Throughout His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus became the mediator between God and humankind. Not only does He mediate; He also is our representative to God and He intercedes on our behalf. I’ve recently been reading a book entitled Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets and I have learned some very interesting things. Jesus isn’t praying for us; He is interceding for us so that we can pray. That is what it means to pray “in His name.” We are to be Christ-like, so this means bearing one another’s burdens, interceding for others, and staking ourselves to them.
Our prayers of intercession are an extension of His work of intercession. We are the sent ones and we have authority as long as we are truly representing the sender. Our calling and ministry should not be to replace God; it should be to release Him and His omnipotent power. God has chosen to work in and through people, so we are God’s direct link to authority and activity here on earth. Our prayers should always include a desire that God’s will and plan be accomplished in the world and in our daily lives. What we pray for most is a true indicator of where our priorities are and to master anything takes time and the time we give establishes how important it is to us. J.H. Jowett wrote, “True intercession is a sacrifice, a bleeding sacrifice.”
In Ephesians 6:12, we read, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The word struggle comes from the root word “agony.” In I Corinthians 9:25, it is used to describe competing in the arena, in I Timothy 6:12, it describes a soldier battling for his life, and in John 18:36, it describes a man struggling to deliver his friends from danger. Praise God that with prayer, the Holy Spirit is the master teacher and the Spirit even delights to help us pray. True prayer rises from the Spirit that indwells inside us. One of the biggest mistakes we make when praying is thinking physically instead of spiritually. What I mean by this is we have a tendency to pray for things that are a product of our own thinking instead of the Spirit’s teaching. When we pray in the Spirit, even when we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit intercedes for us. There are basically three types of prayer Jesus lists in Matthew 7:7 – the first is to ask, where we hold onto God’s promises of faith, the second is to seek, where we search to know God’s will, and the third is to knock, where we stand in the gap for someone who won’t or can’t pray for themselves through intercessory prayer. There are people everywhere that are being held captive by the devil and their sin and what stands between God and the devil’s plans are praying Christians. Our prayers have the power to move people toward wholeness and healing by God’s influence on their lives. When we firmly believe this; our prayers of hope turn into prayers of faith. “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).