In this article I want to establish some practical principles of intercession. Perhaps some of the greatest issues to address as intercessors are, true unity of spirit and purpose, and what the spirit of religion has done to our thinking. Both of these issues need to be addressed.
1st of all the issue of unity
We have to understand that Jesus ever lives to intercede for the saints Heb7v25 and He came as an intercessor Is59 v16-17. Is it possible He wants to use His body in the ministry of intercession He is now involved in? Of course He does!
So how does He do this?
He said He would send another Comforter, Helper, Advocate , Standby, Strengthener, Counsellor, INTERCESSOR to be with us John 16v7 (Amplified).
The Holy Spirit is the One who directs the prayers God wants prayed on this earth through His people. The Spirit prays with and through those who will yield to Him.
If we read Romans 8v26, the Word says that the Spirit helps us in our weakness (or inability) for we do not know what prayer to pray nor how to pray it worthily.
That word “helps” is the Greek word “sunantilambanomai” which means He takes hold of together with us against. What a wonderful thought, I allow Him to use my body, soul and spirit for His work and I get to ride in the Holy Spirit bulldozer as He comes and pushes mountains out the way. This is a bit like the mouse and elephant, who were friends, and walked across a bridge together. When they got to the other side the mouse looked up at his friend the elephant, and said, “My we really shook that bridge up didn’t we!”
If the Holy Spirit is allowed to work through us like this then Rom 8v28 applies. “We are assured and know that God being a partner in their labour, all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His design and purpose”. Read Colossians 4v12. Paul calls this type of prayer labour. So the labour referred to here, is the labour of praying in partnership with the Holy Spirit. And by involving God in the issues prayed for, there will be a favourable outcome.
Romans 8v27 says, ”The Spirit intercedes and pleads before God on behalf of the Saints in perfect accordance with God’s will.” How does He do this?
The best way He does this, is by inspiring us in our prayer language, and giving us utterance.
1Cor14v14 Says, “If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit by the Holy Spirit within prays.” (Amplified). This means we bypass our intellect and understanding. This is an act of the highest humility and trust in God. Many people think the Holy Spirit is incapable of doing the job if they do not understand everything that is being prayed.
This causes them not to use their prayer language very much, if at all. Read 1Cor14v18.
Once we have prayed in the Holy Spirit and discerned the mind of Christ we can pray in the understanding. Paul says to pray first in the Spirit then in the understanding. How often do we do it that way around?
At Babel God confused the language of the people. This was to scatter them Gen11v7-8. In verse 6 of Genesis 11 God says, “They are one people with one language, this is only the beginning of what they will do and now nothing they have imagined will be impossible for them”. Once the new Covenant was established, God reverses this by giving people languages inspired by the Holy Spirit Acts 2v4. His plan is to unify all things in Christ Eph1v10. We need to note this and yield to this desire of God. The language of the Holy Spirit unifies!
Imagine what is possible to us who believe, when we are unity with God, and with one another!
As an intercession leader it has being my experience that people can accept what has just being discussed but battle with the practical aspect of it.
If we were to get 20 mature Christians together to decree governmentally into their county school program, some of the possible issues that would arise could be: should the schools be privatised? Should faith schools be allowed? What about parents who want to home school? Should we have a grammar school? Should pupils be bussed in from less privileged areas? What about the carbon footprint?
There is potential here for conflicting prayers and decrees to be made.
Why is this?
Generally Christians pray from their own perspective, intellect and understanding.
What would happen if using this same scenario we set some ground rules.
1 God is bigger smarter and wiser than us. Lets find His mind on these matters and say only what He shows us.
2. We want our prayers to be not only accurate, but also presented correctly, so we will allow the Holy Spirit to pray in and through us.
The above two conditions if agreed upon, would create the necessary agreement and will to work in unity in this matter even if some of the people praying had strongly held and opposing views. This would negate the need for “Democracy” and everyone to express their strongly held point of view, which ultimately causes division and fragmentation in the Body of Christ.
