Would you like to experience incredible levels of intimacy with Jesus? Do you want God to reveal His secrets to you? And, do you want to shape history, shake heaven and earth, and influence nations with your prayers? You can do all these things and more if you learn how to become an intercessor.
Notice: The link below to the book Rees Howells, Intercessor, is an Amazon affiliate link. This means that if you decide to purchase the book and you click on my link to do so, Amazon will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you in advance for helping support this blog in this way!
Today's post begins a new, month-long teaching focus on intercession here on From His Presence (R).
Throughout this month, we will discuss essential questions like:
- How to become an intercessor;
- Why are intercessors necessary?
- What can you gain by interceding?
- Why doesn't God just move without people having to pray?
- What makes an intercessory prayer different from an ordinary prayer?
- Are there multiple ways to intercede? If so, what are those ways?
- How to win in intercession;
- Should everybody become an intercessor? Or is the intercessory role for a select few in the Kingdom?
- What kind of sacrifice is required for you to become an intercessor?
- And so much more!
I believe this month of teaching and activation in intercession will bless and encourage you.
First, I want to start with my story about how I became an intercessor:
I gave my life to Jesus when I was 21 years old. Shortly after that time, someone I knew recommended that I read a book called Rees Howells, Intercessor (Amazon affiliate link). When I began reading the book, I was floored.
Rees Howells (1879-1950) was a Holy-Spirit-made intercessor.
He didn't just pray; he interceded. He lived out his prayers through his willingness to be the solution. He was willing to lay down his life to see God's will happen in whatever area God showed him.
Later in his life, the results of Howells' prayers were so well-known that someone remarked they had better get out of the way of God's will, lest Rees Howells look over his fence and begin praying!
The book gripped me–because that kind of praying gripped me.
I wanted to know Jesus, Father God, and Holy Spirit so well that I cared about everything they care about. I wanted to love what God loves and hate what He hates. I wanted Holy Spirit to use me to pray on the earth–not just in weak prayers, but powerful prayers that shake the heavens and move the earth.
That's the kind of praying Rees Howells did. It wasn't mere prayer. What Howells did wasn't a bunch of heartless words or the robotic recitation of a prayer book.
Instead, he had a very real relationship with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit … and he became God's hands, feet, and heart on the earth.
I wanted to become an intercessor like that.
At the time, I wasn't very mature spiritually–of course! I had just given my life to Jesus; I was at the beginning. And I didn't know how to get to where I could pray like Howells prayed.
However, I did know who to ask. I knew that, if I asked God to make me an intercessor, teach me how to intercede, and use me in intercession, He would.
So I began asking God to help me.
I went to the intercessory prayer group at my church every week. On my way there and on my way back–and as often as I remembered during the week–I prayed these brief, heartfelt sentences:
- “Father, make me an intercessor.”
- “Father, use me at prayer meeting tonight.”
- “Lord, teach me how to pray and intercede.”
- “Let Your Spirit of grace and supplication rest on me.”
- “Use me to pray in whatever Your will is in every situation.”
- “Use me in intercession, Lord!”
- “Father, give me Your heart. Help me love what You love and hate what You hate.”
- “Father, I don't know what to pray for as I ought, or how to offer it worthily as I ought. Let Holy Spirit make intercession for me with moanings and groanings which cannot be uttered; and You who search the heart will know what the mind of the Spirit is, for He makes intercession for the saints according to Your will” (Romans 8:26-27).
I cried out to God that way almost daily.
And you know what the funny, cool thing is? Every time I prayed those things, God would use me in intercession immediately. I was really immature. I had lots of sin issues. I was definitely NOT a model Christian …
… but I loved God.
I loved Jesus.
I loved Holy Spirit.
And I wanted to be used.
Basically, I was hungry and willing.
And in His mercy, that's what Father God looks for in His vessels. Two things:
- Do you want to be used? and
- Are you willing to obey when He tries to use you?
Those two things were really all I had going for me, but the Lord took them and used them. (He'll use you too if you have those two things.)
So the Lord began to teach me how to become an intercessor.
He taught me how to pray and intercede. Prayer is like any other skill; you learn how to do it well with practice and repetition. It's a spiritual discipline to which you must dedicate yourself in order to grow.
Intercession, which is related to prayer but not exactly the same thing, is also a discipline. You have to practice it in order to grow in it.
So every week, twice a week, I hied me off to prayer meeting and sat with the other intercessors. I learned a lot by listening to them pray. BUT, I learned the most from Holy Spirit Himself.
When Holy Spirit sat on me to intercede, I could tell it was Him.
I would just be sitting on the floor of the prayer room with all the other folks, praying silently and enjoying the beauty of the Lord. But as I prayed, suddenly I would feel Holy Spirit's weight on me. (You can feel Him sit down on you heavily when He does this.) It's like His presence is so heavy that you can't stand up under it.
When that happened, He would usually put a certain prayer or Scripture passage in my heart to pray. For example:
- Sometimes He would lay a prayer of corporate repentance on my heart, like “Father, forgive our prayerlessness and make us people of prayer.”
- Sometimes He would lay a prayer of thanksgiving and worship on my heart, like “Father, You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. Thank You for drawing us to Yourself. Thank You for reaching down to save us.”
