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Intercession Listening Guide

INTERCESSION


Protecting the Walls

 


 

I Timothy 2:1-4 Nehemiah 4-6 Judges 6 Isaiah 59:16

 

Introduction: One of the greatest needs in the Church today is an understanding of the ministry of intercession. This study is designed to heighten our awareness of what intercession is, and why it is needed.

 



A poignant illustration of intercession is the story of Gideon in Judges 6. This story illustrates how the gap between the promises of God and our needs are bridged though prayer. Many are living in less than ideal circumstances, and/or their friends and family are not experiencing God's solutions and promises, because they have not learned the importance of intercession.

 


 

The Priority of Intercession

 

I Timothy 2:1-4--"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--2] for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3] This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4] who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

 

There are also five reasons why we should pray and intercede mentioned here.
A. First, that we would live quiet lives on a personal level--v. 2. God wants our lives to be quiet and peaceful, not overly busy and stressful.
B. Second, that we live our lives in all godliness and holiness. God wants us to be like Him. Why godly, holy, peaceful and quiet?
C. Third, this is good--v. 3a (see Romans 14:17).
D. Fourth, this pleases God--v. 3b.
E. Fifth, this will create a climate where people can share the gospel of Christ by their life-style and words--v. 4.

 

 

The Definitions of Intercession

 

With the above reasons in mind, what does it mean to intercede? This word is a very elusive one to nail down because it has so many applications and definitions. A common understanding of intercession is, "a spiritual groaning," and if you are really mature, you intercede all night.
The correct definitions for intercession are three-fold. First, it means "to push against." As far back as we can go, that was its primary meaning. Second, it came to mean "to send an official petition to the king or ruler" in the classical Greek and Hebrew.
It is already easy to see the implications this word has to us: Intercession is the sending of an official petition to the king to offer a complaint against an enemy's encroachment.
A third definition for intercession means "to stand against, or in-between, or on behalf of, someone else." This is seen in the book of Philemon. Here Paul is pleading the cause of Onesimus to Philemon. This definition is the one used of the Holy Spirit and Jesus--Romans 8:26-27,34. "Who is praying all the time, interceding for us in our time of need"? Mark it down!!! The interceding ministry of the Holy Spirit is taking place within us constantly, as He knows our weak points. This is crucial, because Satan will attack us where we are most vulnerable!!!
Someone is studying the game films. It is standard procedure, for instance, in any sports contest for the opponents to try to figure out where their opponent is weak. Likewise, the enemy of our soul, Satan, does the same thing; he designs his attacks to our weaknesses.
So as we understand the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are interceding on our behalf, we can now with confidence follow their example and enter into a ministry of intercession for others.

 

The Picture of Intercession

Here is a picture that will help us see the work of an intercessor.

A. Illustration: Try to imagine a picture of a boundary line. Within the boundary line is the kingdom of God. This is where our territory and the boundaries are set. Hopefully, we are in the kingdom of God and therefore in the circle. Outside is the kingdom of darkness, the world controlled by Satan; but within the boundary line is everything that is ours as children of God. This is where we have rights and inheritance. Then, outside the boundary lines we see an external attack coming at us from various points. This attack is an effort to push the boundaries in, to overrun, and to shrink the overall area of our territory. 
What can be done? It is important to see that intercessory prayer establishes and maintains the boundary, keeping it from shrinking and enabling it to expand.

 

How does this work?
B. Application: Let's apply it to us. We have an enemy who seeks to destroy us; we are warned a lot about him in Scripture--Eph. 6:11; I Peter 5:8; II Cor. 11:14. We must not, however, forget our rights as children of God--Eph. 4:30; John 10:28-29. We don't have to let Satan cross the boundary line to destroy our defenses and leave us defeated--James 4:7; Matt. 4:10. When we find Satan attacking our territory, trying to cause us havoc and pressuring us, we should send up an official petition. Why? 
We are children of the King. God has given the tending of the boundaries of the Kingdom of God to us, and whenever He gives responsibilities, He also gives authority. We are set in a safe place and through intercession we maintain that place--Eph. 6:10-13,18-19.

 

C. Illustrations of intercession from Scripture.

 

1. The first illustration is Nehemiah. He is a perfect example of how we should respond during an attack--Neh. 4-6. What does Nehemiah do? In chapters 4-6 he intercedes many times--4:4-5,9; 5:13; 6:9,14. In other words, he sends an intercession--a petition to the king to offer a complaint against an enemy's encroachment.

 

2. The second illustration of this need for intercession is Isaiah 59:16; Ezekial 22:30. Here the Lord is looking out at His people and sees Israel being overrun by wickedness, chaos and destruction. No one has sent a petition. If they had prayed, they would have been helped. So God moves in wrath and destruction because there is no intercessor.

 

 

D. Application. Let us bring this teaching down even closer to us as a Church. This is a time of amazing growth in our ministry, and an inevitable fact of growth and expansion is: when we grow, we not only expand our strengths, we also expand our weaknesses; so though we gain in influence, we also gain in vulnerability. 
Be a Wall Watcher. If you study Nehemiah 3-4, you see that Nehemiah put people in charge of a section of the wall that was closest to their homes. This was so that when the enemy came they were more concerned because their homes were in jeopardy. This points out it is imperative we lay hold of the ministry of intercession, that we understand the rights and boundaries God has set for our Church. Then from wherever we are stationed, we are to see that portion of the Church wall is protected by intercession. 
Remember, as the official representative of the Kingdom of God, we have a perspective no one else may have. We cannot rely on the pastors or the board, because they cannot possibly be aware of all we can see!! When we find the enemy making inroads, at that moment we have the official capacity to petition heaven for the necessary help. 
There are other implications too. Our responsibility to intercede also means that any promise of God we are not realizing is an encroachment on our territory. The child of God has 3,000+ promises, and they are the boundary markers of God's will for his/her life. 
How will you respond to the need for protecting the Church's walls? Many of us are not using the instrument of intercession as we know we should. The Lord is calling us to make our priorities right--I Tim. 2:1. Will you agree to intercede?

 

 


Who should you pray for?

 

1. "everyone. . . " All the people you know, especially those closest to you, i.e., the needs you see in your Church.
2. "kings. . ." (or governments--local and national)
3. "all those in authority. . ." wherever and whoever.

 

Will you also share your prayers and needs with each other? The strength of the Church walls are dependent on our prayers!!!