Hello Wop Community and welcome to another Wop Devotional. You will need your bible ,a journal / notebook /diary / pens and markers. This week's topic is : What is intercession prayer. Intercession or intercessory prayer is the act of praying God in heaven on behalf of oneself or others. To intercede is to pray and intervene on behalf of another. That's exactly what Jesus does for us and what the Holy Spirit does for us when we can't do it for our selves. God appreciates people who pray fervently for others facing trials. God gives us instructions to pray for others in several places in the Bible. The apostle James tells us to “pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).God calls us to be men and women of action. He doesn't want us to be passive, but to proactively work for His kingdom. We think of intercession, but we don't consider it to be proactive work. But understanding how Jesus is now our High Priest who bridges us now to the Father will lead us to understand the active power that is in the power of prayer and intercession.
The apostle Paul encourages us to intercede (pray) for Church members and ministers, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
Apostle Paul urges us “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, emphasis is added throughout).
Importance of intercession prayer
Intercession prayer is important, and benefits both the Intercessor and the one being interceded for. There are accounts from The Word of God that proves this. Let us look at some of them:
● Intercession Prayer brings the Intercessor closer to God. When you pray for others, God will tell or show you things He will not share with just any other person.
“Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7
When we study the book of Exodus, we find that Moses was always interceding for Israel, and God would tell him things even before He does them.
At some point in Exodus 32:7-14 God told Moses He wanted to kill the whole nation of Israel, because they were stiff-necked, but Moses interceded for them and God changed His decision.
●While praying for others, the Intercessor’s prayers are answered. “And the Lord restored Job’s losses WHEN HE PRAYED FOR HIS FRIENDS. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before”. (Job 42:10).
●The one being prayed for can be saved from danger that he/she was not even aware of.
“And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.” (Genesis 19:29). Lot was saved as God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, because Abraham interceded.
●It brings deliverance to the one being prayed for.
How to pray for others
Prayer is a vital part of our communication with our loving Father in heaven. In the Bible He tells us how we can pray most effectively—in a way that pleases Him.
Here are a few biblical principles for effective intercessory prayer. We should:
a) Pray for others from the heart, with deep feeling and sincerity.
Pray for others regularly. In what is often called the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus told us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).We should pray for our needs and the needs of others every day.
b) Pray for others in detail. God knows everything; but He wants us to come to Him with all our specific requests because He likes to hear from us and to know what is important to us. The Bible compares our prayers to incense, and God loves prayers that are like “sweet incense beaten fine” (Leviticus 16:12). Detailed, thoughtful prayers are more pleasing than rushed, summary prayers to “bless everybody.” Making a prayer list or prayer journal can help you remember the details.
c) Pray for others with faith, knowing that God has all power and loves the people we are praying for. Faith reminds us that God knows what is eternally best for each person, and that even if God does not answer in the way we want at the time we want, we can trust He has all of our best interests in mind.
d) Pray for others with love. Remember that names on a prayer list represent real people with deep needs, struggles and feelings. Consider that God loves each of them and wants us to have the same outgoing concern. Godly love is totally unselfish and is the essence of God’s character.
e) Pray for others fervently—with intensity, zeal and passion. James 5:16 tells us “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
f) Pray for others with a desire to help where we can. This might include physical help and encouragement. Cards, calls and visits might be helpful. It is not wrong to tell a person you are praying for him or her if it will help encourage the person.
g) Pray for others occasionally with fasting. When a situation is very serious or hits close to home for you, you may decide to fast and pray to draw close to God to present your supplication to Him.
REMAIN BLESSED IN THE LORD ALWAYS.