Bringing the Reader to Speed
In the first article, I wrote on definitions on prayer, when prayer starts and some of the components of prayer. While in the second article I finished my brief exegesis on components of prayer. The third article is centered on those who should pray. The fourth is on some of the reasons why talk (pray) to our heavenly father. The fifth article is on places of prayer while the sixth and seventh centered on occasions that move men to pray unto God. The eight article is on period (time) that men can pray. The ninth article focuses on how we should be praying. In the tenth article I write on a type of prayer, which is the prayer of thanksgiving.
While in the eleventh article I talked about three types of prayers which are, prayer of praise, prayer of worship and prayer of dedication (consecration). In the twelfth article I have talked about the following types of prayer: prayer of supplication, prayer of agreement, corporate prayer, prayer of commitment and prayer of imprecation. And in the thirteenth article I talked about prayer of vengeance, prayer of restoration, prayer of forgiveness, prayer of repentance and silent prayer. Article fourteen focuses on prayer of binding and loosing. In article fifteen I write on the prayer of contemplation.
As I continue with different types of prayer that we have in Christianity here, I shall be focusing on the prayer of intercession.
17. Prayer of Intercession
Prayer of intercession could have the followings as meaning.
(a) Standing in Prayer for Someone Else
It could mean standing in prayer else. Take as example someone who is mentally ill. Such a person would not be able to commune with God directly, the onus is on some people who are close to him, and or prayer team members to stand on behalf of the person to talk to God on his behalf.
This perhaps was what David was doing when he was playing for King Saul when he was been tormented by evil spirits. He was standing in his behalf to talk to God through the music he was playing for him that God should send his spirit into his life.
“And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” (1 Sam 16:23)
We shall not forget in one of the previous articles that the bible says, God dwells in the praise of Israel.
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (Psa 22:3)
Therefore, when he started playing, God would come into their gathering and wherever the Lord is devil cannot stand, thence the demons tormenting the King would flee when David started praising the Lord.
Outside this we also saw in the book of John as well as other books where some people have stood in the gap for those who were sick those who could not go to Jesus directly neither could send messages to him to come and heal them. They stood in their place and implored the Lord to come and heal those people. And he did hearken to them to heal those people.
When we also do similar thing today, standing in the gap for those who are sick who could not pray for themselves again, God would hear from on high and heal those people. (John 11; Luk 7:1-5)
(b) Acting in Prayer for Someone Else
Some years back one of my friends took ill, the illness was terrible such that all hopes have been lost on him. I took the pain of going into marathon prayer for my friend so that God would heal him and travel to the wilderness to be alone with the Lord on his behalf. I was not asking for anything for myself for all the days that I was there praying for him.
After this prayer I return to where he was and since his people do not believe so much in power of prayer, I have prayed for days on an anointing oil, and this anointing oil was the one I used for him. Immediately I touched his forehead with the anointing oil, he looked up, the person whom his people have been crying on and saying he has not talk expressly for days, and said unto me that, “Segun, what have you used to touch me?” and I replied that I have touched him with anointing oil that I have prayed on and he said it was as if fire passed through his body, for from his head to the soles of his feet he sensed something passing through him. That is when he started talking and eating.
“And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mar 6:13)
Now I was acting in his behalf in the wilderness, putting myself in his position before God, praying for him.
In some instances, the people would be asked to bring the photos of the loved ones so that those would be prayed on, sometimes they would ask some relatives of the people to stand out of the gathering and they will use them as point of contact for them, while in yet some instances it is people with similar problem that would be used as a point of contact for members of the congregation who are passing through a similar problem.
“Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.” (Act 9:39)
The disciples, yea the indigent ones among the converts in Joppa would act on behalf of Dorcas telling Apostle Peter why the woman should not die at that period. She should not die because she has been extremely instrumental to the progress of the nascent church in the town.
God did not deny them what they have asked for, he granted that the dead person be brought back to life.
Can people act on your behalf before God?
Many a one though confessed to be believers, but hardly can you see anyone who can stand for them to pray for them so that the evil that is intended against them be averted when they received a revelation about such a person or even if the evil has happened like in the case of Dorcas. People (brethren) would not do this because those people have not lived a life worthy of the Gospel, they have not touched lives through their ministries and all the people would be saying is that it is better that such even happen to the person.
(c) Looking unto God for Someone Else’s Needs
No one in the world has possessed everything he has at once. At a time or another we all need assistance of people. Yours may not be for money, it may be in terms of counseling, while for some it may be in terms of connections and so on. Those needs God have in stock, and people would be willing to stand for someone else’s need when they discover that his life worth it.
“But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.” (Php 4:18)
The saints in Philippians did not only stand before God for apostle Paul’s needs, they send to him according to their might. Not because he asks for it, but because they know that anyone who walks in the ministry ought to eat out of what he has worked for.
“Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” (Gal 6:6)
“If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?” (1 Cor 9:11)
That was what the Shunamite woman did for prophet Elisha before her husband, she stood for them to ask her husband that they make provisions for them, that they would build a house for them where they would be resting anytime they passed by.
“And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
“And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.
“Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.
“And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there.
“And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.” (2 Ki 4:8-12)
This is another meaning for intercession standing before God to ask that God supply the need of someone who is in need. This is especially true when we do not have what we can directly give unto the person, we can tell God on his behalf that he supplies his needs.
(d) Asking What the Will of God for the Person is From God
There are instances when someone would be confused about what to do yet the person still maintains his faith in the Lord. For people like this we can ask God to tell us and or reveal himself unto the person too of what the will of God for the life of the person is.
When someone has found it difficult to make progress in life, it is commonly believed here that the person is yet to be on the path that God has called him to. Instead of attacking the person, weary him down with so many words that would confuse him the more, we can talk to God on his behalf so that God would reveal his purpose for living is in the world.
Consider the histories of the first and third king in Israel on this. We shall see that the ass of Kish got lost because the purpose for which Saul has been begotten was not what he was doing, the purpose for him being given birth to was to lead Israel. After the ass got missing, he was able to locate Samuel who asked God to know his will for him. (1 Sam 9-10). It is the same for David, he thought what he would be doing was tendering the sheep for his father unknown that he has been raised up to replace the erring king. (1 Sam 16).
The apostles, teachers and prophets gathered for prayer to seek the mind of God for the new convert, Saul and it was revealed to them the reason for his existence. (Acts 13)
(e) Praying for Someone Because of the News Heard
Intercession also means praying for someone because of what we have heard about the person, especially the untoward news that we have heard about him. Consider the case of a vibrant person who is sick, or someone who have fallen into sin. We can pray that the person or persons be restored.
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
“Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Eph 1:15-18)
In the same way can we pray for someone who is growing in faith, person whom we have heard about how he has been vibrant in faith should be prayed for that God would uphold him and be given him continuous victory over the power of darkness.
Poll 2: Exercising This:
Are you praying for brethren at all?
Having seen what intercessory prayer means, I want to tell us that God has called us all into this kind of ministry and prayer. We may have been doing this before, but now have not been doing it again because those whom we are praying for have become selfish and all they are doing after gaining prominence in the world is amass wealth for themselves but we should know that there are other believers around that we could also pray for, we thus, should not renege in this act knowing that God would reward us when it is time before him not before.
(Heb. 7:25; Gen. 18:22-23; I Kings 18:41-46; II Kings 4:32-36; Phil. 1:3-4; Acts `12:1-18; I Tim. 2:1)
In the next article I shall be talking on the essentials of intercessory prayer.
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