Copyright ©2003 – All rights reserved
Copying and translation authorized for free distribution.
If you translate any of my work, I would ask for a copy of anything you translate, preferably electronically. Thank you!
Not for sale or offering except with author's permission.
For more information please contact me:
Phone – 253.564.3261
Email – email@example.com
Lord of the Breakthrough
As we jump into this study, here are some verses and definitions of break through:
Gen. 28:14 And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Here, spread abroad has the same meaning as break through).
Gen. 38:29 And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How have you broken forth? This breach be upon you: therefore his name was called Pharez.
Breach: gap, breaking forth, in, bursting forth, outburst, and broken wall
2 Sam. 5:20 And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD has broken forth upon my enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim. (Lord of the breakthrough).
Break forth: break or burst away, down, forth, in, into, open, out (violently), over, in pieces, through, up, upon (from womb, limits or enclosure) increase, abroad, pressed, compelled, make a breach in, increase, to use violence, to spread, distribute
Baal-perazim = "lord of the breaks" 1) the site of a victory of David over the Philistines, and of a great destruction of their images; also called 'Mount Perazim'
2 Chr. 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. 4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. 5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper. 6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. 7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.
Is. 54:1 Sing, O barren, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you that did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the LORD. 2 Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes; 3 For you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left; and your seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Mic. 2:13 The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.
Now is the time of break through! God is the Lord of the Breakthrough. We need to press in, to 'pray through' so to speak, until the answer comes. The answer is nigh, it is very close, but we must press on to the revealing of it. Often we give up just before the answer comes. We're frustrated, tired, discouraged, whatever, and we let down our guard, we quit the fight, we step down, step back from the battle, Heb. 10.22 Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
The Lord is just in front of us. How sad if we were about to have the answer in our grasp, only to have it elude us because we quit. It is truly darkest before the dawn. Labor is toughest just before the baby is born. Often the battle is toughest before it turns and the victory is won.
It is quite interesting that in these verses about break through that it talks about giving birth and battling, about crying out and worship. This is not coincidence. Are you at a place in your life (and who amongst us is not) that you are birthing something or are battling something, if not many things? This word is for you. Press in, press on, the battle is the Lord's, but He chooses to use us in the process. Don't give up or give in.
The title of this teaching is Lord of the Breakthrough -- A Teaching on Intercession. The ministry of intercession is similar to evangelism in that many would say they don't have the gift, yet God has called all of us to intercede on behalf of others. It may not be your primary ministry or calling, but we are all called to it. Many equate gifts of prophecy with intercession and I would agree. There are 3 different prophetic gifts, motivational/personality from Rom. 12, manifestation from 1 Cor. 12, and the office gift from Eph. 4. Again, you don't have to function in one of these gifts to intercede, but most of those who we would call intercessors most likely function in one or more of them. This break through process is what the life of prayer is all about. The Lord births a need in us and we labor until we give birth or break through. Just like labor, this process can affect each one quite differently and different 'children' can come forth differently, but the bottom line is that we dare not give up until the baby is born, or it might die.
If we want to intercede effectively, it's as if we take on the issue of the one we are interceding in behalf of. In other words, we pray as if we were them to our God. This is much different from shopping list prayers, this is personal. Often, intercessors actually sense what the other is going through, even though they've never met, are across the world from each other, and at times are only alerted to the need by Holy Spirit.
Here is a list of other travail-like words and verses to help make the point:
Agony - 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow.
Travail - Is. 21.2 A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer deals treacherously, and the spoiler spoils. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease. 3 Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travails: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it. 43.1 (Also quoted in Gal. 4.27) Sing, O barren, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you that did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the LORD. 2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; 3For you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. Jer. 4.31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewails, that spreads her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers. Mic. 4. 9 Now why do you cry out aloud? Is there no king in you? Is your counselor perished? For pangs have taken you as a woman in travail. 10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shall you go forth out of the city, and you shall dwell in the field, and thou shall go even to Babylon; there shall you be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem you from the hand of your enemies. 5.3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travails has brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. Gal. 4.9 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.
Crying Out - Ex. 2. 23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 2 Sam. 22.4-8I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. “When the waves of death surrounded me, the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry entered His ears. “Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken, because He was angry. 2 Chron. 20.9 ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ Ps. 34.17-18 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Heb. 5.7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear. 41Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
Pour Out - 12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” 15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” 18 And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
Wrestle/Strive - Gen. 32.24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Mt. 11.12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Rom. 15.30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me. Eph. 6.18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Col. 2.1 For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh. Col. 4.12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and £complete in all the will of God.
