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Let me encourage you to read the New Testament and mark every place where
prayer in mentioned. You will soon see the importance given to prayer. In
Matthews Gospel alone there are more than 40 references to prayer; there are
230 in the New Testament as a whole, although as many as ten different terms
are used for prayer. There are various methods, forms and types of prayer
and they exist so that we can use them against the enemy.
Today I would like to write to you about intercession. Intercession is a particular form of prayer for believers. What exactly is it?

Intercession is a special commission for Jesus disciples

Believers are called to do a particular kind of work through their prayers.
They should not only ask for things for themselves but stand before God on behalf of other people. That is a key aspect of the fulfilment of Jesus commission
on earth. It is prayer that first sets things moving in the spiritual world. Jesus
Himself is our great intercessor and we are called to follow Him determinedly
in that respect, too.

However, the work of prayer is not enough on its own; we need more if we
are truly to enter into intercession. From Jesus, our role model, flowed a great
stream of compassion. It was the power motivating Him. The active power
inherent in intercession grows out of a spontaneously overflowing sense of
mercy and love. These are usually quite natural feelings when it comes to our
own family and friends, but it is good to allow the Lord to lay other things
on our hearts, too. If we sense the burden of intercession, it means that God
would like to entrust something important to us.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us whatever we
ask we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)

The Old Testament gives us impressive examples of intercessory prayer. Abraham prayed to God for Abimelech and for the cities of Sodom and Gomorra,
which were destined for destruction. Moses, Solomon, Elijah, Ezekiel, Daniel,
Ezra, Esther, Jeremiah and many other prophets prayed for the people of Israel. There are even intercessory Psalms.

Intercession has the power to change things

As an evangelist, I am called to stand in front of vast crowds, but I do not dare
to preach to them before I am sure that intercession has been made to God for
all those people.

During our major campaigns my soul is filled with a spirit of prayer and
intercession; it often gets me out of bed at three in the morning. Hundreds,
and sometimes even thousands, of intercessors support me in prayer when I
am then at work on the platform. For my spirit, that is like a mighty upcurrent
that allows an eagle to soar high. I look out over a sea of people and know that
Satan is going to have to let his prey go.
In the Western world only comparatively few non-Christians venture to attend an evangelistic meeting. If they do go to that kind of meeting, it is often
because they have been invited by someone who has been interceding to God
for them for some time and has prepared the ground.

But what about the people in the overpopulated countries of Africa and Asia, in
China, India and Indonesia? How many of them have their names brought before
the Lord? Who intercedes for them and stands in the gap for them, as we read in
Ezekiel? These huge crowds are made up of many valuable, unique individuals.
They are human beings like us. If we do not pray for them, who will?

Our prayers pierce the darkness of a tortured world like laser guns; they
are like shafts of light releasing Gods blessing on the earth, transmitting the
power of Calvary and Jesus resurrection. Intercession has the power to change
things that seem unchangeable and blocks the devils wavelengths.
I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before
me in the gap on behalf of the land so that I would not have to destroy it, but I
found none. (Ezekiel 22:30)

If God had found a man like that when Ezekiel was writing those lines, it would
inevitably have been mentioned in the prophets book and his name would
have been immortalised. When we make intercession, we join Gods elite
troops, a committed army of warriors who are well known in heaven and who
achieve a lot.

Intercession because there are no nobodies for God

Every single human being has an incomparably high value. The intensity of our
prayers should match the desperate state of forlornness from which people
need to be freed. The more they are caught up in the web of evil, the more
intense our intercession needs to be. No one should be allowed to go through
life without someone praying for him or her.
When we read 1 Timothy 2:1-4, we realise that the ultimate and supreme goal
of intercession is evangelism. God wants all (!) people to be saved. Lets storm
the heavenly throne and pray for many people to be saved and redeemed.

Intercession is not pious babbling or empty words but a heart-felt cry for help.
Intercession is not over and done with by praying Lord, bless me and everyone
else. Amen! Our Lord prayed fervently for us until He sweated blood. He even
prayed for the soldiers who drove the nails into his trembling flesh. Intercession is
something that requires commitment, earnestness and faithfulness.

Pray for all people because life without Christ is a terrible thing. There is
only one Saviour, and if people turn Him down, there is nowhere else they can
go for help. What can they do then? There is no way out. That is why intercession is so urgently needed. Intercession leads to divine intervention.

Intercession leads to divine intervention

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. (Alfred Lord
Tennyson) That sounds good but is only half the truth. The other half would
have to be: More things have failed to happen because people did not pray
than this world dreams of.

Many supposedly unanswered prayers are probably prayers that were never
really prayed. However, if we pray for the salvation of a nation, we can be sure
to have Gods immediate attention because those prayers go straight to the
heart of what concerns our Lord.
The Lords Prayer begins with the words Our Father in heaven, hallowed be
Your name. Your kingdom come. That is how every true intercessory prayer
begins because what we want is for His kingdom to come. And all true intercession ends with the words Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory for
ever and ever. Amen.

Postfach 60 05 74
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February 2013

Brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be
honoured. (2 Thessalonians 3:1)