3 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Intercession
One of the ways the Holy Spirit will lead you to follow Him is in a specific area of prayer known as intercession. Intercession is the act of praying on behalf of someone else. It’s a practice that takes devotion and a heartfelt desire to see someone else’s life change for the better, and all believers are called to participate in it. The Apostle Paul put it like this: “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them” (1 Timothy 2:1). Believing for a loved one’s salvation, standing for a friend’s healing, praying for the leaders of your nation, or desiring a financial breakthrough all often come about because of intercession. If you feel the Spirit leading you to intercede on behalf of someone else, then prepare your heart by doing three things.
1. Prepare Your Heart for Intercession by Forgiving Others
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” – Mark 11:25
Forgiveness is an important part of any kind of prayer. The Word of God makes it clear that without forgiveness, your prayers won’t be answered. So as you begin any time of intercession, start by forgiving others so that your prayers may be heard.
2. Prepare Your Heart for Intercession by Thanking God
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6
Before you begin interceding for God to intervene in someone else’s life, thank Him for all He has done in yours. Thank Him for saving you, delivering you and changing your life for the better. In addition to being a wonderful time of worship, thanking God can also stir up your faith so that you can pray with confidence.
3. Prepare Your Heart for Intercession by Praising God
“Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.” – Psalm 95:1-2
As you thank God for all He has done for you, also praise Him for who He is. You have access to Elohim (the Creator of the Universe), and He is interested in you. Praise Him for being Jehovah Jirah (Your Provider), Jehovah Rapha (Your Healer) and Jehovah Shalom (Your Peacemaker). Praise is an excellent way to express that you know who God is and you acknowledge His presence and work in your life.
Intercession is an important, behind-the-scenes ministry in the Body of Christ. If you are one of those who regularly practices it, thank you. While those you pray for may not know the role you play in improving their lives, you are definitely part in their success. As you practice these three things — forgiveness, praise and thanksgiving — you’re sure to have a more rewarding, more Spirit-led time of intercession.