Have you ever prayed on behalf of another person? If so, you have been in the role of mediator or intercessor. Intercessory prayer is simply the act of praying on behalf of another person when for some reason, they can’t pray for themselves.
In the Bible, the Greek noun, enteuxus, is the word for intercession and denotes a conversation or petition rendered on the behalf of others. When you offer an intercessory prayer, you are seeking an audience with God in another’s stead. When we pray for the needs of others that is called intercession. We are said to be interceding for them.
All Christian prayer is in a sense intercession because it is offered to God through Christ. The New Testament considers Christ to be the ultimate intercessor because when He died for us on the Cross, He connected us to God. His act allows us, his followers, to intercede in prayer on behalf of other Christians or to ask God to grant their requests according to His will; even those who are non-believers or lost.
Intercessory prayer is something that all Christians are fully capable of. There are no special requirements. You don’t have to be more devout or in any way superior to any other Christian to intercede for another person in need. If you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit in your heart and that is all you need to follow in Christ’s footsteps and be a strong and powerful intercessor. To not do so would be considered a sin.
It is both your privilege and your duty to help those in need especially when they cannot help themselves. The Bible says that all Christians are called to be intercessors and just as Christ intercedes for us in accordance with God’s will, we must intercede for each another on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Intercessory prayer is a big part of Christian life for all true believers. Nowhere in any version of the Bible does it indicate that prayer intercession is the right of only a certain group of people. People who seek or need others to intercede for them can use all the help they can get.
The idea that intercession is the privilege and calling of only some Christians is without Biblical basis. That kind of thinking can lead to misplaced pride and a false sense of superiority.
God calls all Christians to be intercessors. Haven’t you ever felt the unexplained desire to pray for the masses, for strangers in need, your community or the world in fact? Think of the times you pray for soldiers fighting for our freedom, the poor, even a person you see on social media who is asking for prayer for a sick loved one or themselves. That is intercessory prayer and it is a very needed intercession.
When you pray for others on their behalf, you lift up the people in your neighborhood, your city, your church. You can inspire the people in your life to pray with you and by doing so it will deepen their love for you and for the people around them.
- Pray for your civic leaders so they might serve your community better.
- Pray for parents so that they might have the strength to be good role models their children.
- Pray that the people of the world will learn to love and forgive each other and help them make a difference in the world.
- Pray for teachers and for students that they might exercise integrity and work for justice, morality, and freedom.
- Pray for the lost, the hurting, the lonely, the sick, the bereaved.
- Pray for those who are without hope.
Intercessory prayer helps us to internalize God’s Word.
Intercessory prayer connects us to the people and places we pray for.
Intercessory prayer renews our hope and our faith.
Intercessory prayer humbles us.
Intercessory prayer changes the spiritual atmosphere of cities and nations.
Intercessory prayer causes multiple blessings to return to the intercessor.
Yes, blessings will come back to you when you intercede to pray on behalf of other people. This is not a reason to do so but a residual of your good works. Prayer for others may encourage them to repent and seek God. The Lord is always looking for those who will take on the burden and the challenge of praying for the wayward ones, the lost souls, so that they might come to Him.
If you are willing to become an intercessor, you will know how to obtain many victories. Intercessory prayer is essentially an outreach ministry. Through it, we can truly lay down our lives for others. If we are faithful and willing to sacrifice our time on behalf of others in need, the Lord, in turn, will take care of our needs. As we minister to others, the Lord ministers to us.
This post was written by Tony Williams.