By Ryan Shaw
Intercessory prayer is Jesus’ chosen way to release heaven’s resources on the earth. It is His primary means of moving His eternal plans and purposes forward.
Intercessory prayer is prayer on behalf of people, families, cities, nations and situations, as we stand in their place contending for the will of God, transformation, conviction of sin and the influence of the Kingdom of God among them.
Many terms have been used historically to refer to this concept, including victorious, persevering, prevailing prayer. There is a law in God’s Kingdom that this type of intercession, committed to faithfully, will over time produce results.
The Great Commission is a spiritual work and intercessory prayer is central to producing spiritual fruit. Though potentially the most important of ministries intercessory prayer is generally the least utilized in the Great Commission.
Prayer is almost offensive to our minds. Human nature wants to “do” something more productive.
Intercession seems like a waste of valuable time compared to what could be produced through action. The Lord sees it differently. He values the “foolishness” of disciples praying, not leaning on their abilities and capacities alone.
Prayer & intercession give expression to our inner longing to see God’s glory & Kingdom known and experienced in our cities, nations & the world. He has set up His Kingdom so breakthrough & spiritual triumph come as a direct result of obeying His invitation – “Ask of Me!” (Jeremiah 33:3 and others)
This is the greatest condition of prayer. It’s a simple promise. In His call to “Ask of Me!” there is an implicit assurance that He will answer. God has bound Himself with an oath to answer those who take Him at His word – “Ask of Me!”
The Father and Son possess all power and authority. Yet we’ve responded with slowness to do our part. Satan & evil run rampant stealing, killing and destroying life, cities are in bondage and the church in general continues with business as usual.
The results of intercession are profound. God’s Kingdom is brought near, He is moved to release greater works, demons tremble and flee and the power of the Spirit is released and experienced. As disciples are moved to ongoing, faithful, consistent intercession, God’s purposes in the earth are accelerated.
There is no more important lesson in the spiritual life then learning to pray. God is waiting for His people to lay hold of Him to bring His Scriptural promises into reality. Through prayer we partner with God to change the future of nations, people groups, cities and villages.
Every believer can grow into a mighty intercessor who sees answers to prayer. What is required to develop this? Strong desire, personal interest and effort, faith in God’s power of working in answer to our prayer – these are conditions of prevailing prayer in which every believer can have a share.
Everything needed in the Great Commission is available to the people of God who make it their life’s purpose to seek heaven with perseverance until the breakthroughs and blessings are poured out.
Are an increase in numbers of laborers of the right spiritual quality needed? They are most effectively raised up through consistent and faithful prayer. Jesus commands us to pray in Matthew 9:38, “Pray the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
It is not by greater mobilizing appeals or conferences alone that Message Bearers for the unreached and unengaged will be raised. Jesus emphasizes the method of mobilizing them through focused and sustained prayer. It is in God’s eternal wisdom that laborers for global harvest are sent forth based on the faithfulness of His disciples to pray.
Hudson Taylor was a leader dedicated to intercessory prayer. Through prayer for laborers alone, he saw the China Inland Mission increase its number of Message Bearers significantly.
Do we need more of the power of the Holy Spirit experienced in the home local churches and ministries? This is obtained as believers align with Jesus’ conditions in prayer. This produces local ministries full of believers aligning with Jesus’ Great Commission and operating in the six roles of the Great Commission.
Is more spiritual authority needed among the unreached and unengaged? Intercession on their behalf is a primary means God has set up to help remove barriers keeping these precious ones bound in darkness.
What is God asking you to do in the realm of growing in intercessory prayer? Take some moments and commit yourself afresh to the central ministry of intercessory prayer in the Great Commission.