Intercession is about knowing Jesus and His heart more than getting something from Him
Then Jesus took me on a wild adventure of discovering what His full time job is: He lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). If Jesus is doing it, then it surely can’t be that bad. I slowly discovered that prayer can be the single most exciting, adventurous and creative journey we can take as believers. Miracles, signs and wonders are great, but I believe prayer is the essential journey into discovering the heart and mind of God, which is our primary aim as believers. As a byproduct, we get to partner with Him in seeing the miracle of families, cities and nations transformed for the kingdom, all while having fun doing it!
Intercession is about who we are, Who’s we are and where we are positioned relative to this world
What we experience in intercession depends heavily on where we’re sitting. Let me explain. There are 3 primary positions from which we can pray. The first one, which I will refer to as the “first heaven” is where most of us sit - right in the middle of our circumstances, begging and pleading for help. Everything we see, feel, taste and touch consumes our emotions, thoughts and prayers. Many of us believe that if we could just get God to feel sorry for us (throw in some fasting), then maybe He’ll answer our prayers. The problem is that “God is not moved by pity as much as He is moved by faith” as Bill Johnson says. From this posture of praying from our circumstances, or the first heaven, our prayers are more about pleading with God for some magic key to relieve our pain and suffering than they are about encountering the heart of God.
Intercession is about praying from Jesus victory not our failures
What typically happens when we don’t see God moving in our circumstances is that we start to get really serious and move into waging war in the heavenlies. We pull out all of our spiritual ammunition and direct our prayers at what is known as the “second heaven” or the spirit realm. This is where the battle between the angelic and demonic takes place. It sounds exciting, but the problem with this position is that we end up battling an enemy that has already been defeated, in a war that has already been won. Revelation 1:18 says "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” You see, the devil was robbed of his power on the cross. Jesus got the keys back, and the only way the devil can be re-empowered is when we focus on him or believe his lies. One of the greatest lies he’s duped us into believing is that he and God are equal and opposing forces, and that our efforts are somehow the deciding factor in which way the scale is going to tip. I believe this is one of the major reasons we get beat up as Christians - we allow the enemy to draw us into battles we were never meant to fight. That’s not to say we don’t have a role to play, but when we are focused on what the enemy is doing, or we are believing his lies, we make him ‘bigger’ than he is. When we do this, we hand him back the power and to influence our lives.
Intercession is about representing Him based on what He is saying right now
So how are we supposed to pray? Ephesians 1:20 tells us that God “raised Him (Christ) from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” It gets better. Ephesians 2:6 tells us that God “raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” If you notice the verb tense, that’s not a distant, heavenly experience, it’s a spiritual reality for the here and now. Knowing where we’re seated changes everything. I call this the “third heaven.” From this position, prayer becomes, “Hey, Jesus, from where we’re sitting, what does (fill in the blank) look like to You? How does it touch your heart to see this happening? Jesus, are you worried? How do you want to touch my heart and comfort me in this situation? How do you want to bring heaven to these circumstances and how can I partner with you in that?” The key is leaning into His heart and knowing not only where you’re seated, but more importantly, Who you’re sitting next to!
Intercession is about following what He reveals without reservation or doubt
So often, we skip the questions of the heart that He’s longing to answer, and go straight to what we want Him to do for us. But get to know Him. He wants to be known, not used. And then be prepared for whatever He tells you! His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. The Bible is filled with crazy ideas that God instructed his people to carry out. How about some clay pots to defeat an army? Hit a rock with a stick and your water problems are over. A trumpet blast, a staff to part the Red Sea … For me, it is often speaking the word He is saying over a situation, singing a song, or carrying out a seemingly irrational prophetic act. Sometimes it’s cooking a meal or burying a rock or even a bar of soap. It’s sometimes dancing when I feel like crying (or while I’m crying), painting a picture or even decorating a room. My Pastor, Bill Johnson also says that “Physical obedience brings about a spiritual reality”. He loves an adventure and is waiting for us to open the invitation into the mystery of His ways.
Intercession is about using what He gave us in the way He wants us to use it
Back to where we’re sitting. Jesus says, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Not only did Jesus get the keys back from the enemy and raise us up to sit with Him, but He’s turned around and given us the keys! We live out by faith what we believe. If we believe we are victims of the devil and our circumstances, then that is the reality we’ll live in. If we believe we are seated with Christ in heavenly places, already holding the keys, and that it’s the Father’s will to reveal His heart to us, then we will walk in that identity. You see, intercession is not something we do, it’s who we are. Knowing that the power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of us and wants to get out, we need no longer be affected by the atmospheres around us. Rather, we affect every environment we walk into and the atmosphere has to adjust to the presence of Christ in us.Now that’s exciting. Sign me up!