Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Heb 7:25 KJV 1
The word “intercession” can be found both in the old and new testament of the bible. The origin of this word can be traced to a Latin word which bears the meaning of a bridge builder.
Webster’s dictionary defines the word intercede as; To mediate; to interpose; to make intercession; to act between parties with a view to reconcile those who differ or contend; usually followed by with. 2
If we examine the elements of this definition carefully, we find that the work of intercession is really a role of an arbitrator and one who pleads for mercy on the behalf of the other. It is as if the work of intercession makes the person praying as if they were an attorney at a trial where the accused is absent and sentencing is due. Intercession takes you beyond the work of an attorney by not merely pleading with God on the behalf of another, but it also provides the authority to marshal the forces of heaven to wrestle with the forces of darkness that oppose God’s will for mankind. The praying saint is therefore a warrior priest that follows the commander in chief whose name is Jesus as he sounds his heavenly alert to the courtroom of heaven.
Intercession isn’t glamorous; but in essence intercession grooms its students for any true evidence of anointed ministry. Intercession utilizes such disciplines as fasting until it brings the saint to a place of humility before God. It transforms cowards into veterans of spiritual warfare.
Frequent intercession makes you highly sensitive to the moods of the Holy Spirit; it will change your whole demeanor and make you much more aware of the spirit realm.
Due to fact that intercession deals much with the things of the spirit, the praying individual must therefore be conversant with the laws of God’s mercy and therefore be able to plead on the behalf of the others. This can only happen if they have an intimate knowledge of the word of God to be able to plead on behalf of those needing God’s mercy with the aid of the person of the Holy Spirit.
Without proper grounding in the important foundational doctrine of the word, people who frequently intercede can easily become conceited or can quickly move off into error and mysticism. It is therefore essential to gain a balanced and sober understanding of the role of intercession within the life of the believer.
I can remember several instances of people whom I’ve met over the years that were definitely mighty in intercession, however some became self righteous and critical of others because they started to discern other peoples sins and weaknesses. This attitude causes a crisis of religious pride that can stop a revival from breaking forth into the earth. Instead using our mouths to tear down the prayerless, our ministry is to encourage the prayerless to pray.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:1 KJV 3
I remember attending a meeting in the early 90’s. The speaker at that meeting was Dr Larry Lea who wrote a best selling book called The Hearing Ear. (Lea, 1988) 4 He spoke about how Satan can easily infiltrate our thinking and destroy our intercession. This happens when self-righteousness takes over the thinking of the believer and they begin to think of themselves as more superior in righteousness than their brethren. The downward spiral takes the believer into a deception of spiritual arrogance, making them become a modern day Pharisee. The deceived believer has their mouths overtaken with destructive words of accusation instead of intercession. We must remember that the person in scripture that is known as the accuser is Satan. Therefore accusation instead of intercession is a satanic manifestation. Dr Larry Lea speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said we should “shut down the accuser and release the intercessor.”
This is so true especially when we examine the fact that intercession is not a ministry of accusation. God is already aware of all of our sins, so he is not shocked when we mention what we have done that contradicts his divine principles of moral uprightness.
Let me site two of the accounts of intercession in scripture that have taught me due care concerning my approach to God concerning anyone at fault.
And I prayed earnestly to the Lord God, pleading with him, fasting, wearing sackcloth, and sitting in ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed the sins of my people. I said, “Lord God, you are great, and we honor you. You are faithful to your covenant and show constant love to those who love you and do what you command. “We have sinned, we have been evil, we have done wrong. We have rejected what you commanded us to do and have turned away from what you showed us was right. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our rulers, our ancestors, and our whole nation. You, Lord, always do what is right, but we have always brought disgrace on ourselves. This is true of all of us who live in Judea and in Jerusalem and of all the Israelites whom you scattered in countries near and far because they were unfaithful to you.
Dan 9:3-7 GNB 5
Notice that Daniel uses the word “we” instead of “they” as he speaks to God concerning the sins of Israel that led to the exile of his time. Daniel wisely does this because he understands that God doesn’t just see us as individuals, but he also looks at us in units of families and even nations. So although we may be presumptuous in our thinking by assuming that the sins of our neighbor do not affect us, Daniel wisely realizes that this is not the case.
So the mature in intercession will pray with the understanding that there are some predicaments we find ourselves in due to the sins of others that are directly related to us as family or even a nation. Mercy can only be received from God if we become conscious of the fact that everyone’s personal sins become a family issue, family issues become community troubles and community troubles blight a nation. We must therefore stand in the gap to ensure the promotion of our brethren and the nations within which we live.
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Pro 14:34 KJV 6
Intercession is the present day ministry of Jesus. Our lord knows all that is to take place on the earth before it happens. He therefore alerts his people through the Spirit of prophecy so that they can avert the trouble to come. In the Genesis account in which we see Abraham making intercession on the behalf of those in Sodom we see this example of God warning of impending judgment.
And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
Gen 18:17-26 KJV 7
Although the warning comes Abraham’s dialogue shows us that God abounds in mercy and is ready to avert trouble if someone will plead for mercy.
The Sovereign LORD never does anything without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets.
Amo 3:7 GNB 8
Good News Bible, (1976). Bible Societies, Harper Collins, pp.Dan 9:3-7 GNB. 5
Good News Bible, (1976). Bible Societies, Harper Colins, pp.Amo 3:7 GNB. 8
King James Version, (1611). Church of England, pp.Heb 7:25 KJV. 1
King James Version, (1611). Church of England, pp.Gal 6:1 KJV. 3
King James Version, (1611). Church of England, pp.Pro 14:34 KJV. 6
King James Version, (1611). Church of England, pp.Gen 18:17-26 KJV. 7
Lea, L. (1988). The hearing ear. Altamonte Springs, Fla.: Creation House. 4
Webster, N. and McKechnie, J. (1983). Webster’s new twentieth century dictionary of the English language, unabridged. New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster.2