Prayer is Your Place of Safety (Part 9) The Prayer of Intercession
March 15, 2020
You never live past your prayer life…
In this series, we are addressing the importance of prayer in 2020, and how your prayer life can become the most important part of your day.
Week 1, we saw that Jesus lived out of His prayer life, and that He spent a lot of time praying before ministry.
We talked about the importance of our praying about everything, and how prayer can prepare us for the things that are in our future.
Weeks 2 through 4, we talked about why we must pray.
We’ve covered why we must pray. God created the earth, placed man here, and set it up in a way that He chooses to go through man before He does anything.
Adam committed a treasonous act and gave the authority given to Him by God to God’s arch-enemy Satan.
Jesus restored man’s original authority, but Satan has a lease on earth that will not expire until Christ’s return.
God cannot legally do anything unless He gets cooperation through His people. God must go through the church before He does anything on earth today!
Seven Different Kinds of Prayer
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
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.
I have found at least 7 kinds of prayers that we pray.
1. The prayer of faith (primarily a prayer for yourself)
2. The prayer of consecration (relinquishing personal control)
3. The prayer of supplication (prayer for others)
4. The prayer of intercession (to take another’s place)
5. The prayer of agreement (when your faith needs a boost)
6. The prayer of worship (focussing on God)
7. United praying (tremendous power)
8. Praying in the spirit (beyond your own knowledge
Follow the rules for each kind of prayer!!
Last week – The Prayer of Supplication
1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
Four things to know about the prayer of supplication:
1. You are praying for someone else.
2. There is a different application of faith when praying for others than when you pray for yourself, because their wills are involved.
3. There is a difference in the application of faith when praying for others because of the hindrance of Satan.
4. Persistence is necessary when praying for others because of the obstinate will and the opposition of Satan.
Today: The Prayer of Intercession
1. Intercession is taking another person’s .
When we intercede, we take another’s place in prayer. This is only done by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Greek – Strong’s #1783. ἔντευξις enteuxis; from 1793; an interview, i.e. (specially) supplication: — intercession, prayer. AV (2) – intercession 1, prayer 1; a falling in with, meeting with an interview, a coming together, to visit, converse or for any other cause. (Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary)
Greek – Strong’s # 1793. ἐντυγχάνω entygchanō; from 1722 and 5177; to chance upon, i.e. (by implication) confer with; by extension to entreat (in favor or against): — deal with, make intercession.
AV (5) – make intercession 4, deal 1; to light upon a person or a thing, fall in with, hit upon, a person or a thing. (Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary)
Sometimes, when you are praying for someone else, you are praying the prayer of supplication, and end up in intercession for them.
2. is interceding for us right .
In His death and resurrection, He stood in the gap for us. He became what we were, so we could be what He is now!
If you are in a hard place, and you are a believer, stay aware that Jesus is interceding for you!
Hebrews 7:25 (NKJV)
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:15 (NLT)
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
Here’s an important point:
In His intercession for us, Jesus became what we are, so that we could be what He is now!
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Isaiah 53:6-7 (NLT)
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all. (7) He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open his mouth.
1 Peter 2:24 (NLT)
He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.
3. The helps us make intercession.
We cannot force the Holy Spirit to help us intercede. But we can put ourselves in a position to be available to Him.
Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV)
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (27) Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
The word helps in the above verse is a compound word that shows us what the Holy Spirit does to aid us in prayer.
Greek – Strong’s #4878. συναντιλαμβάνομαι synantilambanomai;
from 4862 and 482; , i.e. co-operate (assist): — help.
AV (2) – help 2; to lay hold along with, to strive to obtain with others, help in obtaining to take hold with another. (Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary)
When you are praying, you can tell when the Holy Spirit begins to take hold together with you against an issue with a person or a circumstance.
4. There is intercession for those .
Isaiah 66:8-9 (NKJV)
Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. (9) Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the Lord. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.
Isaiah 66:8 (KJV)
Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion, she brought forth her children.
Isaiah 66:8 mentions Zion, an Old Testament reference to a New Testament, Holy Spirit inspired prayer experience that the believer has for the unsaved. The term Zion is a reference to the Church.
Hebrews 12:22-23 (NKJV)
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, (23) to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.
When the Holy Spirit leads you to pray for a person without Christ, you may begin to feel away from God the way they do. You may begin to feel ill-at-ease the way they do. When you feel that way, the Holy Spirit is helping you make intercession for them.
You also may cry and actually groan because the burden of what you feel for the person seems so great. If they are without Christ, oppressed, or fearful, then you will have that same feeling in your spirit of being without Christ (no peace), oppressed, or fearful.
Many times as a pastor, I have a sense of heaviness upon me before I preach. I often have that sense on Saturdays before I minister on Sundays. I have learned that when I sense this, the Holy Spirit is seeking to have me intercede for the people attending the services the next day. God alone knows their true needs, and He will place that sense of burden upon my spirit before I preach.
