The specific task of intercession is for some those who have been called and so gifted to fulfill this ministry. Such an intercessor may be given a one off gifting for deep intercession or for a more sustained period. For such a person, identification with the heart of God is not a choice. Initially, she (see next section regarding the usage of a female pronoun) may not be aware of the need to do so. But as she begins to pray for someone intentionally, she may experience a change of mood in herself or the others who pray with her. The reason is that she does not intercede for someone to please herself or others but to please God. It can be painful as His holy fire refines her for this task. A heaviness descends on the servant of God till she has no other option but to pray according to God’s will no matter how she feels. As she prays to the Father a breakthrough comes and that is when her heart is filled with joy as He has carried that burden off her shoulders and shifted them to His!
Hence the need to confess sins, identify weaknesses to be totally dependent on God.
The intercessor’s heart believes God, feels with Him in agony and storms heaven’s door; she is relieved only when convinced that God has heard and will answer according to His will and way in His time i.e. God has taken over the situation…the intercessor feels relieved…and goes on to the next situation for intercession! If He has heard, He will surely answer in His perfect time. The breakthrough may be immediate or more often, later e.g. hours, days, months or years.
Why Intercessors are more often Women than Men.
As praying till a breakthrough comes requires patience and time in perseverance, women are often chosen and needed to carry out this task (about 80% of intercessors are females). Generally, most women have personalities that are more personal and enduring specifically as many have experienced months of pregnancy (where they are attached to their beloved growing babies) and hours of labour pains. Our Creator knows which gifting is matched to which person and task! Of course, He may at times use anyone, male or female, He sees fit for the task. There are firm and gentler intercessors and there are bolder and more aggressive ones!
Jesus taught in Matthew 6:5-15…
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
This, then, is how you should pray…”
Intercession is also prayer presented
She comes to the Father God
Our supreme model is Jesus, the Great High Priest, who identifies with us and intercedes for us
Our human models e.g.
Sometime the intercessor has to be neutral i.e. not practice favouritism or prejudice but be objective in praying according to God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. Discipline is expected and required out of obedience and loyalty to Christ alone. He, the Son of God, does not ask us to do what He does not do. Jesus did stress that He did what His Father did, and said what His Father said. We also, therefore, must do the same if we desire to follow in His step in this modern world today. God cannot lie and does not change.
Identification of Intercession by Dr, Valerie s. Depastino (Whitaker House 1988) This little book addresses the issue of intercession for the “ordinary” Christian. It is worth reading to learn from the author what such a quiet yet powerful and necessary ministry/service entails. Further, even those home bound and/or aged can fulfill this task of intercession!