Guidelines for Individual Times of Intercession or Petition
(audio version )
Christian intercession might be defined as love on its knees in prayer for others . It is pleading to Father God on behalf of the needs of someone else. Another way of looking at intercession is that you are standing in the gap for someone else. That is, you are identifying with the sins of those you are in prayer for, asking God's forgiveness and mercy on their behalf.
Intercession can be one of the most exciting, inspiring, creative and rewarding experiences in your Christian life. In your prayer closet, you can pray around the world. Although intercessors are not often publicly rewarded or recognized for their service, they are a vital part of any growing church or ministry. Their faithful dedication to intercession creates a foundation that allows the Lord to work in mighty ways.
Praying the Word of God
Prophetic Intercession is God speaking to His people, directing them to the most effective route to pray.
God directs and speaks to us.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
The word of God (the Bible) will stimulate prayers.
Reading a psalm or any passage of scripture can spur you onto intercession for others, and prayer for yourself. Read the word slowly, meditating on verse by verse and it will provide you with a richness of prayer opportunity.
Fret not your souls, for it only leads to evil.
You could probably stop and pray for an half hour at least about all the things you are fretting over. This verse could stir you to pray for those who are constant worriers.
Pray the word just as it is :
For example, pray Psalm 91 and Eph 6:10-18 over your loved ones, your church or your pastors as a prayer of protection
For some biblical examples of prayers of intercession, visit Praying From The Bible
Praying for the protection of your church and loved ones is essential if you are called into full time ministry or are involved with deep intercession.
Pray words of blessing
The bible is full of blessings and prayers of blessings. Use these to pray for others.
For example: Eph 1:18-19 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance..., and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Speak and Pray the Word out loud.
Speaking and praying the word of God out loud ministers to your own spirit. You are speaking it to yourself as well as for those you are praying for. Double blessing!!
Pray a Rhema word from the Logos word
Logos - the written word of God (the bible as a whole)
Rhema - a living word.. A verse that leaps out and hits you in the heart, and you know that you know that God was speaking that word for you specifically at the time and moment you need to hear it
Pray that word... it is already true in the realm of the spirit, but when we go into intercession and pray that word, we are praying "thy will be done on earth, as what is already done in heaven". You are making your circumstances line up to what already is true in the heavens.
Rhema word is like a blank cheque with the invitation to fill in the numbers. There is money in the bank, just start writing those cheques. The store house is full of blessing for those for which you intercede.
Sometimes the Lord gives you a Rhema word that you know is to be prayed, but you do not know why you are to pray it. Be faithful to pray it through even without full understanding of what you are praying for. In time, the Lord may show you why He directed you to pray this way.
Don't just pray a 'general prayer of blessing', ask for God's finances, provision, wisdom, protection or whatever is exactly needed in each situation. God want us to be be specific and direct with him, just as a child would ask their father directly for specific needs in his or her life. A child tells their father they are hungry, they say they need clothes, they are exact in their requests.
Pray for insight for physical healing.
Ask the Lord, is it this persons time to go home? Is it time for them to be raised up in complete healing ? Be sensitive to what the Spirit is saying, and pray accordingly, no matter how discouraging things may get. Pray what you feel the Spirit is saying.
A Word of Caution
God shares His secrets with those who are able to keep them. There may come a time when He definitely prompts us to share, but unless this happens, we should remain silent. "And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen." (Luke 9:36 RSV) "But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart." (Luke 2:19 RSV) What God shows you in a time of intercession should be kept between you and Him unless you strongly feel the Lord prompting you to speak.
Pray with God's Strategy
Use biblical examples to pray through situations. For example, use the story of the prodigal son as a guideline for praying for your own prodigals. See Praying for the Prodigals for further insight.
General Helps in Prayer
Have on hand your bible, a pen and a notebook
Find a quiet place to pray if possible. This is not always possible, however, and God still blesses your prayer time in the midst of distractions.
Be accustomed to periods of silence and don't be afraid of pauses.
If you find your mind wandering in prayer:
Pray out loud.
Read scriptures out loud. If you don't know what to pray, then pray the prayers of the bible, there are dozens of prayers that you can take as your own. Pray the Psalms for example. They are songs, after all, perhaps they are better to be heard by the ear to reach the heart, like all songs.
Paul prayed as an apostle over his charges all through his letters, so grab a pen and paper and make note of where these prayers are and pray these in faith for yourself and for those you have made prayer priorities. There are many prayers in the Old Testament as well that you can make your heart's prayer. As you read the Word out loud, you will find certain passages leap out at you that you never noticed before, as it takes longer to read out loud than to scan the page silently. Your heart and mind will have a longer opportunity to "chew" on the Word.
Walk or pace as you read the Word out loud, you'll be amazed how it keeps your mind from wandering. The combination of reading out loud and walking trains your brain to concentrate on the task at hand. If you can't walk, then be creative in finding another way to keep your body a part of your prayer experience.
Put on a worship tape.
Ask the Lord to protect you as you pray.
Declare you are determined to pray.
If there is a pressing need of your own on your mind, submit it to the Lord in prayer. Write down those things that are causing your mind to wander and submit them to the Lord.
Walk! Stand, change your posture. If you find you are dozing off regularly in your devotions and prayer times, then stand and walk around the room you are in.
Ask the Lord if this is the best time for you to be praying. Some people are morning people, others can press in to the Lord in the wee small hours of the night. Find out what works best for you.
A brief word about Spiritual Warfare
Effective spiritual warfare can be accomplished with repentance and worship. Repentance for your own sin, and on behalf of others. It is also accomplished through worship. The demonic can not abide worship to the King. If you feel harassed as you pray, enter into a time of worship.
Note: I am indebted to Ruth Rousu, co-pastor of Harvest Vineyard Christian Fellowship (Edmonton, Alberta) for much of the above teaching, although I have intermingled a few thoughts of my own in the midst.
© 1997, 2006 : Katherine Walden
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