What Is Intercessory Prayer
Many have asked the questions of, what is intercessory prayer, and how do certain types of prayer differ. Intercessory prayer in the simplest terms, is prayer on the behalf of others. The very word comes from a derivation of intercede. When one intercedes for another person they are putting themselves between that person and the situation, much like a mediator. A mediator is one who makes an effort to help two or more people or groups, who are in disagreement, come to terms with each other in the hopes of reconciling differences. Petitioning for someone who is in trouble, or going through a time of difficulty are the chief topics of intervening prayers. Christ can be looked at as a prime example since Jesus is the mediator between God and man.
As one prays they are essentially speaking with or coming to God with the belief that the Lord is listening. When most people think of praying the thought perceived is that the action is one of coming to Christ with personal wants and desires. This can leave people wondering, what is intercessory prayer? While there is nothing wrong with the afore mentioned viewpoint, the fact remains that the Lord encourages those who have accepted Him into their lives, to pray without ceasing; meaning to make mention of the Lord often and on a daily basis. However, coming to the Lord with praise and personal petitions are not the only point to prayer, on the contrary, words are to be sent to Heaven above for others as well. Those who come to God in intercessory prayer care not how one might or might not benefit from whatever the outcome may be. Instead people should pray that God's will be done, and that the purpose be accomplished however Christ sees fit. Christians should live by the example He set and take time to pray for others.
All Christians are to take part in prayer, and pray for all men. Those who have the Holy Spirit residing in them must offer prayers for not only those in need but fellow believers, enemies, neighbors, ministry workers, all must at some point be taken to the Throne of Grace by way of even just a few words. Intercessory prayer training can be important and there are many examples in the Bible of people who acted as intercessors on the account of others: Abraham, Moses, David and Daniel, just to name a few. An excellent example of intercessory prayer can in fact be found in the ninth chapter in the book of Daniel. The prophet was heavily burdened due to the sins of God's chosen people. He came to the Lord with a broken heart and prayed with a fervent passion that God would make those who had turned from Him to repent of the evil they had done. Daniel comes to the Throne of Grace with a humble spirit, and does not boast of himself and demand that the Lord answers him, but rather that God's will be done.
Examples for intercessory prayer training can be found by looking at petitions brought to the Lord found throughout the Scriptures. When Peter, one of Christ's disciples, was put in prison, those of the church prayed without ceasing on his behalf. As the account goes, the Lord sent an angel to the prison where Peter was held captive, and set him free. Peter, then rejoicing came to the people who prayed for his release and they all marveled at what the Lord had done. When Jesus was on the earth He prayed to the Father frequently for those He had been sent to reach. Peter and others encouraged those around them to pray on the behalf of fellow believers during times of struggles and hardships, reiterating the lessons Jesus taught His disciples in how to pray.
For those who still ask the question of what is intercessory prayer, must simply look at the life of Jesus Christ. When Jesus was on the earth He was continually coming to the Father beseeching Him to forgive those who sinned against Him. Ultimately, this was made possible after Jesus was crucified, and willingly gave up earthly life making possible the forgiveness of sins, therefore making possible eternal life with God above. By willingly giving up His life Jesus became the ultimate intercessor, dying so that others might go free by way of being forgiven. He became the mediator between God and man. Taking the place of yearly animal sacrifices by priests, Christ did away with the 'middle man' and provided people with a direct line to the Lord. Now people need only to remember, "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name" (Hebrews 13:15).
Intercessory prayer training can be applicable to all. Anyone who prays on a regular basis can easily be trained to become an intercessor. For starters, those who desire to do so can begin by praying for a willing mind and heart. The most effective intercessors are those who have natural empathy and are sensitive to the wants and needs of others. Training enables people to strengthen personal relationships with Christ and become better at listening for God's guidance. Training programs teach people skills such as praying the Scriptures, leading group prayers, and how to listen for the guidance that comes from the Holy Spirit.
