How can I pray for others?

Question: “How can I pray for others and what is needed to support others in prayer?”

Bible Answers

Have you ever been watching a movie and imagined yourself as the hero, banishing evil and upholding righteousness?

I offer you the opportunity to be that hero, to come against the evil of the world in the mighty power of God. To call forth salvation, healing, blessings, finances, safety, strength, protection from evil, and other concerns for your family, friends, and the world.  And you can do all this from your prayer closet.  I offer you the super human power of God through intercessory prayer.

What is an intercessory Prayer

Intercessory prayer is the act of praying on behalf of others.  It includes praying for the saints, the church, government, nation, family, neighbors, the lost, and all that the Lord may bring to your heart.

Many Christians falsely believe that intercessory prayer is only for the special few called of God to pray. They say, “I am too young, too old, too shy, too dumb, or too uneducated”.  The Bible is clear that all Christians are called to be intercessors. All Christians have the Holy Spirit and the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God (Romans 8:26-27). Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2). Not only are we all commanded to intercede for others, it is a sin not to intercede for others. …far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you (1 Samuel 12:23).

Like all prayers, when you approach the throne of grace with total trust and faith in God and His Word, great forces in heaven are released.  We are all called to be intercessors, but so few are willing.

Intercession is warfare.  Intercessory prayer takes place in the spiritual world where the battles for our lives and the lives of our families, friends, and nation are won or lost.

Why is intercessory prayer is needed

You are needed to stand in the gap for others.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do ( Ephesians 2:10).  Maybe part of the work God prepared in advance for you to do was to pray for a neighbor. And maybe you are the only one called to pray for that neighbor, and if you do not, no one will, and they will be lost.  Click for info on intercessory prayer.

Your intercessory prayers are needed and very powerful in Jesus. When you fervently pray in God’s will, believing, you are calling forth the power of God to affect other people and even nations.

Intercessory prayer is the most powerful force in the world you can perform through Jesus.  Our Lord Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears (Hebrews 5:7).

Why do I need to pray

Why does God need my prayers?  Because, for now, this is Satan’s world and God has limited His access to humanity to the prayers of His children, the saints.

God needs His children, as Jesus’ representatives, to be the conduit for God’s grace to the lost and the power against Satan. It is through our fervent prayers that we unleash the power of God. The effective fervent prayer of the righteousness avails much (James 5:16).  

You may wonder, “What is the use of praying when the world seems to be getting worse and worse?” However, have you ever asked yourself how much worse the world might be if God’s people didn’t intercede in prayer?  Or how much better the world would be if more Christians were praying?

Qualifications of Intercessors

Have you ever prayed for another person?  Then you have prayed as an intercessor.  Being an intercessory prayer warrior only requires you to fervently pray for others. Are you willing to offer yourself for this holy work so that God’s love may be accomplished among mankind?  Don’t be content with only praying for your own needs, but be a priest of the Most Holy God, bringing His blessings to others.

The battle

Most of the problems of the world are the results of Satan’s deceptions. As such, much of intercessory prayer is warfare.  The battleground is not of this earth. The Bible says, We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and spiritual powers in the heavens above (Eph. 6:12).  In the authority of Jesus and the power of God, we take dominion, authority, and control over Satan and his kingdom.  In the name of Jesus, we break Satan’s power over others and bind him from manifesting in their lives.

You can and should inquire of God what to pray about and how to pray. James 1:5 says, if any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you.  When we ask God for wisdom, His desires will become the focus of our prayers.  Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to Him (Romans 12:2).

Armed for battle

Intercessory prayer is a serious matter. And just like soldiers who are preparing for battle, we cannot take on the enemy if we leave our weapons behind. That's why we must go into "battle" armed for spiritual conflict.  Put on all the armor God (Eph. 6), so that you will be ready to fight with God's weapons.  And being God’s armor, the devil does not know who is in the armor, but we do, it is God in us.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5). What are these verses saying?  1. We wage war.  2. Our war is not with mankind but in the spiritual against the work of the devil who uses mankind.  3. Our weapons are the divine power of God.  4. With our weapons, “We” destroy strongholds, arguments, and opinions that the devil has built up in the minds of men.  5.  And take every thought captive to obey Christ.  These are the "weapons of our warfare" that can pull down strongholds so that the light of truth can enter their minds.  We move in the power of God, in His will, through intercessory prayer.  We stand on the Word of God, we command the destruction of strongholds, and we claim the victory in Jesus’ name.

Satan will try to convince you that you are too weak to ever overcome him and that you are better off being safe and silent. However, you are powerful, mighty, and invincible when you command in the authority of Jesus.  God's Spirit is in you and is more powerful that the one [Satan] that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Next, bind the work of Satan, knowing that Jesus has given you authority to defeat the power of your enemy (Luke 10:19).  Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18).  If God shows you the identity of specific spiritual strongholds that are at work, fearlessly take authority over those strongholds in the name of Jesus.  

