The Power of Intercessory Prayer
Prayer is not a benign, feel-good, stress-relieving exercise. Prayer releases the power of God to change the circumstances of earth. It is the means by which you will be freed from your earth-bound, time-bound thinking to participate in eternity. His sovereign decree has established prayer as the bridge between the spiritual realm—where the Word of God is settled forever and all the promises are already ‘Yes’ in Christ—and the material realm. Prayer bridges the gap between heaven and earth.
Prayer is the most aggressive, pro-active, offensive, invasive action one can take in any situation. Prayer reaches into the spiritual realm and accesses all the power of heaven for the circumstances of earth. What God wants to do on the earth, He will do through intercessors. When God wants to change the course events will take on their own, He searches out an intercessor on whose heart He can place His desires. Think of your Spirit-directed prayers as “smart bombs” falling on enemy territory. Your persevering prayers are systematically demolishing the enemy’s strongholds. The air war is preparing the way for the ground troops to invade. Dear friend, put away childish things—little flesh-shaped desires; short-sighted, earth-bound understanding. Yield yourself to His bigger agenda. Let Him do more than you can ask or even think. Let Him do His full and mighty work in you.
Prayer is opening your life to Jesus. He is at the door, knocking. In prayer, you are simply responding to His love that seeks you out. Times of prayer are times of fellowship with Him, as if He were in your home sharing a meal with you. This week, during your prayer time, let your mind’s eye see Him as He sits just across from you. Talk right to Him and let Him talk to you.
The kingdom of God is not idle chatter, or empty words, or even eloquent and reasoned arguments. The kingdom of God is power. When Christ in, you becomes Christ through you, the power of God becomes operative in your world.
Scriptures for Reflection:
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5).
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Cor. 4:7).
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18).
“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none” (Ezek. 22:30).
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20-21).
Pray through the spiritual armor that Paul describes in Ephesians 6:10-18. As you read, expect the Spirit to make it fresh for you. Focus on one piece of armor. Let the Lord speak to you about it as you spiritually “put it on.” (1) Belt of Truth; (2) Breastplate of Righteousness; (3) Shoes of the Gospel of Peace; (4) Shield of Faith; (5) Helmet of Salvation; (6) Sword of the Spirit. On the seventh day, read verse 18 carefully. Once armed, how do you take your stand against the devil’s schemes? Through prayer.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. …And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Eph. 6:10-12; 18).