Prayers of Intercession
Tonight is the 4thand last teaching on series about prayer. We’ve looked at Praying the Word of God, Apostolic Prayer, Devotional Prayers, and tonight ending with Intercession. And as I stated last week, if you who have not heard the other prayer teaching or sermons, you can go online to our website and look at the Blog. All of the sermons are on line there.
But first a question, when we speak of Intercession, what do we mean? And as I usually do, I like to look at the word in question first, the word intercession. We know what praying is, but what is intercession and intercessory prayers?
So the first thing I would like to look at is the English meaning and the meaning in the Greek for comparison because there may be differences in translation.
The English definition for intercessor or intercession is, “the action of intervening on behalf of another, and the action of saying a prayer on behalf of another person.”
It can also be an act of mediation, negotiation, pleading, supplication, and diplomacy by a person or groups of persons. It is also stepping into the gap for another or others for a purpose to cause a specific outcome. So that’s a pretty good definition for our point of view when we would pray.
In the Greek, the word “intercession” as we have discussed many times here has an expanded meaning. I looked at the word intercession used in Romans chapter 8 where it is used three times. Twice the word intercession has one meaning, and in another an extended meaning, but all three being similar in nature.
The word intercession in the Greek used twice is “entugchanō” (en-toong-khan'-o), and once “huperentugchanō.They’re close, but let’s look at some meaning to get a good perspective.
Romans8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” In this instance, intercession is huperentugchano means interceding on behalf of someone. But there is more to this.
Romans8:27 “And He searching the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Speaking about Jesus.
Romans8:34 “Who is he condemning? It is Christ who has died, but rather also who is raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who makes intercessionfor us.” Here the Greek word, “entugchanō”is used, and it means confer orask someone earnestly or anxiously to do something, (in favor or against.) Sounds like intercession as we know it.
To look at the whole context of the word, “entugchanō” (en-toong-khan'-o), at the root word tugchano. “tugchano” means make it come to pass by hitting the mark to attain it. And the words associated with it is “tikto”, and tuptō.
“tupto” means thumping or pummeling it with repeated blows, not just with one strike.
“tikto” means seeding it like a mother, to be born or brought forth, to be delivered.
“entugchanō” means we ask someone earnestly or anxiously to do something, (in favor or against) to deal with it.
On our part we will deal with it by positioning ourselves to give place and time to follow through in prayer repeatedly to the end of a preferred outcome which will give rest. Or we will rest from our prayers because an outcome has taken place. Because when we pray, we give birth or bring forth the desired outcome for it to be delivered. When a child is born to a mother, she receives rest from her labor. Her prize is the child. Our prize is the desired outcome of our prayers that we labored in.
Intercession is far different than general praying. This does not discount the power of a prayer. There are powerful people of prayer, no doubt about that. They are people who pray for God to move in situations. They may be called prayer warriors, because of their prayers, but intercession is different praying.
From the book on the life of Rees Howells called Rees Howells Intercessor, it states, “a prayer warrior can pray for a thing to be done without necessarily being willing for the answer to come through himself; and he is not even bound to continue in prayer until it is answered.”
“But an intercessor is responsible to gain his objective, and he can never be free till he has gained it. He will go to any lengths for the prayer to be answered through himself. But once a position of intercession has been gained, tested and proved, the intercessor can claim all the blessing on that grade, whenever it is God’s will for him to do so.”
An intercessor is one who prays until a desired outcome comes to pass. Intercessors do not give up. They are individuals who seek the heart of God for a situation and stick with it to the end.
There are individuals who have been praying for Kenosha and the surrounding area for years to see a move of God break out. They have not stopped because they believe that because of their prayers that move of God will happen. What they pray for has been put on their hearts by the Holy Spirit, so they are moved to pray, unceasing until what has been desired is fulfilled.
