HOW TO INTERCEDE
This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him. (I John 5:14-15)
The key element in intercessory prayer is not how loud we pray, nor how energetic we are in our prayers (this is not say that these are wrong), but how sincere our requests are as we make them known unto God. It is imperative that God's glory be the end of our intercession because Satan's chief goal is to prevent God from being glorified. Therefore, if we are to have as our primary goal the glorification of God and commit our whole soul and being to the movement of intercessory prayer, God will manifest Himself. "Then you will call upon me and when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you..." (Jeremiah 29:12-13).
Prayer should be offered in faith and according to the will of God:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him. (I John 5:14-15)
The Bible teaches about how to intercede and what to intercede for. You will also learn how to base your intercession upon the promises of God's Word.
HOW TO INTERCEDE
Look up each of the following references in your Bible. These passages provide Biblical guidelines for intercession:
-Prayer is to be made to God: Psalms 5:2
-Quality rather than quantity is stressed; Prayer is not successful because of "much speaking": Matthew 6:7
-Empty repetition is forbidden, but earnest repetition is not: Daniel 6:10; Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8
-Pray with understanding (in a known tongue): Ephesians 6:18
-Pray in the Spirit in tongues: Romans 8:26; Jude 20
-Intercede according to the will of God: I John 5:14-15
-Pray in secret: Matthew 6:6
-Pray always: Luke 21:36; Ephesians 6:18
-Pray continually without ceasing: Romans 12:12; I Thessalonians 5:17
-Intercede to the Father in the name of Jesus: John 14:13-14
-Pray with a watchful attitude: I Peter 4:7
-Pray using the example of the model prayer: Matthew 6:9-13
-Pray with a forgiving spirit: Mark 11:25
-Pray with humility: Matthew 6:7
-Sometimes accompany prayer with fasting: Matthew 17:21
-Intercede fervently: James 5:16; Colossians 4:12
-Pray with submission to God: Luke 22:42
-Use the strategies of binding and loosing in prayer: Matthew 16:19
PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE INTERCESSION
Here are some principles of effective intercession drawn from the foregoing Scriptures:
Praise God for who He is and for the privilege of engaging in the same wonderful ministry as the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 7:25). Praise God for the privilege of cooperating with Him in the affairs of men through prayer.
Make sure your heart is clean before God by having given the Holy Spirit time to convict, should there be any un-confessed sin (Psalms 66:28; 29:23-24).
Acknowledge you cannot really pray without the direction and energy of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26). Ask God to utterly control you by His Spirit, believe by faith that He does, and thank Him (Ephesians 5:18).
Deal aggressively with the enemy. Come against him in the all-powerful Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the "sword of the Spirit" - the Word of God (James 4:7).
Die to your own imaginations, desires, and burdens for what you feel you should pray (Proverbs 3:5-6; 28:26; Isaiah 55:8).
Praise God now in faith for the remarkable prayer meeting you are going to have. He is a remarkable God and will do something consistent with His character.
Wait before God in silent expectancy, listening for His direction (Psalms 62:5; Micah 7:7; Psalms 81:11-13).
In obedience and faith, utter what God brings to your mind, believing (John 10:27).
Keep asking God for direction, expecting Him to give it to you. He will (Psalms 32:8).
Make sure you don't move to the next subject until you have given God time to discharge all He wants to say regarding this burden, especially when praying in a group. Be encouraged by the lives of Moses, Daniel, Paul, and Anna, knowing that God gives revelation to those who make intercession a way of life.
If possible, have your Bible with you should God want to give you direction or confirmation from it (Psalms 119:10-15).
When God ceases to bring things to your mind to pray for, finish by praising and thanking Him for what He has done, reminding yourself of Romans 11:36,"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen."
