Intercession – one obvious mode of prayer?

By Dave Henning / August 10, 2021

“Intercession seems like the one obvious mode of prayer.  What could be simpler than asking God for good things for others?  Just do it!  What more could be said?  The sense that intercession is obvious, even if we find it difficult to do (or difficult to remember to do) points to our failure to focus on what is really going on within us when we pray.”- Kyle Strobel and John Coe

In Chapter 9 (“Seeing Ourselves and Others in the Love of God”), the final chapter of Where Prayer Becomes Real, Kyle Strobel and John Coe underscore that we find it difficult to be present in intercessory prayer.   Yet, Kyle and John observe, relationships thrive in presence.  But presence involves more than physical proximity.

However, if we don’t believe we’re seen and known in love, it’s hard to demonstrate presence.  Above all, God makes Himself present in the deepest and most profound ways.  Therefore, He calls us to be present to Him so that we choose to be present to others.

Hence, through intercessory prayer we ask God to do something on behalf of another.  Furthermore, in order to pray for someone in Christ, we must be present in three ways.  To intercede for another, you need to be present to:

  1. the person you’re praying for.  Thus, you must show openness to that person.
  2. yourself and your relation to that person.  As the authors note, “it turns out that intercession awakens the brokenness, pain, and control in our relationships with others.
  3. God who is with you and others in all of this.  Intercession involves more than presence with another.  You’re with that person in the presence of God as a way to bring them to the Father.

Finally, without this threefold presence, we find our prayers more akin to offering ‘good thoughts’ on someone’s behalf.  To intercede in Christ through the Holy Spirit who works in Him represents a more profound calling.

Today’s question: Do you view intercession as an obvious mode of prayer?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A Hallmark moment that sounds nice”

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Dave Henning

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