As i type this message at this very moment, someone is stranded in a bush somewhere; probably a pregnant woman who has taken labour all of a sudden in a remote village, even in their homes or in a labour ward at the hospital, a sick person is passing out due to pain this very second, someone is breathing his last, another is crying and lamenting emotionally due to heartbreak, others are thinking of what to eat for just tonight, where to sleep for just tonight, what to wear, many have gotten their marriage crumbling, businesses are going down, someone is burying his dream for lack of support, a certain man of God is at his dead end and needs strength at this very moment, a nation/country and its leaders needs divine help etc.
The above list and even more are all situations which needs urgent attention. Each and every problem above has its solution hidden in someone somewhere. Someone needs to arise and go into warfare to remedy these problems. There is the need for intercession and even more intercessors!
Intercession is prayer that pleads with God for the needs of others; it is the act of travailing, agonizing in prayer on behalf of others. It is also much more than that. Intercession involves taking hold of God’s will and refusing to let go until His will comes to pass. Isaiah 62:6-7 “O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work,until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth”
A wonderful model of intercessory prayer is found in the book of Daniel chapter 9. It has all the elements of true intercessory prayer. Like Daniel, Christians are to come to God on behalf of others in a heartbroken and repentant attitude, recognizing their own unworthiness and with a sense of self-denial. True intercessory prayer seeks not only to know God’s will and see it fulfilled, but to see it fulfilled whether or not it benefits us and regardless of what it costs us. True intercessory prayer seeks God’s glory, not our own.
In as much as we have believers who are gifted in praying and praying for others, intercession is not meant to be made by only a special class of Christians; it is not a privilege limited to an exclusive Christian elite. It is a command to all Christians. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
In Acts chapter 12, when Peter was kept in prison to be killed by Herod, we learnt that the church interceded on behalf of Peter; it was not a special group of people who had the gift of intercession who prayed. It was the whole church. It is the duty of every Christian to intercede; God calls us all to be intercessors! Acts 12:5 “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.”
The idea that intercession is the privilege and calling of only some Christians has no biblical basis; it is a fallacy. It is also one of the gins employed by the enemy to instill in believers laziness resulting in neglect of their fundamental calling as Christians. Furthermore, it is a distractive and destructive perception which mostly results in pride and a sense of superiority for those who believe they are gifted in praying and making intercession! God calls us all to be intercessors! James 5:16″…..pray for each other so that you may be healed..”
Intercession should not be limited to only our family members, our nation, our Christian denomination but the bible charges to pray for all. Remember it is God’s will for us to pray for others and His will goes beyond us and our families to all humanity. Pray for all men -1 Timothy 2:1-2, pray for the sick- James 5:14, pray for your enemies and those who persecute you- Matt. 5:44, pray for your friends -Job 42:8, pray for ministers of God-Philippians 1:19, for church members- Acts 12:5, pray for the peace of Jerusalem -Psalm 122:6, Fellow countrymen and those we know who are not saved – Romans 10:1-4, For our country and even other nations where we may have gone to seek greener pastures, pray for their prosperity for when they prosper, you will also prosper.
God told Jeremiah in Jer. 29:7 “And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
My God…. Finally, it is a sin to not make intercession! 1 Samuel 12:23 “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.“