The Release of The SPIRIT
Small Groups and Friends
Intercede for Others
In Ephesians, after listing the pieces of spiritual armor that every follower of Christ needs, Paul describes the one constant activity of the church, tying all of these elements of spiritual warfare together—“always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
Here Paul specifically calls us to intercessory prayer. Intercession takes up faith-filled prayer on behalf of others; it calls out to God for them as you stand in their place. It is remarkable that God would respond to this kind of “proxy” praying, yet He does. Intercession paves the way for God’s intervention in other people’s lives and circumstances.
As you grow in intercessory prayer:
•Focus on the Spirit’s help. A friend of mine once described his journey into intercession this way: “I used to start praying by first looking inside myself for the desire and strength to pray. It only pulled me down. But I decided to start my times of prayer by looking upward instead of inward, asking the Holy Spirit to come and teach me to pray. It changed everything.”
•Keep prayer God-centered rather than problem-centered. Starting your prayer with praise is so important. Great intercessors often spend more time adoring God than asking Him for things. Prayer needs to be more than an exercise in worry.
•Stand on the merits of Christ’s blood alone. Often at the heart of our spiritual insecurity is self-condemnation, afflicting us with a debilitating sense of unworthiness. I have frequently had to assert by faith, in spite of my feelings, that my standing before God is based solely on Christ’s shed blood, not my impressiveness or self-righteousness.
Pray the Scriptures:
1 Timothy 2:1–4
Who can you pray for in your church? Perhaps you know someone who needs God to intervene. Pick two or three friends in the church and begin to intercede on behalf of that person.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.