- Or, sometimes, He would bring a certain Scripture passage to my remembrance–with a huge unction to pray it. For example: “Father, surely You will no longer give our grain as food for Your enemies, and the sons of the foreigner shall not drink our new wine for which we have toiled. But let us who have gathered it eat it and praise You; let us who have brought it together drink it in the courts of our God” (from Isaiah 62).
When I felt His unction to pray, I would pray silently until it was my turn to pray out loud.
Then, when it became my turn, I would pray whatever prayer or Scripture or burden the Lord had put in my heart.
And every time, that prayer was powerful.
It's not that all the other intercessors didn't pray powerful prayers too; they did. But I was the one who was learning, so I'm just sharing with you what it felt like and looked like for me to be learning.
Week after week, I begged God to use me in intercession. And week after week, He did.
Remember, all He is looking for is someone who is hungry and obedient. Willing and obedient. He will use anybody who is willing. If God can use a talking donkey … 🙂
Over time, He taught me various ways to intercede.
- He taught me how to do musical intercession, both using singing and using musical instruments.
- He taught me to intercede using fasting with prayer.
- He taught me to intercede occasionally using prophetic acts. (Prophetic acts are not my #1 favorite method, but they sure are in the Bible a lot. Look at Ezekiel–whew! That guy's life seemed like a nonstop prophetic act!)
There are so many ways to intercede, and God uses them all as He wills.
And as I prayed, I grew.
There's a funny thing about prayer: it's talking with the Lord. And when you talk with the Lord, you're in His presence. You're staring at Him. And as you stare, you grow and change. It's not that you try to change; you just can't help but change. HIS PRESENCE CHANGES YOU.
So I grew, and I changed–because He changed me.
Well, fast forward 18 years later, and I'm still in need of a lot of growing and changing. Still doing both as fast as Holy Spirit works in my heart and as fast as I get in line with whatever He's doing.
But, SO much of our journey has been made so much easier because of the intimacy that we developed, God and I, as we have interceded for others together.
That's the first reason why it's essential for you and every Christ-follower to learn how to become an intercessor:
Because intercession makes you like Jesus.
Because intercession creates God's heart in you.
Because intercession, when done correctly, creates Father God's thoughts in you.
And because intercession lifts you up above the low plane of the earth so you can see with heavenly perspective.
Christ is, and was, our Intercessor.
So, becoming an intercessor makes you like Him. Isn't that what life is all about? To know Him; to yield to Him; and, having embraced Him, to become like Him?
I know of nothing more important, more weighty, and more impactful on the earth than becoming like Jesus.
So how do you become an intercessor?
The first step is simple: become hungry and willing. Make yourself available to God. And the second step is just as easy: ask Holy Spirit to use you.
Holy Spirit is the One who turns you an intercessor.
In the Bible, Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of grace and supplication. Zechariah 12:10 says:
And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”
Did you see that? The Spirit of grace and supplication. That's God the Holy Spirit, manifesting Himself when He sits down on people with grace and the burden to pray, intercede, and ask for God to do something (“supplication”).
He's the same Holy Spirit whom we see in Romans 8:26-27, which says:
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. 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.
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
Holy Spirit is the One who prays through us when we let Him.
And IF we let Him. He is the One who helps us by making intercession for us with those groanings that cannot be uttered. He is the One who gives us words when words are needed. And He's the One who gives us the grace and the urge to pray. That “grace and urge to pray” is called unction, and it comes from Him.
Why are intercessors needed?
Intercessors are needed because God has things He needs to do on the earth. He has a will, a plan, and a purpose for everything and everybody on this planet!
But you know what? He needs you and I to pray so He can accomplish that will.
Psalm 115:16 tells us why:
The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men.”
God has given the earth to us. He has delegated use of it to us for a time. Therefore, because it is ours (under His higher ownership, but still ours at a lower level), He needs permission from us in order to work in our lives and on the earth at large.
That “permission from us” comes when we PRAY earnestly and ask Him to do things. And that, my friend, is the start of intercession.
God can't bring mercy, revival, and restoration to the earth unless we pray and intercede.
We see this clearly in Ezekiel 22:30-31, which says:
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,' says the Lord God.”
The same goes for your life, my life, and for the destinies of nations. Regardless of what kind of work Father wants to do for us, He needs us to pray it in.
And for that, He needs an intercessor.
This month, we'll be talking about intercession so much more. But to begin with, today, I want to ask you one question:
Are you willing to become an intercessor?
Are you willing to stand in the gap before the Lord for whatever His will is? Are you willing to be the one He can use to pray His will into manifestation on the earth? Are you hungry and willing?
If so, He'll use you. If you're hungry and willing, you're the one He's looking for. The answer to how to become an intercessor is simply this:
- Be hungry;
- Be willing;
- Ask Him to use you and teach you.
We'll talk more about the techniques, the tips, the warfare, the joy, and the glory all month.
But today, I dare you to get alone with Father God and talk to Him about this. If you're hungry and willing:
- Ask Him to turn you into an intercessor.
- Ask Him to teach you how to pray His will into existence.
- Ask Him to allow YOU to stand in the gap before Him for the land, for your family, for your destiny, and for the inheritance of Jesus.
His answer will always be “yes.”
Does this post speak to your heart today? Is Holy Spirit drawing you, calling you? Are you willing to let Him turn you into an intercessor? If so, leave a comment below!