Has it ever occurred to you to pray for someone in the middle of your day? Has the image or situation of someone you know ever popped into your head at a strange time? Have you found yourself listening to someone tell you about their day, and as each minute draws on, you feel the growing need to pray for them? You may very well have the spiritual gift of intercession.
While the New Testament does not identify intercession as a spiritual gift, many believe that the examples of the early intercessors, including Paul and Timothy, as well as Old Testament intercessors like Moses, were evidence that those with a prayer ministry play an important role in the growth and spiritual health of the church. (“First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people; for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct.” – 1 Tim. 2:1-2)
This article provides very useful advice about tapping your intercessory gift, including how to tell if you have the intercessory gifting, as well as what you can do to use it properly. I, for one, have always believed in the power of prayer. When people tell me about their situations, I promise to pray for them, asking for specifics, which I then include in a little prayer journal that I keep for myself. I then commit these people to prayer daily until the desired breakthrough – or communication from God that it’s not going to happen – comes through. I’m not saying I’m an intercessor, but I do have a prayer burden, and I’ve found – especially in the past two weeks – that there’s a fire within me that’s burning bright for other people. (For instance, I was angered by two persons who parked their cars badly today, but I’ve since sought forgiveness and prayed for myself and for them; in the process, that prayer took me all sorts of places. When you get started, it gets hard to stop.)
There are few things that compare to the joy of knowing that you played some kind of role in helping someone understand or experience the immense power of God. We are talking about the God Who created the universe, yet listens to your voice when you call out to Him. The intercessor stands in the gap and calls upon God for deliverance, mercy, healing, whatever is necessary, and has faith enough that his prayers will be answered. (Not your will, but God’s, which you can encourage or plead to change with a humble heart and a desire to pray.) When God does answer, wow, there’s little else like it!
If you think you have that spiritual gifting and have not tapped its fullest potential but would like to, please send me an email and we’ll cover each other in prayer as you seek God’s will and ask Him for wisdom and discernment. The world needs more intercessors!