EM Bounds teaches that Intersession is a form of prayer that is not for ones self, but for others. He also shares how we should be arriving to the prayer meeting already full and having been filled up in the presence of God that very morning. We should come ready.
How do we get ready for Intersession?
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Romans 12:1
Are you reading and studying the Bible? Are you seeking God first every morning? Are you spending time in prayer? Is God being exalted above all else in your life?
Time To Rebase Our Walk With God
God is ready, but are you ready to take the first step? In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus gives us some good news.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.Matthew 11:28-29
This is the reference for “come as you are”. However, it doesn’t say “stay as you were”.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.Galatians 5:13
Don’t indulge the flesh and return to your wicked ways. I’ve fallen into old habits time and time again. Each time I realize it’s eating up my time I could be spending with God, family, or just ruining my opportunity to be a better steward of the truth. It is never over tho, we can always get back on track.
It Takes Faith To Pray and Intercede
Learning to pray daily, to acknowledge the reality of God listening to you, takes faith. Faith is also required to listen in prayer, and hear His voice. At first prayer can be like a workout routine at the gym, but as you engage in prayer, it’s more like a long lasting relationship between a man and wife. Your flesh will argue with your spirit. Your spirit will hear the voice of God, and His direction. You will need to surrender your carnality to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews has a great account of what faith is:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.Hebrews 11:1-3
Well, what do we ask for with all this faith?
In the Bible we find that Jesus tells us we can ask anything in His name and it will be given to us
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.John 14:13
However, in context the passage before sets a precedence to verse 13.
Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the FatherJohn 14:12
For our intersession to be effective we need to believe in Jesus, and do the works he did.
Hence James 2:14-26, “faith without works is dead”.
We must have both faith and actions to show for it. What works did Jesus do?
- Jesus loved and taught His disciples the way (we must study scripture to gain this).
- Jesus prayed and claimed to only do what the Father told Him to do.
- Jesus claimed he was the way, the truth, and the life. We can find the Father’s instructions through the Bible, and through the present leading of the Holy Spirit, which the Bible confirms.
Jesus Teaches Us About Prayer
When Jesus’s disciples asked how they should pray, Jesus responded with:
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,Matthew 6:9-13
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
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.
We must recognize the sacredness of the presence of God. We must consecrate ourselves unto Him. Separating ourselves from the wickedness of the world so that we can rightly approach the throne and altar of God the Father.
Before We Pray
Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your giftMatthew 5:23-24
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail.James 5:16
Like Aaron and his sons were consecrated unto God at the beginning of their duties as Levites and Priests for the Template of God, so must we consecrate ourselves for the House of Prayer that belongs to Jesus. Before we come to bring our gift to the altar we need to make things right with those we have open offenses with.
What do we pray for?
Is there an agenda, is there a plight that needs to be resolved. Do we come together to intercede about any and everything? Or is there order and focus, dare I say unity around a central focus? I don’t know. But I do know no one should be in charge of an intercession meeting. Sure, we should have elders present to administer wisdom to people young in the faith, and unprepared for intercession, but they should never assume they are there to direct the intercession. Jesus explains some of the behavior of the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus in John 3:
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”John 3:8
There is a need to be fluid when it comes to the moving of the Holy Spirit. It wont always sit well with different personality types, but it’s just the way He is. When we come together to intercede, we come together to pray in one accord for God’s will to be done. In some cases we pray that God’s will would be to address a certain issue we are experiencing as a group, or with society. Whatever the issue is, we must always prepare ourselves. God is ready, he is waiting for us to arrive:
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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.2 Chronicles 7:14-15