Hi there and welcome back to the blog! My name is Nicole and I am currently the leader of the intercession branch here at YWAM North Idaho. I am beyond excited to share with you the importance of prayer/intercession, our values in the intercession ministry, and what intercession looks like here at our base.
Most individuals have never been taught biblically what intercession is, which has sadly led some to make assumptions that it is “culty,” “spooky,” “unbiblical,” and so forth. But I want to address that those assumptions are not true. All that intercession is a type of prayer. It is not some weird practice that only YWAM does, but is actually very biblically founded. It is in simple terms a dedicated time to spend in prayer talking and interacting with God and hearing His voice. I won’t go into a whole teaching, but here are just some of many verses that talk about intercession in the Bible: Genesis 18:22, Romans 8:34, Isaiah 53:12, Jeremiah 27:18, Romans 8:26, Romans 8:34, 1 Timothy 2:1, Hebrews 7:25, Exodus 32:30-33, Daniel 10:12, and 2 Corinthians 5:19-20.
Before we go any farther, I must explain the definition of intercession. The word “intercession” comes from the Greek word Mes-Olovi-si and it means to interpose or plead on behalf of another person. You might ask, “how does that apply to prayer?” Well intercession is presenting to God, who is our highest authority, a prayer request not for ourselves, but for others. It is asking God for His heart in regards to people, cities, nations, organizations, etc. It says in 1 John 5:14, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that when we ask anything according to His will, he hears us.” Again in James 5:16 it says, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power and is very effective.” These two verses show us that there is power in our prayers, and that God wants to communicate with us.
Our vision statement for the intercession branch is: to radically dedicate our lives to the ministry of intercession for God's people by engaging in weekly corporate prayer and living a lifestyle of daily prayer. We see the power of prayer and how we can love others through petitioning for God's heart in all situations. As intercessors we lay down our own desires, comforts, and agendas in order to partner in God’s global mission of seeing all people come to know Him.
Along with our vision statement, we have specific values that we strive towards at YWAM North Idaho. Some of those values specific to intercession are: hearing God's voice, being visionary, having a biblical worldview, and doing first then teaching. These values are meant to ensure the intercession ministry is functioning smoothly, while keeping God at the center of it all. We strive to give God all of the glory though each and every part of this ministry by constantly asking God to guide, redirect, or encourage us in His will through every decision.
Partaking in the ministry of prayer is not a small task. As we look to Jesus for our example, we see Him spending hours with the Father daily. Because we know that prayer/intercession is so important to the Lord, we have the intercession ministry here at YWAM North Idaho. As a base, we hold corporate times of intercession 1-3 times a week. Each time of interceding looks different depending on what we hear from God to pray for. On top of corporate intercession, any staff who is a part of this ministry helps plan the intercession topics, and aims to spend time in prayer daily.
Although topics of prayer may change, our worship does not. In every time of intercession we strive to give God the most glory and honor through our prayers and petitions.
To explain more about intercession, these are the YWAM Principles for effective intercession. These principles are the guidelines we follow, in order to stay grounded in Christ through our intercession.
Praise God for who He is, and for the privilege of engaging in the same wonderful ministry as the Lord Jesus.
Make sure your heart is clean before God, by having given the Holy Spirit time to convict, should there be any unconfessed sin.
Die to your own imaginations, desires, and burdens for what you feel you should pray.
Acknowledge you can’t really pray without the direction and energy of the Holy Spirit.
Deal aggressively with the enemy. Come against him in the all-powerful Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the “sword of the Spirit”—the Word of God
Praise God now in faith for the remarkable prayer meeting you’re going to have. He’s a remarkable God and will do something consistent with His character.
Wait before God in silent expectancy, listening for His direction.
In obedience and faith, utter what God brings to your mind.
If possible have your Bible with you should God want to give you direction or confirmation from it.
When God ceases to bring things to your mind to pray for, finish by praising and thanking Him for what He has done.
My prayer for this ministry is that each and every student and staff that may come through YWAM North Idaho will have a biblical understanding of what intercession is and why prayer must be a part of our daily lives as Christ followers. I want to end with a quote I read once from Andrew Murray. He says, “Let all lovers of souls, and all workers in the service of the gospel, take courage. Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work. Prayer alone gives work it's worth and its success. Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us. Let our chief work, as God’s messengers, be intercession: in it we secure the presence and power of God to go with us” (The Ministry of Intercession, Murray).
Head of Intercession at YWAM North Idaho