In the Spring of 1972, the Lord gave us a list of instructions concerning intercessory prayer. This list also includes some of the qualifications and characteristics that must be progressively becoming a reality in the lives of those who are pressing to be vessels of intercession for Christ's sake. Through the years, we have been prayerfully studying what the Lord said to us and hopefully some of it is becoming real in our lives as we are conformed unto Him.
Recently we were impressed that it is time to share with His Body what Christ has revealed to us, and it is with prayer and dependence upon our Lord that we do so. We will share this just as the Lord gave it, and we will depend upon the Holy Spirit to enlighten and grant the revelation and witness needed by His members!
The following list was given to us by the Lord to instruct and prepare us for HIS GREAT MINISTRY OF INTERCESSION. These thoughts on intercession cannot be just systematically studied with the idea that we then will be an intercessor. No, we are learning that effectual prayer involves our whole being - spirit, soul, and body; and, therefore, effectual prayer must be experientially learned. We must realize that no matter how long we have been praying or how mature in Christ we have become, effectual prayer - prayer that accomplishes God's End - is always a learning experience. Therefore, let us approach the subject of prayer with a prayer in our hearts, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1).
Through prayer, the child of God gains access and understanding into God's desire, God's will, and God's purpose. True prayer has God's interests as its sole motive. Our Lord Jesus prayed, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Our prayer life should be bringing us ever closer to our Father and transforming us into the image of His Son. Our prayers should be releasing God's power against His enemy and bringing God's claims to bear in the lives of all His people, the Body of Christ, and in the lives of those whom He is calling to be a part of the Body of Christ. Prayer is the foundation and structure of all service and ministry which has eternal value in the plan of God - that plan being the consummation of all things in Christ Jesus.
"And He spake a parable unto them to this end, That men ought always to pray, and not to faint; (lose heart or be discouraged). (Luke 18:1)
There are four realms of intercessory prayer, and each realm builds upon the other; it is a building process:
1. Intercessory prayer for salvation of souls.
2. Intercessory prayer for problems and troubles of Christians - "for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18).
3. Intercessory prayer for the maturing of the Body of Christ.
4. Intercessory prayer for the Divine purpose of God as revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
If anyone aspires to this highest form of ministry (that of an intercessor), he will have to be putting on and coming into the characteristics of an intercessor. The Lord gave the following characteristics of an intercessor; and through the years we have found that as we prayed these Scriptures which the Lord gave us, and as we prayerfully searched into them, the Lord has been, and still is, faithful in making them real in our experience.
1. An intercessor must know the Word and receive the Word by the Spirit - as Stephen, Daniel, and Solomon did (Acts 6:8-15; 7:1-60; Daniel 9; 1 Kings 8).
2. An intercessor has to be in the Spirit (2 Samuel 23:1, 2; Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:14; Revelation 1:9, 10; Jude 20, 21).
3. An intercessor identifies himself with the Body of Christ (Isaiah 53; Nehemiah 1:11; 1 Samuel 12:1-25; Hebrews 4:1, 11, 14, 16).
4. An intercessor is concerned with the Full Purpose and Full Plan of God concerning the Body of Christ, and through prayer chooses to bring it about (Mark 1:14, 15; Philippians 2:9-11; John 17:21-26; Romans 8:27; Ephesians 1:10; 3:14-21).
5. An intercessor will birth and bring Christ forth in fullness in other believers by the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 3:10, 12, 13; Galatians 4:19)
(continued with # 2)