Are you ready to make a difference? The recipe for enduring change is simple. It is spelled P-R-A-Y! Yes, prayer changes things and history belongs to the intercessor!
Let’s arise and get on with God’s original program of extending the rod of His Kingdom authority into every cultural sphere of life. Let’s impact the seven societal mountains with history making prayer. It’s time to shake ourselves free from the influences of this lethargic “what will be will be” pervasive attitude and take our rightful position seated with Christ Jesus in the heavenly places looking down upon the affairs of men! In fact, let’s change this present darkness by calling forth brilliant displays of God’s great presence.
Why do I burn with this message? Because, this is not just about being highly gifted. Prayer is God’s equal opportunity card that each believer in Christ gets to punch! We can each cast out demons! We can each pray for the sick and see them recover! And we can each release history making intercession! Let’s shift things through the prevailing power of effective intercession.
What Is Intercession?
An intercessor is a “go-between.” An intercessor mediates, occupying a middle position. You become a middleman for God! The most familiar phrase is “standing in the gap,” which comes from Ezekiel 22:30 (God speaking), “I 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” (KJV).
Jesus, our High Priest, who sacrificed his own life to redeem us from death, is the foremost intercessor. He interposed Himself between sinful humans and the justified wrath of His Father, and He still intercedes for us, day and night. We read in the book of Hebrews, “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25, NASV).
All believers are called to be intercessors. There is no special list any where in the scriptures indicating that prayer, praise, worship and intercession are special “gifts of the Holy Spirit.” They are the birthright of every believer! We are each called to co-labor with Jesus Christ. We simply lift up to our Father every need, every desire, and every thought. But we do it from the heart, expecting, and we do it with a sense of delight, not obligation.
You see, the Bible is filled with urgent summons to pray: “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NASV). What is God’s will? Rejoice, pray and give thanks at all times! Awesome! What an approachable Father God we have!
In the Footsteps of Abraham
One of the first great intercessors in the Bible was Abraham, and his most famous intercessory prayer was for one of the most sinful places in the ancient world! Sodom and Gomorrah have become synonymous with sin, sexual debauchery, and sodomy, yet the great Patriarch of Israel, the “father of faith,” interceded passionately that those twin cities of sin be spared! I believe it was this kind of compassion that led God to say, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” (Genesis 18:17, NASV).
When God told Abraham that He planned to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, the patriarch asked God if He planned to destroy the righteous people along with the wicked. Abraham then made the counterproposal, “…wilt Thou indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?” (Genesis 18:24b, NASV). When God agrees to relent if 50 righteous people were found, Abraham persisted to drive the numbers lower, knowing only Lot and his family could possibly qualify. The patriarch whittled the number down to 20, and in verse 32 he reached a pivotal place that is important for us to see. Abraham said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” (Genesis 18:30, NASV).
God agrees to Abraham’s request, but this passage causes us to wonder, “What if Abraham hadn’t stopped at ten?” God definitely showed no signs of being angry with Abraham over his persistent intercession and pleading on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. In fact, I believe God liked it. I have a hunch that Abraham could have gone even lower. (But then again I wasn’t there and I certainly don’t have all the facts at hand.) However, this incident illustrates one of the fundamental laws governing the relationship between God and man: God quits when man quits.
What did you say, James? Yes, God quits when man quits! God loves a good fight and He calls us to be His tenacious bulldogs in the Holy Spirit, and get hold of the promises of God and not let go…until. History making intercessors just flat out never give up. They continue until!
As the Waters Cover the Sea
God has clearly portrayed in His Word His desire and intention to bring revival to His people and spiritual awakening to the earth. His promise is straightforward:
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14, KJV).
A day is coming when the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the earth. In that end-time season all people will see Him and, willingly or not, acknowledge His presence and His glory. Christ will be magnified and glorified in His Church and His name exalted above every other name so that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). All things will be put in subjection under Christ’s feet, who then will subject Himself to the Father, in order that “God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:27-28).
Are there keys to unlocking the glory of God? Yes, the scriptures are full of them. Consider the following passage:
You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you (Exodus 20:24).
Where will God’s name be “remembered”? Everywhere an altar is built. In fact, the whole earth is to be offered up as an altar where the fire shall be kept burning and never go out! (Leviticus 6:9-13). Are you building an altar of worship, praise, prayer, and intercession?
Do You Want Your Life to Make a Difference?
I am not satisfied with reading about history. I want to live it! Do you want your life to make a difference? Then join me and thousands of others on the walls of intercession in this critical transitional time.
Here is my goal. I want to be a battering ram for the Lord that can break through doors that have been shut, and bust low ceilings of limitation wide-open through the passion and power of intercession.
I exhort you to get so saturated by the presence of Jesus, that you will carry an open heaven over your own head. Then wherever you go, you will create an atmospheric change by becoming a “gate of heaven” for others.
A hard task you say? Not if you know and practice the passion and the power of intercession! Do you want to shape history? Then follow along with me on the path well worn by pilgrims of former days and let’s shake this generation for Jesus Christ sake!
Father, I present myself to you for the purpose of prayer. I join the host of others who are praying around the world at this time. Come, Holy Spirit, and take possession of us all. Fill me with the Spirit of grace and supplication in Jesus’ name and for the sake of Your Kingdom. I volunteer freely in the day of Your power to be a watchman on the walls for such a time as this. Amen.
James W. Goll
Portions of this article are taken from my chapter in the book Prayer Changes Things (and are copyrighted material).