By Rebecca Barlow Jordan, Crosswalk.com
Have you ever felt an unexplained burden on your heart to pray for the masses, for unnamed others, for your community or the world at large? That is the Holy Spirit calling you to intercession. The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who lifted up others in prayer, and Ephesians 6:18 tells us to: pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.
What is Intercession and Intercessory Prayer?
The primary principle of intercession is simply to tell God what He tells us to tell Him as the means of releasing His power. He tells us what to pray in His Word. We can pray the Bible. It is profoundly simple. Intercession is God’s brilliant strategy for including the saints in ruling with Him in power. Its mystery is in its weakness, simplicity, humility, and accessibility to all.
God has chosen intercession as the primary means in which He releases His power now and forever. Jesus operated in the principle of intercession when He created the earth by speaking the Word to the Father (Genesis 1). He releases His power now and will rule the nations forever in partnership with His people through intercession.
- Intercession causes us to internalize God’s Word and changes us.
- Intercession unites our heart to people and places we pray for.
- Intercession renews our hope and faith.
- Intercession imparts life (John 6:63).
- Intercession makes a long-term impact beyond this age (Rev. 5:8, 8:1-6).
- Intercession humbles us.
- Intercession changes the spiritual atmosphere of cities and nations.
- Intercession causes multiple blessings to return to the intercessor (Luke 6:38).
Example Intercessory Prayer
Lord Jesus, I come to you today and thank you for the privilege of praying for others. I've been the recipient of others' prayers so often, I understand how powerful intercessory prayer can be. I ask you first to cleanse my heart and show me if there is any unconfessed sin in my own life so that my prayers for others will not be hindered. I thank you that through your name, I can come boldly before you and pray with confidence, according to your will and know that you hear me.
I lift up those in my neighborhood, in my city, and in my church. Begin with those who follow you, and help them influence others for good. Let them be salt and light, pointing others to you. Deepen their love for you and for the people around them. Guard them from hypocrisy or from giving in to temptations that could harm the cause of Christ. Raise up leaders who will serve you faithfully at all costs. Turn the hearts of fathers toward their children, and families toward you. Help them to exemplify your values, and make them bold in their faith. Strengthen my own family, and those closest to me, Lord. May our love for you help us to love and forgive others and make a difference in our world.
I pray for teachers, for students, and for all those in authority and leadership, both locally and throughout the world. Give them your mind, and surround them with godly counselors who will exercise integrity and work for justice, morality, and freedom. Help them to esteem you, not dismiss you. Send revival, Lord.
I pray for the lost, the hurting, the lonely, the sick, the bereaved, and those who are imprisoned—behind both visible and invisible walls. Send your comfort, your peace, and your calming presence to those who are without hope. Protect the defenseless, and hold them close to your heart. I pray for laborers to tell the good news of Jesus to people around our world. Jesus, my heart cries out for persecuted believers, too. Make them brave, and give them your powerful protection. I pray you will bring swift justice to those who want to destroy the innocent and those who carry your name. Bind the power of Satan, and strengthen believers everywhere.
So many needs, Jesus, but you are adequate for every need. Your name is powerful, and your power is great. So it's in your name that I pray—and believe.
Who are you seeking intercession for today? Join our amazing praying community in the comments below and see God move in wonderous ways!
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart. She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Zinkevych
Additional Examples of Intercessory Prayers
An Intercessory Prayer for the Church
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
Lord, You have given us what seems like an impossible task with this passage. You have asked us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow You. Even when our spirits are willing, the flesh is weak. You know our hearts, Father. Help us, with Your Holy Spirit, to examine our hearts and hear from You. The longer we walk with You, the more we look like You. We desire to become more and more like You, less selfish and more selfless, willing to deny ourselves in any and all situations. You have told us that when we lose our life for Your sake, we will save it. Save us from ourselves, God.
As we lift up these words for our churches, let us come before God with humility and a willingness to obey. Let us put others first and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we seek God first, putting aside our own desires. May we become intercessors for our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we pray more and criticize less. May we be encouragers and uplifters. (by Candace Crabtree)
Prayer of Intercession for Your Adult Child
Father, thank you for making me a parent. Today, I ask you to pour out blessings and favor on my children’s lives. Give them the very best of life in your presence. Keep them under your loving, watchful eye. We praise you with all honor and glory.
Dear God, I know that every good and perfect gift is from you. I praise you for the care and provision you provide to my children and to me. Today I pray you will lavish my children with your good gifts. Provide for their shelter, food, and care from the great riches of your storehouse.
Father Creator, I know that trouble will come for my children. Strengthen my children and let them know your presence as you walk through the waters with them (Isaiah 43:1-3). You, Father God, are faithful and will protect my children from evil. You alone give them the strength to endure. Your grace is sufficient. (by Tamala Turbeville)
A Biblical Prayer for the Salvation of Others
Lord, I pray that You would teach me to yield myself to Your Spirit as I pray for the salvation of those who do not know you. Holy Spirit, teach me to trust You as a living person who leads my life and my prayers. I long to see Your power in my life just as the Apostle Paul did as he reached out to the lost (1 Corinthians 2:2-5). I thank You that You indwell, seal, sanctify, and empower me. You guide me, teach me, and pray through me. Help me to partner with You as I use Your Word in praying for the salvation of my family, friends, and co-workers. Make me sensitive to Your promptings and teach me to partner with You in praying Your Word over those who are searching for You.
Jesus, I want to prioritize prayer for others just as You did on earth. You withdrew to lonely places to pray (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16). You were faithful in intercession and even prayed whole nights. Teach me to be faithful in prayer. Help me to remember the lost when I pray [Bring before the Lord five unsaved family members or friends]. Show them that the free gift of eternal life is in You alone (Romans 6:23, John 3:16). Help me to be Your witness and love them. Help me to show warm-hearted acts of kindness towards them. I know that love comes from You (1 John 4:7). Help me to show love towards everyone I meet. Love always hopes and believes (Pray all of 1 Corinthians 13). Help me to be active in sharing my faith (Philemon 6). I thank You that I can be Your witness everywhere I go (Acts 1:8).
I thank you that the darkness vanishes as I pray for the lost. Thank you for convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). I pray that you will soften the hearts of [Name one-by-one others who do not know Christ]. Remove the spiritual blindness from their eyes, and help them to understand the truth about You. Bring them to repentance and salvation (Acts 3:19). I believe that You are working in their hearts even as I pray. Help me to let my light shine before men, that they may see my good deeds and glorify my Father in heaven (Mathew 5:16). Help me to be Your light in their lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.(by Debbie Przybylski)
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