Task: Put together an intercessory team that will work for you and your company or organization.
Building an Intercessory Team:
We thought it might be helpful to think of building the team in terms of job descriptions. The following is a suggested outline of elements you may want to include as you build the team. There are some supporting resources following this section, and finally, some ideas about training.
[Include level and type of Intercessor – see below]
There are different relationships and different kinds of intercessors.
- First, consider C. Peter Wagner’s descriptions of levels of intercessors, below. You will need at least one I-1 Intercessor and several I-2 Intercessors.
- Second, consider Tommi Femrite’s descriptions of types of intercessors. Your I-1 Intercessor, by definition must also be a Personal Intercessor, but should also be comfortable with other kinds of intercession.
Other things to consider in determining the level and type of Intercessor include:
- The depth of your own spiritual walk and your comfort with prayer and pray-ers
- Your own spiritual gifts and those present in your key staff
- The degree to which you have already encountered spiritual resistance and/or Interference
Scope of Position
Using Wagner’s and Femrite’s lists again, try to define what it is you want the Intercessor to do for you and your organization. You might also want to include in this section whether and how often the intercessors are on-site, if and to what degree you want them to interact with management or employees, and what degree of access you will grant them to you (or to top management). What specifically might an intercessor pray about? (Beth Alves, Becoming a Mighty Warrior, Regal; Revised edition, 2003)
- favor with God (spiritual revelation, anointing, holiness)
- favor with others (employees, staff, unsaved)
- increased vision (wisdom, enlightenment, motives, guidance)
- spirit, soul, body (health, appearance, attitudes, spiritual and physical wholeness)
- protection (temptation, deception, enemies)
- finances (priorities, blessings)
- family (general, spouse, blessings)
[we would add the following to Alves’ list:]
- specific requests the leadership asks (discernment around deals, bill-paying, personnel issues
- employees’ personal issues
- blessing competitors and customers
- industry standing and reputation)
Who makes a good intercessor? Characteristics of Intercessors
- called by God
- Holy Spirit filled
- know how to enter His presence and hear His heart for the company and leadership of the company
- committed to God and to the company and leadership
- humble, open, teachable
- willing to come under authority of God and man
- willing and able to keep confidentiality
- compatible match up with authority
- understand role as sharing what God shows, but also that the way the information is used or not is the responsibility of leadership
- not easily offended
Who makes a poor intercessor? Red Flags to Intercessors
- people who in their zeal drift outside Biblical guidelines
- people who brag, build themselves up by what they do and who they are associated with
- people with a need for control
- people tempted by lust or seduction
- sentimentalists who feel it would just be a nice thing to do
- prideful people, who are unable to handle the spiritual stimulation and the responsibility of hearing from God and praying His will into being on behalf of others
- people with their own personal emotional need issues
Paid intercessors are becoming more common in marketplace ministry. Consider the importance of this position and its value to the organization’s success and future. Also consider the authority and status compensation might engender among other management and employees.
Length of Term
For example, if this is for a specific project or season, or an ongoing commitment.
How do you find intercessors?
- Ask God to bring you names of any intercessors you already know, asking Him to speak to them also. You may nor may not extend this to your management team as the Holy Spirit leads.
- Check with your pastor for names of those s/he thinks might be willing to pray for you and your business.
- Keep your eyes and ears open for those God shows you who have His heart for prayer.
- Begin praying over the names until you have peace to contact each one. Set up a meeting to get together to begin to check out compatibility.
- Consider other employees and their contacts if the Holy Spirit leads you to.
- Pray about whether to contract with professional intercessors
How do you interview intercessors?
1st Meeting: (face to face)
Determine intercessor compatibility: sample talk points
- How do you see God and how did you come to know Him?
- How do you meet with Him daily?
- How do you hear Him?
- How do you see yourself as an intercessor?
- What are your gift areas? (Tongues, Interpretation, Word of Knowledge, Prophecy, Word of Wisdom, Working of Miracles, Faith, Healings, Discerning of spirits)
- What are you strengths and weaknesses?
- In what ways do you like to receive feedback and encouragement?
- How do you see the time commitment you're able to offer?
