There are many types of prayer mentioned in the Bible. Perhaps one of the most inclusive scriptures is this one – “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
We could add to this many more types of prayer, such as confession and repentance, but let us take a brief look at intercession. In the Greek, it primarily means that we are praying on behalf of others. This means more than simply that point in a Church Service when we briefly pray for current issues in the life of the Church or the nation. It has a deeper dimension!
In Hebrews 4:14, we read “… since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God…” and in Hebrews 7:24-25 we see that “because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood” and that “he always lives to intercede.” Add to that 1 Peter 2:9, where we read that we are “a royal priesthood…” Simply put, everything of the Old Testament priesthood, the temple, the sacrifices, the Day of Atonement, etc., have been fulfilled through Christ’s death on the Cross, except – intercession. He calls us to join Him in that!
This is our calling – what a privilege! It is not named as one of the gifts mentioned in the Bible and we do the body of Christ a huge disservice when we make it such. I’m sure it is not done consciously, but it has become part of our language – “The Intercession team will be meeting on Wednesday night.” “I have a group of intercessors praying for me.” It excludes people and it sets others apart. It makes it unattainable for many, as they look to the spiritual giants of faith such as Paul the Apostle, Rees Howells or at others in their Church – the ‘prayer warriors’.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and they follow me!” Implied in this short verse is this – if you are one of God’s sheep, then you can not only hear His voice but that you can also discern it, understand what He is saying and obey it! All that is required is intimacy with the Father; with the indwelling Holy Spirit directing and empowering us, as we obey.
So, intercession is for all of us. Where God takes us in that, is His prerogative! His assignments can last from a few minutes to years. It can be for a family member, somebody who is sick, our neighbourhood, our leaders, the nation, the Church, for revival… Embrace it!
Father, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Will you show me more of what it is to be a royal priest, joining with Christ in His high priestly calling. Help me to become actively involved with Him in bringing heaven to earth. I am an intercessor! Amen!