“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” – Colossians 4:12
As Christians we are required to pray. We come to God with our struggles, our needs, our heartaches, and our burdens. Yet there is a greater prayer that is a sweet smelling savor to the Lord, and that is the prayer of intercession. When we pray for others God is moved to compassion by our compassion and takes action. The key however, is fervent prayer. Not a courteous prayer, not a half hearted prayer, not a recited prayer, but a fervent prayer.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16
The call to intercessory prayer is the highest calling a human being can attain too. For it is through intercession that the will of God is propagated, preserved, and protected in the lives of others. It is through intercession that ministries are built, strongholds exposed, powers broken, and revival revealed. Intercession connects us to the very heart of God as we grieve with Him over His lost children and allow the Holy Spirit to fight through us to bring them back into the perfect will of God.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Romans 8:26-27
Intercession is the most effective prayer for the Kingdom of God and the individual alike because as you fight for others, God will fight for you increasing the return in the same manner that tithing or giving to others causes God to give more to you. Further more, the very act of humility putting others first in love positions you for an increased measure of Grace, keeps you in the right spirit, and aligns you with God’s will for your own life that He might be able to pour out blessings and favor on you.
However, answering the call to intercession is by no means easy, for the devil hates an intercessor more then anyone else because he knows their great effectiveness for the Kingdom of God. He will distract you, attack you, and try to turn you away from praying for those God has called you to war for at all cost. He will send people and meaningless task to fill your time, he will send all the forces of hell to scare you into quitting, and if all else fails he will cause the very people you are praying for to rise up against you. Be aware of the tactics. The devil will put a bug in your ear about those you are meant to pray for trying to cause you to loose your heart for them and replace it with bitterness that will render your prayers ineffective, as things like bitterness, jealousy, envy, and strife in the heart of the prayer are all sure prayer killers. The Devils greatest tactic against the power of the intercessor is to cause them to loose their heart for those they are fighting for and this is most often done by causing the very ones you are meant to pray for to rise up against you. Don’t fall for the tactic. Recognize it as the last ditch effort of Satan himself to stop you because victory is at hand and he knows he is about to loose. If you don’t quit or fall to these tactics, you will when and all of heaven will rejoice with you over the victory as God is glorified in love, faithfulness, obedience, peace, kindness, humility, patients, and faith which are the fruits (or evidence) of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:25-27)
“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” – Luke 6:27-28