Intercessory prayer is the act of praying to God on behalf of others, or asking a saint in heaven to pray on behalf of oneself or for others. Intercessory prayer is based on the belief that God listens to our prayers and can intervene in human affairs for the good of his people. Intercessory prayer is also a way of expressing our love and compassion for others, especially those who are in need, suffering, or facing challenges.

Intercessory prayer is important for several reasons.

First, intercessory prayer aligns us with God’s will and purpose. When we pray for others, we are seeking God’s will for their lives, not our own. We are also acknowledging that God is the source of all power and grace, and that he alone can change situations and hearts. Intercessory prayer helps us to trust God more and to submit to his sovereignty.

Second, intercessory prayer benefits the people we pray for. The Bible tells us that God hears and answers our prayers, according to his will and timing (1 John 5:14-15). God can use our prayers to bless, heal, protect, guide, and transform others. Our prayers can also encourage and comfort others, knowing that someone cares for them and is interceding for them. Intercessory prayer can also open doors for us to share the gospel and show God’s love to others. Intercessory prayer can be done in a variety of ways, including privately, in small groups, or in large prayer gatherings. It can be done for individuals, families, communities, nations, and even the world. The focus of intercessory prayer is on bringing the needs of others before God, and seeking His will for their lives.

Third, intercessory prayer benefits us as well. When we pray for others, we are growing in our relationship with God and becoming more like Christ. Intercessory prayer cultivates a heart of love, compassion, humility, and generosity in us. It also strengthens our faith and hope, as we see God work in miraculous ways. Intercessory prayer can also bring us joy and peace, as we experience God’s presence and grace. Intercessory prayer is a powerful spiritual practice that can deepen our relationship with God. It requires us to set aside our own desires and concerns and to focus on the needs of others. Through intercessory prayer, we learn to be more compassionate, empathetic, and selfless, and we develop a greater appreciation for the power of prayer and the role that it plays in our lives and the lives of others.

How can we practice intercessory prayer?

Intercessory prayer is not a complicated or difficult practice. It is simply talking to God on behalf of others, with sincerity and faith. Here are some practical tips on how to practice intercessory prayer:

  • Start with praise and thanksgiving. Begin your prayer by praising God for who he is and thanking him for what he has done. This will help you to focus on God’s character and goodness, and to cultivate a grateful attitude.
  • Ask God to guide you. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to pray according to God’s will and word. You can also use the Bible as a guide for your prayers, by praying the promises, commands, or examples of Scripture.
  • Pray specifically and persistently. Pray for specific people, situations, or needs that are on your heart or that God brings to your mind. Pray with confidence and conviction, knowing that God hears you. Pray persistently, until you see an answer or a change.
  • Pray with others. Join with other believers in intercessory prayer, either in person or online. You can share your prayer requests and burdens with each other, and support each other in prayer. You can also join in corporate intercessory prayer for your church, community, nation, or world.
  • Pray with love and compassion. Pray with a genuine concern and care for those you are praying for. Pray with empathy and kindness, not judgment or criticism. Pray with a desire to see God’s best for them, not your own agenda.
  • Pray with faith and hope. Pray with an expectation that God will answer your prayers in his way and time. Pray with a trust that God is able to do more than you can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Pray with a hope that God will work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).

Intercessory prayer is a powerful and rewarding practice that can enrich your spiritual life and bless others. As you practice intercessory prayer, you will discover more of God’s heart and will for his people, and experience more of his presence and grace in your life.

How do we pray an intercessory prayer? Here are some steps to guide us:

  1. Identify the person or situation we want to pray for. It can be someone we know personally, such as a family member, friend, neighbor, coworker, or church member. It can also be someone we don’t know, such as a leader, a stranger, a persecuted Christian, or a victim of injustice. It can also be a situation that affects many people, such as a natural disaster, a war, a pandemic, or a social issue.
  2. Research the person or situation we want to pray for. If possible, we should learn more about the person or situation we want to intercede for, so that we can pray more specifically and accurately. We can use reliable sources of information, such as news articles, reports, websites, books, or testimonies. We can also ask the person directly if they have any prayer requests or needs.
  3. Express our concern and compassion for the person or situation we want to pray for. We should start our intercessory prayer by acknowledging the person or situation we are praying for, and expressing our care and empathy for them. We can use words such as “I pray for…”, “I lift up…”, “I ask you to bless…”, “I intercede for…”, or “I stand in the gap for…”. We can also use descriptive words to convey the urgency or severity of the situation, such as “suffering”, “struggling”, “hurting”, “oppressed”, “endangered”, or “in need”.
  4. Ask God to intervene and act according to His will and purpose for the person or situation we want to pray for. We should then ask God to do what only He can do for the person or situation we are praying for, according to His wisdom and power. We can use words such as “please”, “grant”, “provide”, “heal”, “deliver”, “protect”, “guide”, “strengthen”, “comfort”, or “transform”. We can also use biblical promises or examples to support our requests, such as “according to your word”, “in Jesus’ name”, “by your grace”, “for your glory”, or “as you did for…”.
  5. Thank God for hearing and answering our intercessory prayer. We should end our intercessory prayer by thanking God for listening to us and responding to us in His perfect way and time. We can use words such as “thank you”, “praise you”, “glorify you”, “honor you”, “worship you”, or “adore you”. We can also express our trust and confidence in God’s goodness and faithfulness, such as “we believe you”, “we trust you”, “we rely on you”, “we depend on you”, or “we hope in you”.

Here is an example of intercessory prayer based on these steps:

I pray for my friend John who is going through a divorce. I know he is hurting and confused right now, and he feels like his life is falling apart. Lord, please comfort him with your peace and presence. Please heal his broken heart and restore his hope and joy. Please provide him with wisdom and guidance as he faces this difficult situation. Please protect him from bitterness and resentment, and help him to forgive and be forgiven. Please bring him closer to you and to your people who can support him and encourage him. Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer and caring for my friend John. I trust you to work all things together for his good and your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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