As you begin the spiritual battle in prayer, take comfort knowing that you are not alone: Jesus also is interceding on your behalf! The Bible says that Jesus is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them (Heb. 7:25). Click for info on believers authority.

Battle for Our Nation

God is searching for those willing to fight the spiritual battle for their land. In Ezekiel, God says, And I searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land (Ezek. 22:30).

Through intercession, you can take the offensive in the spiritual battle, building up your family, friends, community, nation and the world. As you follow God's call to rise and take your place in the spiritual battle, God promises to heal their land (2 Chron. 7:14). God is calling you. I can say that God is calling you because God is calling all of us to stand in the gap and open the door for God to move in the lives of others.  There have been untold numbers of humanity lost because no one was willing to pray for them, for their needs, for their salvation.

Persisting in Battle

Intercessory prayer is prayer that does not give up.  It is the kind of prayer that endures all setbacks and overcomes every obstacle. …but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Phil. 3:12).  

Pressing on in intercessory prayer is the key to seeing breakthroughs in your life and in the lives of those around you. Jesus gave a great model for intercession in the story of the persistent friend. Here we see a friend who knocks on his neighbor's door at midnight to ask for three loaves of bread. The neighbor does not want to get up, but Jesus said, because of his friend's persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs (Luke 11:8).

Then Jesus said, Everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the door will be opened for everyone who knocks (Luke 11:10). Those words mean keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. In God's time, your persistence in intercessory prayer will reap a spiritual harvest in your life and the lives of those you are praying for.

Joining the Lord

God is calling Christians to join His battle plan for this world -- to join in intercessory prayer. He is not looking for perfect prayer warriors, just willing hearts who want to see His will on the earth be done. All you have to do is turn to the Lord in prayer and ask:

"Father, I come into Your presence and ask You to give me the heart of the intercessor. Help me to be persistent in prayer until the breakthrough comes. Thank you for your powerful weapons in spiritual warfare, and for Your faithfulness in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen." (1)

The following list contains suggestion for needs that all saints can intercessory pray for:

The greatest force for evangelism

God’s greatest commandment is to love God and others. His next greatest desire is that we support evangelism. Our greatest demonstration of both love for others and love for the lost is our support through intercessory prayer. Even if you are not a missionary, your greatest support for evangelism is not money; the greatest support for evangelism is prayer – intercessory prayer.  And your intercessory prayer opens the floodgates of God’s provision, support, and protection for those laborers working in the Master’s harvest fields around the world.

Praying in the Spirit

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues (Mark 16:17).

Operating in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit permitted Jesus to do many wonderful miracles, and His gifts can permit us to produce similar wonderful miracles.  Speaking in tongues is a gift from God.  

For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:2.  When we are praying in the spirit, God is praying through us in power and in perfection of prayer that is exactly God’s will.  There is power in the Holy Spirit and power is being released when the Holy Spirit is praying through us in tongues.  Click for More details on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Praying for the Government

Some say the Democrats cause all of our problems. Others say that the Republicans are at fault.  However, God says we should pray for our leaders regardless of who is in office and all mankind.  I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people ---  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1-4). If you want to see changes in our leaders, start praying for the leaders and for changes.

God’s call to pray

Sometimes the Holy Spirit will give a person a sudden urge or need to pray.  The Holy Spirit may tell you whom to pray for or He may not.  It could be for a family member, a stranger, or a missionary on the other side of the world. The Holy Spirit may tell you what needs to pray for or not. Sometimes you may get a pain that matches the need or you may feel spiritually lost because you are praying for someone who is spiritually lost.  It may take only a few minutes or it may take hours.  Keep praying until you feel a release of the need, a joy.  Many lives have been saved because of faithful intercessory prayer warriors.

Kenneth Hagin gives an example of the importance of quickly responding to the call of the Holy Spirit.  One time he was returning home from a crusade and was in a rush because he had to immediately leave for another crusade when the Lord called him to pray for a niece. Being in a rush, he thought that he would do it later when he had more time.  When he got home, he learned that the niece had just been killed in a car accident, leaving a husband and three young children alone.  Had he been obedient, she likely would have been saved from the enemy.

One of the saddest verses

One of the saddest verses of the Bible is where God was about to rain down His righteous judgment on the people, but rather than do so, He looked for an intercessor to pray for the people and for God’s mercy, but could not find even one to stand in the gap, so His judgment rained down. “And l sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none" (Ezekiel 22:30).  All God was looking for was one, just one intercessor.  Are you willing to be that intercessor?


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