Intercession is a form of prayer that not all church people may be familiar with. It is a more “prolonged” prayer than what most are used to praying with an “Amen” at the finale. Intercession goes longer than 30 seconds or even perhaps 5 minutes.
Our intercessory prayer group has taken it upon itself, or been chosen by God, some say, to stand with some very serious situations at our church. People are fighting for their very lives against strong and foreboding enemies. One can find a million things to pray for when a group meets together. That’s why it’s important to find the mind of the Spirit so we don’t go off in 20 million directions. I am aghast at the diseases that people are up against. And we have been standing with them for a length of time now, after ascertaining that they truly want to live and want us to continue. As time goes on, week after week goes by with but little improvement to encourage us, it can become a bit wearying. You know the families are weary, trying to manage the burden of it all. But the Lord must sustain all of us in this. I keep hearing the Scripture from John 15:13, Greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends.
I also sense God saying, if fellow Christians don’t commit to pray in these long and hard battles for their fellow Christians battling these ferocious diseases, who will pray? I think the answer is, no one. We do need to be committed to each other. I am afraid there is too little of true devotion to each other in the church at large.
I was recently reminded of a time in the book of Acts, where the church started to experience an uptick in persecution. But, before they could become totally aware of it, a horrible thing happened that woke them up. The young church was growing in leaps and bounds, when Herod reached out and killed one of its leaders, James, with the sword in Chapter 12. The young church was shocked by the violence. Peter, another of the apostles was also threatened by Herod to die in like manner. The church went in to immediate and PROLONGED intercession for his life. They woke up and took it seriously enough to petition God for his life. A death sentence will do that to you. During the night, angels brought him out in a grand display of deliverance and brought him to the door where the prayer meeting was still going on. I have to laugh at the response he got to his knock on the door. The girl who answered closed it in his face, and raced to tell the others, who laughed at her! No one believed it was really him! Hmmm…were they praying in faith?! Anyway, Peter was saved. And sometimes that’s what it is going to take, prolonged praying, until the answer comes. In the Old Testament, we have the inside story of Daniel where the angel came finally, and told him what was the cause of the three week delay.
Prolonged praying can only be done by praying in the Spirit, or tongues. I don’t know how it’s done otherwise. We need the mind of the Spirit to help us in our praying because we don’t know what to pray for as we ought, according to Romans 8:26. The Spirit, however, knows everything. 1 Corinthians 2:12, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God…” The Spirit prays the perfect will of God. That’s one reason we need this blessing from the Spirit. We also speak the word of God. Speaking the word causes the enemy’s grip to loosen on the person, as he is already a defeated foe. We fight from a place of a victory that is already accomplished in Jesus. We are enforcers of His victory.
Who are you praying for today? How long has it been since you have seen any change? Don’t give up. Forever, the word of God is settled in heaven. It will accomplish what it intends. God will prevail.