You may have experienced things like this before, and without instruction or someone around that understood, you may have condemned yourself or had others condemn you, but no more. You may have condemned others who acted strangely while interceding, but again, no more. This travailing like prayer is not only normal, it is quite desirable. Revival will not come without it. The great revivalist, Charles Finney had a man who entered towns before him to pray like this. He saw great results, as you may know. What is less known, it that he quit traveling once this man died. He knew he would not have the revival without him like he had with him. May the same be said of you and I!!
To intercede means (from Encarta): from inter between + cedere to go: to intervene between parties with a view to reconciling differences : MEDIATE, 1. plead for somebody: to plead with somebody in authority on behalf of somebody else, especially somebody who is to be punished for something 2. Speak for somebody: to speak in support of somebody involved in a dispute 3. Mediate in a dispute: to attempt to settle a dispute between others. From Strong's Heb. 6983 entreat, pray, supplicate, plead. From Strong's Heb. 6293 fall, meet, reach, intercession, entreat, join, to strike, to make attack, to reach the mark.
A Word of the Lord to Me
The Lord gave me a word recently that really applies here: Zeph. 3.10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, the daughter of My dispersed ones, shall bring My offering. 11 In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds in which you transgress against Me; for then I will take away from your midst those who rejoice in your pride, and you shall no longer be haughty in My holy mountain. 12 I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. 14 Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more. 16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. 17 The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” 18 “I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden. 19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame. 20 At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes,” Says the Lord. The word continued, "When you have a setback, don’t take a step back, get ready for your comeback!"
Here are some other scriptures that can help guide us in our intercession…
2 Chron. 7.14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. If there are problems, God looks to His people to humble themselves, pray and seek His face, repent (both for themselves and for sins they haven't committed, but others in the area they are praying for have. To some degree, we all 'own' the sins in our church, city, nation, and world!)
Ps. 66.18 I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. Iniquity is doing my own thing. We need to have Holy Spirit search us because we can't know ourselves: Jer. 17.9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. Ps. 139.23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Then, whatever He brings to mind, we confess it and get cleaned up! 1 Jn. 1.7, 9 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The bottom line is that we want nothing to come between the Lord and us as we pray.
Ps. 141.2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Rev. 5.8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. See how pleasing our prayers are to Him! They are like incense, covering up the stench of sin He has to bear every day!
Is. 59.16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him. Sometimes God acts without our participation. Eze. 22.30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. But often, He waits for us to step up and intercede.
Jer. 27.18 But if they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon.’ A major part of how an intercessor functions is knowing what God wants us to pray for, what are His priorities. Our success will be much greater if we are lined up with what He wants and pray in agreement with Him!
Mt. 6.8-13 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.(Thanks praise and worship should surround our prayers.) Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (A key to what the will of God is what is in heaven is God's will on earth!) Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Jesus was asked by His disciples to teach them to pray (not how to pray, but to pray). They had seen His example, saw the results, and wanted it! Jesus gives us this pattern to prompt us to pray. A key to what the will of God is…what is in heaven is God's will on earth!
Mt. 7.7-11 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. "Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? "Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! The Greek tense is present active imperative, in other words – keep on ___ing. We are to keep on asking, seeking, knocking (also shows a growing intensity) until the answer comes . Mt. 9.19-22 Jesus got up and began to follow him, and so did His disciples. And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, "If I only touch His garment, I will get well." But Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." At once the woman was made well. This unclean woman pressed through social and religious pressures to touch the garment of a holy man in order to be healed. Rather than receive a rebuke, she received her healing. Lk. 18.1-8 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. "There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' "For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.' " And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Praying at all times and not losing heart is tied to faith. If we want to please God by having faith, we must pray at all times and not lose heart. Gal. 6.7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. We need to continue sowing good things, for if we do not give up we will reap the rewards!
Heb. 11.6 But without faith it is
impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and
that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Mt.18.18-20 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Binding and loosing are two powerful weapons. There will be more on that later. Another powerful weapon is agreement! God gets so excited when two or three of us actually agree on something that He does it! The word for agree is the same word we get symphony from. The idea is not cookie cutter prayers, but more a harmonizing, interweaving, each one adding to the other.