I am a product of intercession; I have spoken of it before. I ran from God for a time. My grandmother, mother, my aunt, others interceded for me, daily, that I would come back to Christ. I had a calling on my life. I ran from my calling, they prayed until I walked into the church with them on an Ester Sunday morning. They continued to pray for me that I would reach my destiny in Christ. Intercession may not be years, it may be days, weeks, or months, but it is continual prayer.
I intercede for my family. I pray God’s destiny in their lives, as well as continued health and protection. I pray the Word of God, I pray even the same verses over and over again on them in Jesus name. Because I want a desired outcome that lines up with the Word of God for their lives, and I also pray what I believe the Holy Spirit is telling me to pray for.
Intercessors have a unique call, but also I believe a unique ear to hear from the Holy Spirit to pray for certain situations for specific outcomes.
God chose intersession as a means to release His power and majesty through Jesus and His people. Majesty meaning sovereign royal power. That Sovereign royal power is power released through Jesus Christ who is the principle intercessor. Sovereign means possessing supreme or ultimate power. When we intercede in prayer, we are injecting (a word I use to much) the Word of God, or what He has declared into the situation we are praying for.
And as Mike Bickle states, “We are releasing God government, all His power when we pray.”
That government is seen in Christ Jesus in His function of intercession for us.
Hebrews7:24,”but He(Jesus), because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them. “
Romans8:34 “It is Christ who has died, but rather also who is raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us.”
“The primary principle of intercession is simply to tell God what He tells us to tell Him as a means of releasing His power.” (Mike Bickle “Revelation of Intercession)In other words by revelation through the Holy Spirit, we are led to pray for something, and by our vocal response to it, God releases His power into whatever we are to pray for. God waits for us to vocalize what He has told us pray for so He will act. We have received dominion over the earth, so He really puts it on us to speak His Word, and act on His behalf on the earth. We receive His power through our prayers to restore. Remember, we are Christ’s ambassadors. We have all rights and privileges of the Kingdom of Heaven as its ambassadors to do the will of God.
So to reiterate, the Holy Spirit is revealing to us a purposed prayer so we can position ourselves as I said earlier to give place and time to follow through in prayer to the end of a preferred outcome.
entugchanō” (en-toong-khan'-o),to hit the mark that God has purposed us to aim for, and we do it by speaking forth our prayers backed up to a heavenly government at our disposal. We can’t forget that our sovereign Lord Jesus Christ holds the keys to all things because Jesus is the one who creates, sustains and governs all things by the Word of God.
Hebrews1:3, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
Col 1:15-19,“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,”
So when we are lead to pray, we have confidence because of who Christ is and who we are in Christ that what we pray for is the will of God, and we continue to pray for an appointed outcome.
That outcome is to release the justice of God.
Luke18:7-8, “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.”
Justice happens through our intercessory prayers to God who wants to make wrong things right.
Justice has two sides when we pray. I took this from Mike Bickle’s teaching on The Revelation of Intercession. Why reinvent the wheel.
Judgment (punishment, vengeance) to the rebellious who resist God’s justice.
Salvation (deliverance, vindication) to the redeemed as God makes wrong things right for them.
Healing: God’s judgment on sickness is seen in the manifestation of healing power.
Revival: God’s judgment on compromise is seen in reviving the Church by the Spirit.
Soul winning: God’s judgment on the kingdom of darkness is seen when people get saved.
End Time Judgements: God’s judgments against the evil governments and their actions.
Righteous legislation God’s judgment on unrighteous legislation (abortion, etc.)
Unity (reconciliation): God’s judgment on division in the family, society and the Church.
Holiness: God’s judgment on sin, anger, pornography, drugs and rebellion, etc.
Jesus uses us to pray to release judgment. And Intercessory prayer reveals the love of God one to another to release the judgement of God to bring deliverance to those in need.
When King David began day and night prayer through his government, worship with intercession was not only to give glory to God, but to move God to follow through with His justice for the people. Their intercession had the power of God behind it with impactful purpose. In David’s Psalms he wrote:
Psalms22:3-5, “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.”
