Advice for Interceders

Here are a number of items of advice for intercession drawn from the way our Old Testament forebears and examples went about it:

  • We should pray for more than names, asking for specific blessings. Vague intercession is not true intercession. Let us take each name separately and ask for a distinctive benefit.
  • We should feel for those for whom we pray, contemplating, for example, their terrors if eternally lost, or their pain if sick.
  • We should labor to represent them, as if we truly desired to persuade the Lord. How easily earnestness drains from private prayer! It may be an act of toil to maintain it.
  • We should pray persistently and regularly, never relaxing until the Lord answers from on high (or until the sin unto death is very clearly seen to have been committed).
  • We should be careful to esteem believers when we pray for them, so that our intercession does not become a superior or condescending act, as though we were praying for needy inferiors. The fallen heart is so subtle, and prayer should never be contaminated by a patronising or proud spirit.
  • We should pray much for our Sunday school class, or for whomever else we have special responsibility. The praying teacher becomes inevitably a visiting teacher because he or she cares.
  • We should always give time to pray for Christian workers, both ministers and others.
  • We should be aware of the trials of workers and their special opportunities, bringing all as specific matters before the Lord, and we should not forget to give thanks over resulting blessings.
  • Heartfelt repentance should precede intercession, for it is the prayer of the righteous person, the cleansed person, which avails much. Once again, the need to pray with fervor and desire must be emphasized, because we surely will not be heard praying for things we do not care about. We also need a sense of audience, an atmosphere of awe, and an attitude of humility.

We believe that if all the members of a church were to engage in intercessory prayer, the outcome would be blessing on a wonderful scale. It is well known that the American Revival of 1858 began with the widespread take-up of intercession for individuals. By intercessory prayer we shall become instrumental, and mightily encouraged; great blessings will come, and God will receive the glory.

Taken from Peter Masters' The Lord's Pattern for Prayer, published by Wakeman Trust

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