Mt. 21.12-13 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and over-turned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” What is the modern-day temple? Us, of course. Are we a house of prayer, and are our churches houses of prayer. We can see what a priority this was for Jesus, it should be so for us as well.
Mt. 26.36-46 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” Jesus wanted companionship and agreement as He watched and prayed in His toughest hour. Many take up this challenge to watch one hour as a minimum that God wants for our lives. This kind of prayer helps us overcome temptation. The disciples were all going to undergo temptation, so Jesus was trying to help them overcome. He will do the same for us. The Spirit of God within us is indeed willing, but our flesh continually struggles.
Mk. 2.1-12 When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk'? "But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home." And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this." Another breakthrough, here done on behalf of another: these friends broke through to Jesus through the roof of a house of a stranger to obtain healing. Again, rather than facing rebuke, Jesus honored their faith and desperation with forgiveness and healing.
Mk. 7.24-30 Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice. But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And He was saying to her, "Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." But she answered and *said to Him, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children's crumbs." And He said to her, "Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter." And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left. This woman gives us a strong example in this area. Facing Jesus’ and the disciples’ seeming rejection, she pressed in to receive her miracle. She was desperate and wouldn’t take no for an answer!
Mk. 9.28-29 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Jesus did not stop and tell the person to come back in three days after He had prayed and fasted. He had prayer and fasting as a lifestyle, so He was ready for ministry. If we need punch to our prayer, fasting may be the answer.
Mk. 11.20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Many times when Jesus and the disciples ministered or worked miracles, they didn't pray out loud at the time, they just spoke the word believing. At times when we are in intercession, God will call us to proclaim things, even as Jesus and the apostles did. Watch and see, miracles will happen as we follow Holy Spirit's leading!
Mk. 13.32-33 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. There will be times when Holy Spirit will ask us to watch -- that is stop normal activity (sleeping or whatever) to pray. Sometimes it is because another has an urgent need at the time. It may also be because we are about to be attacked and need to be ready.
Jn. 14.13-14 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. Jn. 15.7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. Praying in the name of Jesus is another key. What exactly does that mean? It means praying in alignment with His character, His nature, with what He would want. When we've done that, then we can also pray in authority, not as wimps, because we know we're aligned with Him and we can pray as He did!!!
Rom. 8.26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Heb. 7.25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Jesus and Holy Spirit are our constant prayer partners and intercessors. We can't pray as we should, but Holy Spirit has been doing it for millennia! He is a willing helper. It does help if we ask!! 1 Cor. 14.13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 17 For you indeed give thanks well. There are many benefits to praying in tongues along with our natural tongue. When we don't know God's will, we can pray in tongues and know we are praying His will, we can then also wait and ask for the interpretation so that we can know what He wants.
Eph. 1.19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. We have no problem agreeing with this scripture about Jesus' authority over EVERYTHING, that all is under His feet. Eph. 2.4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. But this scripture, which shows we are in that exact same seat of authority with Him, this we have trouble believing. We need to pray with authority, once we are in agreement with Him and His will!
Eph. 3.20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Never limit God by praying small. He will do more than we can even imagine! How does He do this? According to this scripture, according to the power that works in us!
Eph. 6.10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against prin-cipalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all (kinds of) prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. The armor and our weapons are all there for the purpose of prayer. That is our main battle, our main work! We need to remember, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against our real enemy.
Phil. 4.6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Anxiety should be a trigger for our need to pray. It's not enough to just quit being anxious, we need to crank up the prayers at the same time. No peace -- need to pray and mix our prayers with thanks. We can thank God in advance for hearing and answering us if we pray according to His will. He will answer when we pray that way.
1 Thes. 5.16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. What a sandwich! Rejoice, pray, thanks always. In other words, we have to do them all, all the time. It's a lifestyle thing.
1 Tim. 2.1-4, 8 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. Praying for those in authority is one of our main tasks because it is so important. Paul says that first of all. That is at the city, county, state, national and international levels.
Jam. 5.7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Realize that the coming of the Lord is not just an event in our future, although that's a wonderful thing! It is also God showing up in our lives when we need Him most, in the way we need Him most. 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. Suffering? -- pray, Sick? -- get agreement and anointing from those more experienced than you. Sin? -- confess it and get prayer. The accountability will help us overcome. We want to pray effectively. Elijah knew the word and prayed according to it, so his prayers were answered. When we know the word, which is His will, and pray it, we can pray with fervency because we have the confidence what we pray will happen!! I heard a pastor pray fervently one Sunday and commented that he really knew how to pray. Some one else said that how we pray is of no consequence as to the prayer's effectiveness. This verse disagrees. Fervent prayer is what is effective to get answered.