So if we can go beyond our personal prayer language into the prayer language of the Holy Spirit (Intercessor) we partner with the Holy Spirit (God) to pray the perfect will of God for that situation. We allow the Holy Spirit to orchestrate and conduct the prayer until the job is done. How do we know when He is satisfied the job is done?
He gives us the title deed to the prayer – that is the peace of God. Phil4 v 7.
So we are to partner with God in our prayers!
In childlike trust in Him and not having to work out everything with our limited minds we can do this.
2nd The issue of religion
We cannot partner with God in prayer fully if we are always sin conscious. Adam and Eve hid from God when they became sin conscious. For hundreds of years Christians have been taught by the spirit of religion, that they are sinners, saved by grace and that the heart of man is desperately wicked. For those outside of Christ this is true, but for Christians it is not.
We have been taught that repentance means wailing and moaning before God about our sin. (Nothing to do with changing our minds by the Word of God!) We have been taught that we have to obey the Ten Commandments and if we are not obedient to these and the “New Testament Commandments” (whatever those are) God won’t bless us.
Let us be done completely with the teachings of religion. Romans 6 v 3 says if we have been baptised into Christ Jesus we were baptised into His death. See verse 6 of Romans 6. That old sinner, rebel, wicked hearted man died in Christ Jesus. See Gal 2v19 and 20. Now read 2Cor5v17 which says if any man be in Christ he is a new creature altogether.
Ephesians 2 v 5 tells us that even when we were dead in our transgression He gave us the very same new life with which He raised Christ from the dead and He gave us joint seating with Him in the heavenly sphere.
So Christian believer you are a new creature alive with the same Life as Jesus has.
You are not a reconditioned sinner! You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
God doesn’t look at us and think I know you really did it but in My grace and mercy I have forgiven you, but both you and I know you are really guilty.
The Father looks at us and Says “Look at My son, look at My daughter aren’t they great!” He does this because He reckons the person who did the bad stuff dead, slain in Christ, on the cross (2Cor5v14). We are not that person now. We are a different person in His eyes. We are a brand new person in Christ (2Cor5v17). In other words, in God’s eyes, there is no more sin to even be considered for those in Christ. In Heb 9v26 the Bible tells us sin is abolished (Amplified).
As regards obeying the Law or any system of behaviour. Read Rom7v 4. When we died in Christ we also died to the Law. You see anyone who tries to be righteous by obeying the Ten Commandments (Law) or any other religious requirements, for that matter, is under a curse. Gal 3v10. So if you still desire to be righteous by obeying Law and/or any other rituals you put yourself under a curse. We the followers of Christ Jesus are not righteous by behaving right, but by believing right!
We behave righteously because we ARE righteous.
We don’t try to behave righteously to be righteous.
God wants us to be bold in His presence and to be worthy ambassadors of Christ. He wants to expand His Kingdom and make His manifold wisdom known to the powers and principalities through us His church (Ephesians 3v10). We have to carry ourselves as Sons of God and exercise authority as sons of God and His representatives on this earth.
Put religion away and rise up Intercessors and Ambassadors of Christ in the boldness and power of God!
Imagine one of the Ambassadors of Britain crawling through the door of 10 Downing Street, grabbing David Cameron’s feet, and with his head on the ground, saying, “O David, I am unworthy to stand in your presence! “ David Cameron would replace him immediately, and so he should.
Do not be an ambassador for Christ who behaves like that! That’s pathetic.
We are partners and co-labourers with God. We come to Him boldly. Our prayers are to be God breathed and Spirit prayed. It is His Kingdom, and His perfect will needs to be prayed every time we pray. We can achieve this by praying first in the Spirit and then in the understanding, the order that Paul puts it in 1Cor 14 v13-15.
We have to lay aside our personal agendas and everything we have learned up to now and trust Him to lead us as we pray and intercede in this, the new season we have already entered into.