I remember when it first hit me that the Lord said I was an intercessor. And I thought, “Really?” In my mind, intercessors were those women who were on the prayer team. They were these little old ladies that would get up at 5 in the morning with Jesus, and from their mouth to God’s ear made stuff happen in the world. They were the intercessors – earth-shattering prayer warriors.
I didn’t see myself as that. I saw myself as maybe a teacher or something else, but I didn’t see myself as an intercessor until the Word of the Lord came and He made me go into a study and walked me through what prayer looks like.
Let’s take a look at God’s command in Ephesians 6:18:
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (NIV)
From this passage we learn 3 things:
- We’re to pray in the Spirit on all occasions.
- There are different kinds of prayers.
- We’re all to be intercessors – praying for all the Lord’s people.
We need to have a practical understanding of what the different kinds of prayer we are praying for perseverance to have its perfect work in our lives, and as we are interceding for those going through persecution. We need a greater revelation of our authority in prayer and how we approach the courts of Heaven.
What are some of the different aspects of prayer?
- Prayer is a constant conversation – practicing His Presence
Prayer, at its core, is just talking with God. It’s not exactly a casual thing – it’s still a very holy thing – but when we have intimacy with the Lord, we talk with God all day long. Our goal is not to just have a visitation from the Lord when we set aside quiet time, but to be in constant conversation. Everywhere we go, He’s with us. We become a habitation of His Presence.
I’m a visual person, so I like to picture Him in the passenger seat of my car, and I picture Him sitting in the office when I’m at work, and I picture Him going down the aisles at the grocery store…I picture Jesus with me all the time.
The more aware I am of His Presence, the more in tune I am. I can listen. And when we’re in tune with His Presence, the more we go on adventures – we feel the tap on the shoulder, we see the light when it highlights somebody. We need to be intentional in practicing His Presence, so we hear Him when He says, “Pause and talk to this person.” And, maybe we’re like, “But Jesus, I’m in a hurry…” But if you stop and listen to the Lord, and do what He wants you to do right then, He’ll make up for what you think you can’t do. He’ll take care of the time or the other appointment or whatever it is.
- Intercession is taking ownership of your brothers and sisters, of your city, your nation, and of situations. It’s a matter of practicing your spiritual authority. It is standing in the gap for them, praying the promises of God over them, and bringing spiritual reality into physical reality.
- Travailing prayer is birthing prayer. Jesus said that like a woman in labor, our sorrow will be turned into joy (John 16). Travailing prayer is that time of unremitting sowing with tears for that new thing that God wants to happen until we reap with songs of joy.
- Soaking Prayer is contemplative prayer, where we enter into encounter – into intimacy with God. Instead of coming to God with our list of requests, it’s taking time to just rest, to seek His face, to invite the experiential manifestation of His Holy Presence.
- Biblical Meditation is prayerfully focusing in on a Scripture passage, letting God’s still small voice penetrate, and receiving what He has to say to us through His Word. We are transforming our minds as we let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes (Ephesians 4:23) by fixating on what God has said and is saying.
- Prayer is hearing the Lord – not just talking to Him. It’s actually expecting Him to talk back. So, as we grow and develop in our prayer life, we learn that it’s not just about our prayers to God, but it’s about learning to pray “as God with God.” Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that I’m God or that you are God. When we’re praying “as God” it means we’re hearing what He’s saying, and we’re saying what He’s saying – that is the prophetic.
- Prayer is partnering with God. When we move into intercession, we pray God’s Word over people and situations. We declare His Word about that situation, and that it will be established. When we say something God says, it makes something happen. We’re partnering with God in it.
And so, as intercessors, we implement all of these aspects of prayer. But we also need to understand our authority in prayer, and follow the protocol of the Heavenly court system.
How do we approach the Heavenly court system?
As with the human court system, there are some laws and some regulations. You have to follow protocol. So, yes, we can climb up in Papa God’s lap, and have that intimacy, and yes, we can approach the throne of grace, yes we have favor. We have all of that.
But there are other places and ways of prayer and authority, especially when we’re talking about regional princes and principalities and powers. It’s like…I’ve got a key to the building where I rent my office. I can get into the building, and I can get into my particular office. Do I own the building? No, but I pay rent there, so I have access – not to every room, but I have access to the places where I have some authority. The greater authority you have, the greater access.
What authority has God given us?
- We have authority over snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19, Mark 16:17).
- We have authority over sickness (Mark 16:18, James 5:14-16).
- We have authority to ask anything in the name of Jesus (John 14:13-16).
When we approach God in awe and reverence as our Righteous Judge, it opens the dimensions of the courts of Heaven. As intercessors, we present our case before the throne – based on God’s laws and promises. God will honor His Word, His laws, His promises. And we have the promise of Jesus that justice will come quickly!
“Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones,
who cry out to him day and night?
Will he keep putting them off?
I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”
(Luke 18:7-8 NIV)
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