Fifth Encounter: The Plateau of Intercession
“As far as my understanding of these things goes, intercessory prayer is the finest and most exacting kind of work that is possible for men to perform.”
- Elements of Intercession
- Examples of Intercession
I. Elements of Intercession
“Intercession is simply love at prayer.”
—The Kneeling Christian
Element One: ______________________
Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death… Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.
Hebrews 2:14, 17-18 (NLT)
“To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them.”
Element Two: __________________
Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints…
Romans 15:30-31 (NKJV)
“It is staggering to even begin to realize that the whole process by which God’s will is done on earth depends on an interceding Church.”
Element Three: __________________
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:44 (NKJV)
“The church has many organizers, but few agonizers; many who pay, but few who pray; many resters, but few wrestlers; many who are enterprising, but few who are interceding. The ministry of prayer is open to every child of God. In the matter of effective praying, never have so many left so much to so few.”
Element Four: __________________
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
James 2:14-16 (NLT)
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
Psalm 2:8 (NIV)
“Intercession is truly universal work for the Christian. No place is closed to intercessory prayer. No continent—no nation—no organization—no city—no office. There is no power on earth that can keep intercession out.”
—Richard C. Halverson
For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Romans 8:16-17 (NLT)
“Prayer should never be an excuse for inaction. Nehemiah prayed, but he also set watches for protection — he used common sense. As a result, what had not been done in a hundred years’ time was finished in fifty-two days.”
—Corrie Ten Boom
II. Four Examples of Intercession
“Intercession is the link between man’s impotence and God’s omnipotence.”
Example One: ___________ and ____________.
Moses and Aaron stood at the front of the Tent of Meeting. God spoke to Moses: “Back away from this congregation so that I can do away with them this very minute.” They threw themselves facedown on the ground. Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and fill it with incense, along with fire from the Altar. Get to the congregation as fast as you can: make atonement for them. Anger is pouring out from God—the plague has started!” Aaron grabbed the censer, as directed by Moses, and ran into the midst of the congregation. The plague had already begun. He put burning incense into the censer and atoned for the people. He stood there between the living and the dead and stopped the plague.
Numbers 16:43-48 (MSG)
Example Two: ______ and his ______________.
“My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has”… When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!
Job 42:8b, 10 (NLT)
Example Three: The _______ _________________.
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’”
Luke 10:30-35 (NIV)
Example Four: ___________ and __________.
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.
Acts 3:1-8 (NKJV)
“If all regenerate church members in Western Christendom were to intercede daily simply for the most obvious spiritual concerns visible in their homes, their workplaces, their local churches and denominations, their nations, and the world… the transformation which would result would be incalculable.”
Afterthoughts...Ponder and Pray
Discuss (or ponder) why identifying with a person’s need is so important to effective intercessory prayer. How has intercessory prayer impacted your life (or the life of a friend or loved one)?
Think of someone specific you can identify with who has an urgent need. In prayer, describe to God why you identify with this person and then pray for him or her. (Your prayers may focus on more than one person such as a family or even a nation.)