WHAT TO INTERCEDE FOR
Study the following Biblical references which reveal what you are to intercede for:
-The peace of Jerusalem: Psalms 122:6
-Laborers in the harvest: Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2
-That you enter not into temptation: Luke 22:40-46
-Them that despitefully use you (your enemies): Luke 6:28
-All the saints: Ephesians 6:18
-The sick: James 5:14
-One for another (bearing each others burdens): James 5:16 (You sin by neglecting to pray for others: I Samuel 12:23)
-For all men, kings, and those in authority: I Timothy 2:1-4
-For daily needs: Matthew 6:11
-For wisdom: James 1:5
-For healing: James 5:14-15
-For forgiveness: Matthew 6:12
-For God's will and Kingdom to be established: Matthew 6:10
-For relief from affliction: James 5:13
-For unity in the Body of Christ: John 17
-For persecuted Believers around the world: Hebrews 13:3
INTERCEDING WITH THE PROMISES
God answers prayer according to His will and His will is revealed in the promises recorded in His Word. When you do not ask on the basis of these promises your prayer is not answered.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)
It is similar to how a father relates to his children. No parent commits to give his youngsters anything they want or ask for. He makes it clear that he will do certain things and not do other things. Within these limits the father answers his child's requests. It is the same way with God. He has given promises and they form the proper basis for prayer.
Learn what God has promised and pray according to these promises. One way to do this is to go through the Bible and mark all the promises of God and then base your prayers upon these promises. When you pray a promise, you actually declare God's Word back to Him. Here is an example:
"Thank you God that you know what is needed even before I ask (Matthew 6:8). I come to you in the name of Jesus, recognizing the power in that name (John 14:14). I pray for laborers for the harvest to be raised up to extend the Kingdom of God (Matthew 9:37-38)...." etc.
Here are a few examples of Biblical promises. These promises focus specifically on the subject of prayer:
-The Father knows what you need even before you ask: Matthew 6:8
-If any two agree in prayer, it will be answered: Matthew 18:19
-All things are possible with God: Matthew 19:26; Luke 18:27
-Prayer combined with faith is effective: Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24
-If you ask in the name of Jesus, it will be done: John 14:14
-The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much: James 5:16
FOR FURTHER STUDY
World leaders in intercessory prayer have recently used a strategy called "spiritual mapping" to pray for cities and nations. In essence, "spiritual mapping" is an attempt to see a city or a nation or the world as it really is, and not as it appears to be. This tactic is based on the assumption that spiritual reality lies behind the natural. It takes seriously the distinction between the visible and the invisible, superimposing our understanding of forces and events in the spiritual domain on places and circumstances in the material world.
Spiritual mapping acknowledges that behind many visible aspects of the world around us are spiritual forces, invisible areas of reality, that have more ultimate significance than the visible.
Spiritual mapping involves identifying and naming the spiritual forces at work in our communities, cities, and nations, and then applying this knowledge in strategic-level spiritual warfare praying.
The Scriptural mandate for spiritual mapping is taken from when God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel and said:
"You also, son of man, take a clay tablet and lay it before you, and portray on it a city, Jerusalem." (Ezekiel 4:1)
Ezekiel was to draw a map on a piece of clay. God then told him to "lay siege against it." This is obviously not a reference to physical warfare, but to spiritual warfare. He was then to take an iron plate and put it between him and the city as if it were a wall and he was to lay siege against that as well.
There are many levels of spiritual mapping. Mapping could be done in your neighborhood or your particular section of the city. Mapping could be done for the city as a whole, for the city and its surrounding area, for the state or the province, or for the entire nation. Some will want to map clusters of nations.
There are two parts to spiritual mapping: First, you gather the information. Second, you pray about what you discover. You can locate information by visiting the local library, historical museums, the chamber of commerce, consulting old copies of the local newspaper, or conversing with elderly residents and members of the historical society for your city (if one exists).
The following summary of guidelines will assist you in naming and mapping the spiritual forces at work in your own city:
OBJECTIVES OF SPIRITUAL MAPPING:
To identify the enemy's plans, strategies, and plots for a specific geographical area.
To apply this knowledge in intelligent strategic-level warfare prayer and be victorious in a minimum of time with minimum risk and loss.
A. The founding of the city
Who were the people who founded the city?
What was their personal or corporate reason for founding the city? What were their beliefs and philosophies? What was their vision for the future of the city?
What is the significance of the original name of the city? Has the name been changed?
Are there other names or popular designations for the city? Do these names have meaning? Are they linked to religion of any sort? Are they demonic or occultic names?
Do they signify blessing or curses?
B. The later history of the city
What role has the city played in the life and character of the nation as a whole?
As prominent leaders have emerged in the city, what was their vision for their city?
