorious riches of the mystery of Christ

Epaphrus in Colossians 4:12.. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

One of the greatest testaments to the power of intercession is seen in The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim and Moses tells Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua does what he asks and Aaron and Hur follow Moses to the top of the hill and as long Moses hands are raised high they were winning, but whenever they were lowered, the Amalekites started taking over. So as his hands undoubtedly get tired they place a stone under him and help up his arms…. And where are his arms held up to – It is to the throne of heaven!

A military strategy that leads them to a very unorthodox but God centered approach and they prevail all the while knowing that it is God who fights for them.

Do you know that God fights for you? Too many of us are walking around with our hands in our pockets drawing from our own resources and that get old real fast. If you keep your hands there, don’t be surprised if you get the feeling one day that the battle has shifted and you become pretty much powerless to stem it’s tide!

An intercessor has been given authority.

Colossians 1:13-16

Jesus has dealt with Satan’s authority. Colossians 1:13 should read that Christ has delivered us from the authority of darkness. It is significant that we realize that the enemy still has great power, but we have a greater authority in Christ. We don’t deal with him as a powerless entity as Dutch Sheets correctly identifies. We deal with him as a one who steals, a rebellious power and God has given us a greater authority over that. God can give you the authority over sickness and ultimately the death sentence over people.

We have the power to do what Christ commands

The root word of authority is author and in Jesus we have one who holds the keys to life and death! Jesus was the author of creation Colossians 1:16. He is in charge here! As you understand Christ’s authority and the fact that He has conferred this authority on you as his follower should give you incredible boldness and confidence in praying over the lives of others….walk in it, submit to it and move in it!

Matthew 28:16-20

We have been given His power to pray for the breaking down of strongholds, to discern how that takes place and often through repentance. We declare who is in charge here and we move in that anointing.

We are living with borrowed power…the power is from the risen Christ. John 14:12 He will perform His work though us.

The authority that the church has is found in using our spiritual keys opening and closing spiritual doors. We are Christ’s partners and we are the ones He is using to fulfill His plan, His purposes. It is a priestly activity we are called on to perform and often the Holy Spirit will prompt us to pray at times for people with great intensity.

An intercessor is a person of destiny

There is such powerful imagery given to us in Revelation 11:15-19. A true intercessor prays for God’s ultimate reign over people, over nations, over the world. There are no defeatist prayers in their vocabulary. We know who is the “Ultimate Restorationist” He will restore a perfect order. Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Philippians 2:11

We walk with a victorious mindset.

An intercessor is called to rule in the supernatural.

Psalm 8:3-6

The word for rule in Psalm 8 is mashal meaning to govern. An intercessor is called to govern and order his personal world and engage fellow believers in the same pursuit through the power of the Holy Spirit….Romans 7 / Romans 8:1.

No one has more power than you to pray with the greatest authority into your own life.

How can we pray for the victory or release of another when we ourselves have not experienced victory in that area? The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Romans 8:26,27 the Spirit intercedes for us.

Jim and Faith Chosa are ordinary Native American prayer leaders from Montana. He relates about the story in the spring of 2004 when the Dalai Lama travelled here to Toronto to release 722 occult Tibetan spirits into the Great Lakes. The Spirit of God rose up a great army of prayer warriors to prevent this from happening as a team from Sault Ste. Marie, Canada were equipped in spiritual warfare and prayed against this. They bound the demonic spirits and the result was imminent. The Dalai Lama said, “Toronto is a very hard place; I could not accomplish what I planned to do.”

An intercessor knows there is power in unity!

Matthew 18:18-20

The passage between heaven and earth is prayer. Jesus’ amazing statement is that the invisible things that take place in heaven will be reflected here in the heart of praying believers. God has granted us the power of binding and loosing. We have the power to bind every force of evil in our lives. We also have the power to loose the Spirit of God and His inexhaustible resources like a constant flowing river. We can pray for the same in the lives of others as well!

It happens all the time when through intercession God keeps planting the signs to turn around in the lives of those who drift into apathy or indifference. Attitudes change 180 degrees…WHY, because of prayer. We stand on the balancing point between the visible and invisible when we pray.

We are called to make the invisible Christ visible in the lives of others and it begins with prayer.

The other great insight here is the power of unity and when we agree about our passion and commitment in a given situation. This is the principle that guides all great prayer meetings whether there are two or more present.

One of the great prayer meetings in the Bible is the story surrounding Peter when he was in prison in Acts 12

The word to agree means ‘to sound together, to harmonize’ A musician knows that when two particular notes are struck together, they will harmonize. It is brought out as the right notes are played. God has already written the musical score and it remains our challenge to play according to what God has already composed. When we say AMEN… literally meaning let it be, we are saying, yes, we affirm this prayer, we are longing for this as well.

It is important for us to note that the most powerful expression of Christ is seen not in an individual Christian but only fully expressed whenever two or 100 or 1000 are gathered in His name. Don’t miss this. We can never know Him as well as when we know Him in relation to someone else.

Ephesians 3:18,19 - together with all the saints – there is strength in numbers and it is only though His presence that prayer has meaning and value.

An intercessor will be given revelation.

1 John 5:14,15

Revelation is when God lifts the veil created by sin from our hearts and allows us to receive insight and understanding directly from Him. Dutch Sheets

1 Chronicles 12:32 The Hebrew word here for understanding is more than just learned knowledge, it signifies a spiritually imparted knowledge. It is discernment and understanding beyond the natural abilities. It is prophetic in nature.

It is the same word used in:

1 Kings 3:9 when Solomon asked for the ability to discern

Daniel 1:17, 20 where Daniel was given understanding to interpret dreams and visions

And in Proverbs 3:5
God is not calling you to abandon wisdom and common sense. He is asking us not to rely on our own human discernment as to what to do.

The Takeaway

Allow the Holy Spirit to give you the confidence to take your hands out of your pockets and fight well in the Lord’ battles.

Take time to lay your hand on one other person and pray as God leads you.

Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles.1 Timothy 1:18

For Discussion and Small Groups:

  1. Have you experienced a time where God really impressed a person on you to pray for? Did you ever find out what was going on in their life at that time?

  1. What story in the Bible is your greatest inspiration for prayer, Moses hands been raised up, the prayer meeting for Peter, the prayer meeting in the Upper Room leading up to Pentecost?

  1. What part of intercession do you need to really take hold of: our authority, our destiny, our rule, our need for unity, listening for revelation…

  1. Take time to listen and lay hands on each member of your group and pray for them.

No comments: