Intercessory Prayer

"Oh, that one might plead for a man with God,
as a man pleadeth for his neighbor!"

Job 16:21

Copyright © 1976, 1977, 1997 Diane S. Dew

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I.    Great responsibility is involved in the ministry of intercession.

       A.     Because the Lord God did not find anyone to "stand in the gap," to intercede for the land, He was requited to pour out the judgment due its disobedience.    

                    Ezekiel 22:30-31

       B.     He would not have destroyed Sodom, because of Abraham's persistence, had He been able to find ten righteous men in the city.  

                    Genesis 18:23-32

       C.     Moses' intercession for the people of God, in pleading with the Lord for mercy, held back the hand of God from consuming the nation in His wrath.    

                     Exodus 32:7-14; Deuteronomy 9:8-9, 12-20, 23-27, etc.; Psalms 106:23

       D.     Because "prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God," Peter's "chains fell off from his hands," "the iron gate ... opened to them of its own accord," and he was led out of the prison by an angel of God!  

                      Acts 12:5-12, etc.

       E. God told Jeremiah to search the city and see if he could find even one righteous man; that then He would spare the entire city (chapter 5:1). But Jeremiah knew that their hearts were all hardened against the Lord; that they were reprobate, beyond the place of repentance (ch. 5:3). God told him therefore to not even intercede for them (ch. 7:16; 11:14; 14:11).

II.   God Himself seeks faithful intercessors.

              Psalms 14:2 (2 Chronicles 16 :9) "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children

                  of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God."

              Ezekiel 22 :30 "And l sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge,

                   and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."

       A.    The ministry of intercession is of divine appointment.  

                     Isaiah 62:6   "I have set . . ."

       B.    But it is the responsibility of each individual to take the initiative to "stir himself up

               to take hold of" God.  

                     Isaiah 64:7

       C.    Scripture says that God was amazed "and wondered that there was no intercessor."

                      Isaiah 59:16

III.    The Bible expresses in a descriptive way the very nature of this ministry and the great heaviness of spirit and burden of prayer experienced by those in intercession.

       A.     "Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, till the Lord look down, and behold from heaven."  

                       Lamentations 3:48-50

       B.    Job cried, "Oh, that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor!"

                        Job 16:21

       C.    When God speaks of His intercessors ("watchmen") and their persistence in prayer,

               He says that they "never hold their peace day nor night" and "give Him no rest."  

                        Isaiah 62:6-7; Lamentations 2:18-19

       D.    "Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down

              like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease.

              Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like

              water before the face of the Lord ..."  

                       Lamentation 2:18-19

       E.    "Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar,

              and let them say, Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach..."

                        Joel 2:17

       F.    Moses told the children of Israel that in his intercession for them "I stood between

              the Lord and you."  

                        Deuteronomy 5:5; Psalms 106:23

       G.    Jesus "began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; and saith unto them

              (his disciples), My soul is exceeding sorrowful ... And He went forward a little, and

              fell on the ground, and prayed . . ."  

                       Mark 14:33-35

IV.   Certain people should be the focus of intercessory prayer on a regular basis.

       A.   Leaders and government authorities.  

                     I Timothy 2 :1-2

       B.   The people of God.  

                     Joel 2:12-13, 17; Romans 1:9; Ephesians 6:18

       C.   Those in spiritual leadership.

                     2 Corinthians 1:11; I Thessalonians 5:25; Hebrews 13:17-18a   

              1.  That they may have boldness to speak the truth.  

                         Ephesians 6:19-20

              2.  For their divine protection, spiritual strength, and victory over the enemy.  

                        Luke 22:31-32 ; John 17:15; Acts 12:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

              3.  That they will have an open door of ministry.  

                        Romans 15:30-32; Colossians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

       D.    The community in which we live, or any city or nation.  

                       Psalms 112:6; Jeremiah 29:7; Daniel 9:3, 16-19

V.    True intercession involves more than prayer in general. The intercessor bears a sense

        of burden and responsibility.

       A.    Great cries and tears in travail of prayer are known to those who have felt the

               urgency of a burden revealed to them by God.  

                     Ezra 10:1; Nehemiah 1:4; Isaiah 22:4 Jeremiah 13:17; 23:9

                     Lamentations 2:18-19; 3:48-51; Joel 2:12-13, 17; Hebrews 5:7

       B.    It often involves fasting.  

                     Deuteronomy 9:8-9, 12-20, 12-27; Ezra 10:6; Daniel 9:3-4

                     Joel 2:12-14, 17-18; Jonah 3:5-10

VI.   Characteristics of a successful intercessor.

       A.   Persistence and determination.  

                     Isaiah 62:6-7

                     Lamentations 2:18-19 "keep not silence, and give Him no rest...day and night ..."

       B.   Patience.  

                     Isaiah 62:6-7; Lamentations 2:18-19

       C.   Faith.  

                     Isaiah 64:7

       D.   Severe self-discipline and selflessness (due to personal identification with the need).

                     Mark 14:33-35; Lamentations 3:48-50

For information on 70 other such studies, at cost, write me at DS Dew, PO Box 340945, Milw, WI 53234 or email me at DianeDew@aol.com.  All studies in this series are available in printed, bound form at cost. (This is a ministry to the Body of Christ, not a money-making venture.) For more information on obtaining a hard copy of these articles & studies, go to the List of Publications.


This file is the sole property of Diane S. Dew. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this file must contain the copyright notice [i.e., "Copyright ©1976, 1977, 1997 by Diane S. Dew"]. This data file may not be used without the permission of Diane S. Dew for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations. Please give the following source credit: Copyright ©1976, 1977, 1997 by Diane S. Dew, Milw., Wis.

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