Have any radical changes taken place in the government or political leadership of the city?
Have there been significant or sudden changes in the economic life of the city? Famine? Depression? Technology? Industry? Discovery of natural resources?
What significant immigration has occurred? Was there ever an imposition of a new language or culture on the city as a whole?
How have immigrants or minorities been treated? How have races or ethnic groups related to one another? Have city laws legitimized racism of any kind?
Have city leaders broken any treaties, contracts or covenants?
Have any wars directly affected the city? Were any battles fought in the city? Was there bloodshed?
How has the city treated the poor and oppressed? Has greed characterized city leaders?
Is there evidence of corruption among political, economic, or religious leaders and institutions?
What natural disasters have affected the city?
Does the city have a motto or slogan? What is its meaning?
What kinds of music do the people listen to? What is the message they receive from that music?
What five words would most people in the city use to characterize the positive features of their city today? What five words would they use for the negative features?
HISTORY OF RELIGION IN THE CITY:
A. Non-Christian religion
What were the religious views and practices of the people who inhabited the area before the city was founded?
Were religious considerations important in the founding of the city?
Have any non-Christian religions entered the city in significant proportions?
What secret orders (such as Freemasonry) have been present in the city?
What witches' covens, Satanist groups, or other such cults have operated in the city?
When, if ever, did Christianity enter the city? Under what circumstances?
Have any of the early or later Christian leaders been Freemasons?
What role has the Christian community played in the life of the city as a whole?
Have there been changes in this?
Is Christianity in the city growing, on a plateau, or declining?
Has there been conflict between religions in the city?
Has there been conflict between Christians?
What is the history of the Believers?
Locate different maps of the city, especially the older ones. What changes have taken place in the physical characteristics of the city?
Who were the city planners who designed the city?
Are there any significant discernible designs or symbols imbedded in the original plan or layout of the city?
Is there any significance in the architecture, location, or positional relationship of the central buildings, especially those representing the political, economic, educational, or religious powers in the city?
Has there been any historical significance in the particular plot of land upon which one or more of these buildings are located? Who originally owned this land?
What is the background of the city's parks and plazas? Who commissioned and funded them? What significance might their names have?
What is the background and possible significance of the statues and monuments of the city? Do any reflect demonic characteristics or glorify the creature rather than the Creator?
What other art work is featured in the city, especially on or in public buildings, museums, or theaters? Look especially for sensual or demonic art.
Are there any prominent archaeological sites in the city? What meaning might they have?
What is the location of highly visible centers of sin such as abortion clinics, pornographic bookstores or theaters, areas of prostitution, gambling, taverns, homosexual activities, etc.
Where are areas that concentrate greed, exploitation, poverty, discrimination, violence, disease or frequent accidents?
Where are locations of past or present bloodshed through massacre, war, or murder?
Does the position of trees, hills, stones, or rivers form any apparently significant pattern?
Do certain landmarks of the city have names that would not glorify God?
What is the highest geographical point in the city and what is built or located there? This can be a statement of authority.
Which zones or sectors or neighborhoods of your city seem to have characteristics of their own. Attempt to discern areas of the city that seem to have different spiritual environments.
What are the names of the principal deities or territorial spirits associated with the city past or present?
What are the locations of high places, altars, temples, monuments or buildings associated with witchcraft, occult, fortune-telling, Satanism, Freemasonry, Mormonism, eastern religions, Jehovah's witnesses, and the like. Do these form any patten when plotted on a map?
What are the sites of pagan worship from the past, even before the city was founded?
What are the different cultural centers that might contain art or artifacts connected with pagan worship?
Has any city leader knowingly dedicated himself or herself to a pagan god or a principality?
Were any known curses placed by the original inhabitants on the land or people who founded the city?
How have God's messengers been received by the city?
Has evangelism been easy or hard?
Who are the Christian leaders considered as "elders of the city"?
Is it easy to pray in all areas of the city?
What is the view of city leaders toward Christian morality?
What are the recognized, mature intercessors hearing from God concerning the city?
What is the identity of the ranking principalities seemingly in control of the city as a whole or certain areas of the city's life or territory?
Now … Use the information you have obtained to pray over your neighborhood, city, or nation. Pray specifically against the evil spiritual forces you have identified.