What is Intercessory Prayer?

Sometimes people ask me about intercessory prayer.  What is intercessory prayer?  Is it as good as “out loud prayers?”

Quite simply, intercessory prayer is the act of praying on behalf of others.  The role of mediator in prayer was prevalent in the Old Testament. (As in Abraham, Moses, David, Samuel, Hezekiah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel). But Christ is pictured in the New Testament as the ultimate intercessor, and because of this all Christian prayer becomes intercession since it is offered to God through and by Christ.  Jesus closed the gap between us and God when He died on the cross. He was the greatest mediator (intercessor ) that ever lived.  Because of this we can now intercede in prayer on behalf of others according to his will.  “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”

A wonderful model of intercessory prayer is found in Daniel 9:3 as he prayed for his people who had turned away from God. It has all the elements of true intercessory prayer.  True intercessory prayer seeks to not only know God’s will and see it fulfilled, but to see it fulfilled no matter whether it benefits us and no matter what it cost us.  It seeks God’s glory, not our own.

There is an erroneous idea in contemporary Christianity that those who offer up intercessory prayers for others are a special class of super-Christians, called by God to a ministry of intercession.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Bible is clear that all Christians are called to be intercessors.  All Christians have the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and, just as He intercedes for us in accordance with God’s will, we are to intercede for one another.

Let us pray…