An important fact to keep in mind throughout intercessory prayer training is that no one can at any point know the purpose of God or what is on the Lord's mind to do. Those who pray should not expect to be answered, as the Lord works in His own time and occasionally answers prayers in unexpected ways. People must pray without doubt, fully believing and trusting that they might not always receive an answer, but also patient enough to realize that not only might the eagerly anticipated answer be delayed but when finally coming to fruition might prove to be something unexpected. The answer to the question of what is intercessory prayer can easily be answered by reading through the Scriptures.
Spiritual Warfare PrayersSpiritual Warfare prayers are intended to deliver those who are suffering. The struggle against good and evil is apparent everywhere as the powers actively occur in the spiritual realm and can be made manifest in people's lives. The battles are evidenced by the wavering of faith and devotion of God's people. Many believe that this is a supernatural dimension where God and His angels are in constant battle with Satan and his demons, Christians who are in the midst of attacks must retain a strong relationship with the Lord. During periods of doubt and darkness God's children should not despair because in the end evil will ultimately be vanquished.
The only way evil can be defeated is through the Lord. Those who suffer the effects of evil can benefit greatly by reading the Bible. There is a plethora of spiritual warfare Scriptures found by simply opening the Word of God. The Word states, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). This verse describes how Christians are fighting a war that is not physical, but spiritual. Principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness are all describing Satan and his demons. The best way Christians have of combating attacks from the Devil is by placing faith in the Lord, and maintaining a strong relationship with the Savior.
Among spiritual warfare scriptures verses are found which offer ways of defeating the wiles of Satan. The Scriptures say to "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). As part of God's army, Christians must be equipped with the proper accouterments. The armor consists of belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the spirit, which is God's Word. Before going into battle with the dark forces of the world, hearts and minds need to be made ready, as Paul stated in spiritual warfare Scriptures, "But I [Paul] see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members" (Romans 7:23). The mind can be a veritable mine field if not fashioned after the mind of Christ.
Everyone at some point becomes discouraged in life. Disappointments are inevitable yet imperative to remind people to be on guard. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God"(II Corinthians 10:3-5). Through God the victory over the powers of darkness is achieved, as spiritual warfare scriptures reiterate throughout the Word.
The devil is at war with God Satan attacks God's children by whispering doubts and falsities in an effort to turn Christians away from following after Christ. Doubt is Satan's main weapon in the spiritual battle, however, not one to be feared. When one considers doubt, the question of free will arises. Some wonder why the Creator allowed sin to enter the world and ask why He even gave the first man and woman a choice to turn from Him. The Lord allowed man to have freedom of will so that man could choose whether or not to follow after Christ. God wants those who follow Him do so with a right heart and of individual volition. Even as far back as the garden, the spiritual battle began. Satan came in the form of a serpent and persuaded God's children to eat of the fruit, which ultimately led to mankind's downfall, and Christ's need to send His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for sins. Doubt is the main weapon Satan chooses to yield, however, God also welcomes doubt. The faith one professes will never mean as much to them unless they know why they believe. The Lord can use Satan's weapon against him by allowing doubt to strengthen a Christian's faith.
Spiritual warfare prayers can be as simple as sincerely asking the Lord for protection and wisdom on a day to day basis. The basic pattern for spiritual warfare prayers are fairly straight forward, and differ according the severity of the situation. Minor spiritual attacks are more common but now and again one can suffer quite severely. In these cases the best way to alleviate the victims suffering us by praying for God's mercy and forgiveness. When coming to the Lord in prayer one must acknowledge Christ as their Savior and as for His protection and mercy. When speaking with the Lord one can command Satan to leave them alone and set the mind free by the power of Jesus Christ. After such a prayer, one should express thanks for the armor of Christ and believe that the Holy armor will protect from further attacks.
Christians need to expect to be attacked at some point of life as Satan will try to make them stumble. Those who succumb to the battle of evil can fight back by calling out to God. Spiritual warfare prayers are intended to help the sufferer break away from that which is tormenting them. In order to be released from torment people must believe in a Power higher than themselves and trust that He can deliver them from the onslaught of the mind. Some believe that by praying they can command Satan to release them in Jesus' name. The key to deliverance is strong faith in saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.