In reading about Charles Finney, we find that a man by the name of Father Nash would accompany Finney as he travelled from city to city in northeastern United States. He would arrive a few days before Mr. Finney, check into a hotel room, and groan and travail in prayer for the meeting before Mr. Finney’s arrival.
Hotel attendants where Mr. Nash stayed would voice their concerns about Mr. Nash when Finney arrived to preach. From his room, they would hear his cries and groans, which sounded a bit like a woman giving birth, and would become disturbed.
Mr. Finney would tell them that he was praying, and that all was well. When Finney would preach after this, there would be a great conviction of sin in those who attended, and many people would come to Christ for salvation.
There is no birth without travail! This is true intercession, and we need to bring it back into the church today!
5. There is also intercession for new .
Galatians 4:19 (NKJV)
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.
Galatians 4:19 (KJV)
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.
The word formed here means to take what is on the inside and let it be seen on the outside in the conduct of the person.
God wants the change that the new birth brings to us to affect how we live everyday. And intercession and travail are necessary to help a new believer grow up in Christ.
Example: My friend Steve
I remember how God used me to minister to a Bible school friend years ago who had fallen away from the Lord. We had both attended the same Bible school, and I had seen Him while shopping with Susan in Tulsa. My friend had fallen away from the Lord, and as we talked, his flippant attitude about God and spiritual things became apparent. In fact, He was smoking a cigarette while he talked to me, and blowing the smoke in my face!
A few days later I was in my place of prayer, and I thought about my meeting with him. As I prayed for him, I was suddenly overcome by a sense of desperation and a sense of being severed from my fellowship with the Lord. At the same time, I could sense how God felt about my friend turning his back on his faith. It was a feeling of hurt mixed with a yearning and longing for my friend to return to the Lord. I found myself literally groaning and travailing , wailing and crying profusely for my wayward friend. I prayed this way for ten to fifteen minutes, and then the travail and burden of prayer lifted, and a sense of peace came over me about his situation.
Some time later I received a call from my friend, and he told me that he had moved to another city, had come back to the Lord, and was faithfully attending a church there.
I encourage you to develop your prayer life, and tell the Holy Spirit that you are available to be used in intercession by Him as He wills it. You will find that, on occasion, the Holy Spirit will use you in travail to make intercession for others.
Many times lives hang in the balance, waiting on our willingness to be used by God in intercession!
6. There is intercession for .
Abrasham’s intercession for Sodom
Genesis 18:16-33 (NLT)
Then the men got up from their meal and looked out toward Sodom. As they left, Abraham went with them to send them on their way. (17) “Should I hide my plan from Abraham?” the Lord asked. (18) “For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. (19) I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.” (20) So the Lord told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. (21) I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”
(22) The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham. (23) Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? (24) Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? 25 Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” (26) And the Lord replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.” (27) Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. (28) Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.” (29) Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?”And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.” (30) “Please don’t be angry, my Lord,” Abraham pleaded. “Let me speak—suppose only thirty righteous people are found?”
And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it if I find thirty.” (31) Then Abraham said, “Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue—suppose there are only twenty?”
And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” (32) Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?” And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
(33) When the Lord had finished his conversation with Abraham, he went on his way, and Abraham returned to his tent.
Moses’ intercession for Israel
Exodus 32:30-32 (NLT)
The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a terrible sin, but I will go back up to the Lord on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for your sin.”
(31) So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves. 32 But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!”
Daniel 9:1-19 (NLT)
It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. (2) During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. (3) So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes. (4) I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. (5) But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. (6) We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.
(7) “Lord, you are in the right; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel, scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you. (8) O Lord, we and our kings, princes, and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. (9) But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. (10) We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions he gave us through his servants the prophets. (11) All Israel has disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice. “So now the solemn curses and judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured down on us because of our sin. (12) You have kept your word and done to us and our rulers exactly as you warned. Never has there been such a disaster as happened in Jerusalem. (13) Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses has come true. Yet we have refused to seek mercy from the Lord our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth. (14) Therefore, the Lord has brought upon us the disaster he prepared. The Lord our God was right to do all of these things, for we did not obey him. (15) “O Lord our God, you brought lasting honor to your name by rescuing your people from Egypt in a great display of power. But we have sinned and are full of wickedness. (16) In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. All the neighboring nations mock Jerusalem and your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors. (17) “O our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead. For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary.
(18) “O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair. See how your city—the city that bears your name—lies in ruins. We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. (19) “O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people and your city bear your name.”
- Jesus interceded for us by taking our place in sin. He fully understands everything you face. Do you live daily with the knowledge that Jesus is interceding for you?
- Are you available for the Holy Spirit to use you to intercede for others?
- Do you turn your criticism of others into prayer and intercession for them to grow in Christ?