1 Jn. 5.4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—£our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 14-16 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. We've already talked about praying in God's will. This verse shows us the confidence we can have when we do. We won't take no for an answer.
Examples of Intercessors
Jesus, as we have seen above and in the verses that immediately follow, is an obvious intercessor. Is. 53.12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Mt. 23.37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” Lk. 19.41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
So, also, were Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Daniel and Paul, to name a few. Let's see their examples to us…
Abraham's intercession: Gen 18.20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” 32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.”
The intercession of Moses: Ex. 8.9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.” Ex. 32.9-13 And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.” Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.30-32 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” Num. 14.12-20 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” And Moses said to the LORD: “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, LORD, are among these people; that You, LORD, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, ‘Because the LORD was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’ And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, ‘The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. ’Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the LORD said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; Num. 16.46-48 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the Lord. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped.
Samuel's intercession for Israel: 1 Sam. 7.3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only. 5 And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” 6 So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah. 7 Now when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 So the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 10 Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. 13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
Daniel's intercession for Israel: Dan. 9.1-19 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You. “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem. “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly! “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” There are some amazing keys here in Daniel's prayer for his nation. 1. He knew the prophesies and promises of God for them and that they had not been fulfilled. 2. Daniel joined fasting with his prayer for more potent power. 3. Daniel confessed the sins of his fathers and his nation, even though they weren't his own. 4. Daniel persisted 21 days in his prayer and fasting, not giving up until he had an answer from God. Dan. 10.12-14 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”
Intercession was a major part of Paul's ministry: Rom.1.9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers. Rom. 9.1-3 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh. 1 Cor. 14.15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all. Eph. 1.16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. Eph. 3. 14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, Phil. 1.3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, Col. 1.3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. 1 Thes. 1.2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. 2 Thes. 1.11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power. Philmn. 4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers. 2 Tim. 1.3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day.
Samples of How to Intercede
Here are some realms we are responsible to pray for:
Families in the church and surrounding area
Prayer groups and ministries in the church and surrounding area
Missionaries from our church and any we know
Churches and schools in the area
US, state, county and city government officials, executive, legislative and judicial
One way we can pray for others (prayer of Jabez):
Truly bless us indeed richly (spirit, soul and body, financially and in our relationships), enlarge our coasts and boarders (depth and breath of influence), keep Your hand upon us (make us more and more aware of your presence, recognize the need for Your help, guidance, balance and strength) and keep (preserve, deliver) us from evil (not make me strong enough to endure it, but keep me away from it entirely).
A more detailed way we can pray:
Bind, Receive, Plead
Blood of Jesus, work of the cross, Name of Jesus
Mind of Christ, Heart of God, Will and purposes of God, guidance, wisdom, understanding
Healing, wholeness – spirit, soul and body, bind up our hearts, fill in the empty places
Acceptance, unity, reconciliation
Self Control, contentment, gratefulness, generosity
Word and generational blessings
Positive affects of memories
Helmet of the hope of salvation, encouragement
Breastplate of Righteousness
Feet to path of Righteousness
Belt of truth, armor of light
Shoes of preparation of gospel of peace, Spirit of power, love, & sound mind
Sword of spirit – every word of God ever heard, spoken or read
Shield of Faith
Lances of Intercession, spirit of praise and worship, Gifts of the Spirit. Spirit of supplication, warrior spirit
Ministering and warring angels working on our behalf
Fruits of the Spirit
Manifest presence of the Holy Spirit
Loose, Break, Renounce, Repent and Forgive
Sin and demonic strongholds
Yokes and burdens
Ways of the world, wrong attitudes, patterns of thinking, beliefs, ideas, desires, emotions, and motivations and associated strongholds and soul ties
Sickness, disease, pain, hurt – spirit, soul and body
Rejection, division, jealousy and envy
Lust, greed, idolatry
Word and generational curses and mistakes
Negative affects of memories and associated strongholds
Depression, discouragement, temptation and every attack on our minds
Paths of the world
Deception, blindness, darkness and lies
Confusion, worry, anger, blasphemy and fear
Every word of satan ever heard, spoken or read
Doubt, fiery darts and missiles of the enemy
Unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, judging
Control, witchcraft, religion, tradition, manipulation
All powers of darkness
Works of the flesh, wrong behaviors and habits
Everything the strongman has stolen – 7 fold pay-back, every influence or evil device that he has had.
