History Belongs to the Intercessors, Part 2: What is an Intercessor?
In Part 1 of this series, we established our need for prayer in our own personal lives and our nation, the weakness in the modern church as it relates to prayerlessness, and how prayer is a powerful commodity in heaven ready for our use.
Now — let’s just go back to the basics for a moment to make sure we all understand what we are talking about.
What is PRAYER?
In a basic definition: Talking to God.
Having a relationship with anyone without talking with them is impossible. Also, talking to someone and not listening to them is also a problem. Relationships have to be a two-way communication system, and this is just as important with God as with our fellow man. We talk and more importantly — we listen.
Now let’s look at a word that we often think of as “super-spiritual” — Intercession.
What is INTERCESSION?
According to Webster’s Dictionary, “intercede” means “to go or pass between; to act between parties with a view to reconcile those who differ or contend; to interpose; to mediate or make intercession.”
Like a lawyer intercedes for his clients in a court of law, we petition God.
Like an assistant carrying out the orders of her boss and becoming the go-between of him and the other employees, we can ask for God’s will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
Intercession is delegation. It is mediation. It is carried authority through representation.
Christ’s Intercession Prophesied in Isaiah
Isaiah 59 is a perfect example of intercession.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear. (verse 1)
In a time when our nation looks hopeless, this is a promise for all of us. God hears. He saves. His hand is not too short to reach us.
The nation of Israel was experiencing extreme evil and destruction. Look at this passage and think about the parallels with America right now.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken lies,
Your tongue has muttered perversity.
No one calls for justice,
Nor does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies;
They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. (verses 2-4)
Can we clearly see the comparisons to our modern world? Liars in places of authority, abortion on demand, perversity on every screen, addictions in every family, no truth, no justice and pure evil.
Therefore justice is far from us,
Nor does righteousness overtake us;
We look for light, but there is darkness!
For brightness, but we walk in blackness! (verse 9)
In Israel — as it is in America today — justice stood far from the people. There was only darkness, but light was coming.
God had not forgotten His children and the land of Israel — He still saw them and heard them. He had a plan. He was raising up intercession on the earth.
Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him
That there was no justice.
He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him. (verses 15-17)
God saw there was no intercessor — no one to stand in the gap against the darkness in that generation. There was no one to redeem the people — so He had to send His own Son — Jesus.
Jesus came. He brought salvation. JESUS became the GREAT INTERCESSOR.
So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. (verse 19)
When the enemy looks like He is strong — God always raises up an intercessor.
Christ became the greatest example to us of intercession as He became our mediator — going between the holy and the profane — representing a perfect God to a fallen humanity.
Christ’s intercession — in keeping with its literal meaning — was not just a prayer He prayed, but a work of mediation that He did.
He performed intercession for the people and that is what He is calling us to do.
This is what happens when we take on the character of Jesus as the intercessor.
We See. We Ask. We Act.
We SEE. God gives us eyes to see.
Our eyes become open, and we start seeing what God sees in a situation. He gives us His viewpoint and we start carrying His message. This transfer of the grace of God is called discernment and wisdom. And as we become more Christlike through walking with Him on a daily basis — He reveals more to us through His Word and through His Spirit.
For many of us right now, we are seeing needs in our nation because God is opening our eyes, but it is time for us to move to the next phase.
We ASK. We petition God.
God set it up for us that we must ask Him. He wants us to be close to Him. He wants to have a relationship with us, and He invites us graciously into His story line.
Remember scriptures like John 16:24: “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Or even Matthew 7:7: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
We partner with God through relationship, we petition Him, we pray for laborers into the harvest field, and we start the process of intercession.
We ACT. Becoming intercession.
We then become His partners on the earth by acting upon what He tells us to do. We quickly obey. We become the answers to our own prayers many times. We become INTERCESSORS just as Christ became intercession on the earth.
So many of us are feeling burdens for issues, families, organizations, or governments that God is calling us to not just pray into — but to act upon those burdened through His power.
We LOVE. Because He is love.
In the end we do all of this because we love. Even as Christ laid down His life for us, we lay down our lives for others and for our communities in sacrificial offerings of intercession. If we don’t do it who will?
Bunni Pounds is president of Christians Engaged. She is a former congressional candidate, 15-year political consultant and motivational speaker. Check out Bunni Pounds’ full message called History Belongs to the Intercessors from the Christians Engaged Wake UP! Conference in 2021.