30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV)
This week’s devotional is about a subject that I don’t consider myself an expert in and that is intercessory prayer. As a consequence, there will be a number of quotations from people a little more qualified than me. In its broadest sense, intercessory prayer is simply praying for someone other than yourself. Dick Eastman in his book The Hour That Changes the World writes: –
“What is intercession? It is God’s method for involving His followers more completely in the totality of His plan.”
For many of us, our days physically going out and engaging others in personal evangelism may be long gone, but one thing that we can all do is pray. It has been a source of great joy to me, to see the way in which our church family has bonded through the Covid crisis. How, when necessary, individuals have set aside their personal needs for a time, to focus on praying for the needs of others, who are going through a tough time and seeing it through to the end result. This is intercession in its simplest form.
“To intercede is to mediate. It is to stand between a lost being and an almighty God, praying that this person will come to know about God and his salvation. As Edward Bauman explains in Intercessory Prayer, “When we pray for others we do not stand with outstretched hands hoping to receive something for ourselves. We stand at God’s side, working together with Him, in the task of redeeming others.”
I am also quoting an entire message from Bob Gass that helps to explain the next level of intercessory prayer: –
“In her book Glorious Intruder, Joni Eareckson Tada writes about Diane, who suffers from multiple sclerosis: “In her quiet sanctuary, Diane turns her head slightly on the pillow towards the corkboard on the wall. Her eyes scan each thumb-tacked card and list. Each photo. Every torn piece of paper, carefully pinned in a row. The stillness is broken as Diane begins to murmur. She’s praying. Some would look at her, stiff and motionless, and shake their heads, ‘What a shame, her life has no meaning.’ But Diane is confident, convinced that her life is significant and that her labor of prayer counts.
“She moves mountains that block the paths of missionaries. She helps open the eyes of the spiritually blind in Southeast Asia. She pushes back the kingdom of darkness that blackens the alleys and streets of the gangs in East L.A. She aids homeless mothers, abused children, despondent teenagers, and dying, forgotten, old people in the nursing home down the street from where she lives.
“Diane is an intercessor! She’s on the front lines, advancing the Gospel of Christ, holding up weak saints, inspiring doubting believers, and delighting her Lord and Savior.” Miracles happen when somebody “stands in the gap.” (Read Matthew 16:19, James 5:16, and Romans 1:9.)”
There are those like Diane in our story that devote their lives to prayer and intercession for others. Often these people will also enjoy gifts from the Holy Spirit such as prophecy as well as words of knowledge and wisdom which blend together to increase the reach and scope of their intercessions. Some are called to pray for their local church family others are called to pray for governments and nations. Still others pray and support those in ministry, a kind of spiritual “I’ve got your back Pastor”.
“Never be troubled by the fact that your knowledge of a need is somewhat limited. True, you should ask the Holy Spirit to aid you in prayer so that your praying is as meaningful and intelligent as possible. But don’t become discouraged solely because your prayers lack the depth of understanding you desire. Above all, remember that all of prayer, especially intercession, is a learning experience”.
Be encouraged today, child of God; your prayers will prevail, and God will come through on your behalf.
 Dick Eastman, The Hour That Changes the World: A Practical Plan for Personal Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2002), 79.
 Ibid, 72.
 Bob Gass, A Fresh Word For Today: 365 Insights For Daily Living (Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998), 208.