Being consumed with missions, having gone and having had a part in sending, I compiled a list of ways to pray for missionaries. Some apply more to short term and others more to long term. I believe we can apply them to all people who are in ministry -- which should be all of us, no?
v Open doors for ministry, divine appointments every step along the way (1 Cor. 16.9)
v Anointing on each for supernatural, inspired works
v Team unity as well as unity with the national ministers
v A mighty harvest of souls and building up of the body of Christ
v God’s provision for traveling & ministry expenses
v Health, protection, and strength
v Guidance every step of the way
v God would thrust laborers into the fields now ripe for harvest (those who would intercede, give and go, giving their lives even as He did)
v Traveling mercies
v Families and loved ones left behind
v For notable signs & wonders to follow the message everywhere it is preached
v Preparation of hearts for the ministry that is coming their way.
v That leaders and workers would be raised up and edified, Spirit filled, and used in gifts and miracles. Mt. 9:38
v God will draw people that are hungry and thirsty for Him to the missionary so that they can minister to them. Mt. 5:6, Is. 55.12
v That the spirits of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, and knowledge will come over the missionaries and other workers. Is. 11.2,3
v Lift up the missionary that each and every day they will have freedom of utterance, opening their mouths boldly and with confidence, courageously as they ought. Eph. 6:19
v That they will be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. 1 Cor. 15.58
v Spiritual eyes of the people would be opened to see the truths of God and His kingdom. 2 Cor. 4:4 Eph 1:17-19 Col. 1:9-12
v That all barriers to homes, going door to door, and ministry on the street would be broken down. Rev. 3: 7-8
v That God would give the missionaries imagination and creativity as they minister and teach.
v Pray that God will raise up laborers (Mt. 9:38): More prayer supporters, more financial supporters (in number and amount), more people to go to work as a "TEAM"
v That the missionaries would be sensitive to hear and obey the specific voice and will of God. Jn. 10.27
v "Every day Christians" would get the vision that every person is a minister and soldier for God. Pr. 29:18 2 Cor 5:21 Eph. 6:10-18
v That God will put Christians into leadership positions, that God will grant favor to Christian causes, and that Christians will use their authority in the land. Pr. 2:21-22 16:10,12-13 20:28 21:1 29:2
v Pray for all levels of government of the country, state or province, and city, that the believers may lead a tranquil, quiet, and fruitful life (including all the missionaries). 1 Tim. 2:1-2
v Legal red tape will be loosed for visas, permits, and projects for all Christian causes. Mt. 10:19-20 16:19 Rev. 3:7-8
v That phone calls, mail, and money will not be bound up in any way. Mt. 16.19
v Please intercede that all needed finances will be supplied and loosed from the north, south, east, and west. Mt. 16.19 Phil. 4:19
v Intercede also that no weapon formed against the missionary will prosper. Is. 54.17
v Pray over them that they will be totally protected from any enemy attack in any area. Ps. 91
v Bind the strong man over the continent, country, state or province, and city from working in any way. Mt. 16:19 Eph. 6:12 Mt. 12:29
v Loose the people of the continent, country, state or province, and city from demonic bondage of sin, materialism, idolatry, witchcraft, greed, inferiority, pride, religion, drug abuse and rebellion (or whatever sins are typical of the area). Bind the demons of these areas from working in any way. Mt. 16:19 Eph 6:12
A Modern Day Parable of Intercession
Here is an email (a modern-day parable) that went around awhile back that sums up this teaching well:
PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens
A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Since the man was showing
discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing
thoughts into the weary mind: "You have been pushing against that rock for
a long time, and it hasn't moved." Thus, he gave the man the impression
that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts
discouraged and disheartened the man. Satan said, "Why kill yourself over
this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be
That's what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. "Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?
The Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at
yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done.
Now I, my friend, will move the rock."
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves the mountains.
When everything seems to go wrong ... just P.U.S.H.!
When the job gets you down ... just P.U.S.H.!
When people don't react the way you think they should ... just P.U.S.H.!
When your money is "gone" and the bills are due ... just P.U.S.H!
When people just don't understand you ... just P.U.S.H.!
P = Pray
U = Until
S = Something
H = Happens