Psalms149:4-9,“For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation. 5 Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, 7 to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples, 8 to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, 9 to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the LORD!”
Psalms 149 wasn’t about physical warfare; it was about spiritual warfare through worship and intercession. God’s people going to Him with their prayers of intercession for Him to follow through on His Word.
All can intercede, but there are certain people I believe God has called out to be true intercessors. People who seem to lock themselves in a room and cry out to God who are rarely seen in their position of power being in the presence of the Almighty God. Intercessors can cause the mighty to fall, and can cause healing and restoration, ripping people out of the hold Satan and his lies.
The world today may think intercessors to be weak, because everything worldly seems to be about physical power, or the power of the mind. The Word says that the prayers of a righteous man avails much, because those prayers have dominion over the things of this world. Because Christ has dominion over all things and we are in Christ. I love 1 Corinthians 1.
1 Corinthians 1:24-29,”Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”
When we intercede, we pray humbly in the form of weakness, but what we pray, we have received and we are saying what we are told to say by God. It may seem to be weak, but it is God sharing Himself to us. We know that what we do is from God, so there is no wisdom on our part nor physical power, it is only the Spirit that we move in. That is the humbling part. That we who are mere men can be in the presence of a most Holy and Great God and do His bidding through a humble heart in humble posture. On our face before God.
Jesus said in 2 Corinthians 12:9 to the Apostle Paul that is for us today, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” So by being humble before our Lord we are made strong, and by our Words that are come forth in the Spirit we produce power to change things. We produce power to bring justice. That is what intercession does.
We are to be humble because Jesus was humble. Jesus said in Matthew 11:29, “learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart.” There is such power in that.
The power is that because as we humble ourselves in prayer, we touch the heart of God. We touch it because we are partnering with Him. We are aligning ourselves to His will to bring restoration. Remember what the Apostle Peter said of Jesus, of Him “not wishing that anyone would perish.”
That is in the mind of the intercessor when they engage with Holy Spirit to pray. That none should perish, that all would be free in the mind and in the flesh.
And I would like to finish with this.
Some might say, I feel I should pray but I don’t know how, or I don’t know what to pray for in a situation.
Romans8:26, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Sometimes our burdens cause us to groan for we don’t know what to pray. So the Spirit intercedes. Bit during those times, if we go to the Lord and ask, He will respond. The Holy Spirit will direct us, and give us revelation. And from experience, since I am Spirit Filled, I have prayed in tongues to receive knowledge, and have received revelation to pray in English. I have also felt the need to continue in Tongues knowing the situation because of the power of tongues. Praying Spirit to Spirit. There is power in it during intercession.
I’ll promise to end with this last thing. It’s the word purpose, that last word in verse 28. It stood out to me.
The Greek word for purpose is "prothesis". It means setting forth the Shew bread, the bread that was in the Temple of God.
In the Temple, there was a table that held 12 loaves of Shew Bread. The table was called the Table of the Presence. Meaning the Presence of God. The bread was unleavened and called actually the “bread of the face.” It was the bread that set out to be in the face or presence of God. Meaning that Presence or Face of God would forever shine on His people.
So verse 28 could read.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his Presence that will forever shine on them forever.
Our intercession brings the Presence of God into what we have been called to pray for. His light shines on us because we are fulfilling our calling. The Spirit leads, and we pray, unceasing until God’s judgement is revealed. That His justice will be manifested on the earth in direction to our prayers. That is the intercessor. Bringing justice to people in need of the love of God.
Many are called but few choose, it’s a fact. Intercession is not easy, but so satisfying. Intercessors walk from glory to glory.
And here at the Furnace, our prayer to fill the place with worshippers and intercessors who will cry out night and day to bring God’s justice to the city especially, the region and the world. Amen.
Currently on Wednesday Nights at 7pm and soon on Friday Night’s at 8pm we gather here to worship and intercede, and it’s our prayer that the church in Kenosha and the surrounding area will pray with us to bring God’s justice and freedom to people.