2nd Meeting: (face-to-face or phone, backed up by email)
Determine and write down expectations of working together:
- Time expected – regular, emergencies
- Operations: off-site and on-site prayer, intercessory team meetings, independent prayer from home, with management during certain specified meetings, crisis situations, etc.
- Authority structure (e.g. answer and report to management only; pray with company employees under management, etc.)
- Reporting Structure/ Communications/ Records
- Weekly check in for requests?, email. etc.
Note: a reminder of accountability and authority: The intercessor reports, the owner decides whether or not to receive and act on the report. The intercessor confirms direction, doesn't define it.
- Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure agreements
- Training - initial and ongoing (see training section below)
Resources referred to, above:What might an intercessory team look like? C. Peter Wagner describes 3 levels of intercessors. Prayer Shield, Regal Book, 1992
I-1 Intercessors e.g. Jesus and Peter, James and John
These intercessors are the inner circle of pray-ers with the closest spiritual and/or social relationship. These people are called to intercession with a well-developed or developing prayer life. They are not just casual pray-ers but have an intimacy with the Father that allows them to hear His voice and understand His purposes. The optimal number of I-1 intercessors is 2 or 3, but most often people have only one. I-1 intercessors know even details of operations and company and personal needs.
*Heads-up: I-1 primary intercessors need an intercessory covering themselves during critical times.
I-2 Intercessors e.g. Jesus and the twelve disciples
This includes people of prayer with some degree of regularity, but somewhat less contact. The more well-developed the relationships are between the leader and the I-2 intercessors, the more two-way the contact flows. At this level, prayer requests may be shared by email rather than personal contact. The optimal size of the group for I-2 intercessors is up to 20. Some even say 100.
I-3 Intercessors e.g. Jesus and the others that followed him regularly where he went
This level of intercessor is more remote, a one-way relationship where a person prays for you as the Lord lays it on their hearts and you may know nothing about it There is no number limit to I-3 intercessors.
Types of Intercessors. Notes written by us from Tommi Femrite’s presentation at Christ Church, Otsego, MN 3/12/11. For a more complete understanding, read E. Alves, T. Femrite, Intercessors, Regal; revised edition, 2000
- List Intercessors: Bible Example: Ezra
Like to pray off lists. Need to take their list and go to God and ask Him what's on His heart for a starting point today.
Pitfall: Your lists get so long there isn't enough time and it can be discouraging.
- Mercy Intercessors: Bible Example: Jeremiah, Jesus weeping over Jerusalem
Criers. Often discounted and told to be quiet by others. The crying is the prayer. Tears soften hard hearts and even hard ground.
Pitfall: forgetting to carry the burden to God and releasing it; instead carrying it yourself.
- Crisis Intercessors: Bible Example: King David
Often have a feeling something's not right, wakened in the night to pray, may not know what for.
Pitfall: you think you know what's going on or have to know what's going on. Crisis can be addictive where you'll even make your own (e.g. may be consistently late).
- Warfare Intercessors: Bible Example: Jehoshaphat
Stand against the powers of darkness that encroach the light to battle for breakthrough and then to maintain the new territory. War comprised of many battles. Keep your eyes on the victory that is ours.
Pitfall: never resting, going from one battle to the next.
Pitfall: using the same weapon you're comfortable with all the time even when a different one might be better.
Pitfall: so focused on the battle that you remain unaware and don't address the side battles.
- Financial Intercessors: Bible Example: Nehemiah
Faith to believe for large amounts of money and the transfer of funds to the kingdom. God is waiting to bless us. Ask and be willing to receive. Poverty is a curse, not a virtue. Jesus took our poverty, the curse of the law, so we could have His riches.
Pitfall: You may have a false humility.
- People Group Intercessors: Bible Example: Woman at the Well (her town)
Pray for a tongue or tribe, may be for a season or for a lifetime.
Pitfall: believing your group is the most important and judging others who don't go along with that.
- Issues Intercessors: Bible Example: King Lemuel's mother in Proverbs 31
"Open your mouth for those who have no voice." May be issues like prisoners, abortion, single parents, homosexuality, etc.
Pitfall: so intent on getting to the root, you never pray for the people.
- Personal Intercessors: Bible Example: Samuel for King David
Remove interference so God's elect can do his or her job. Includes warfare, but it is not their focus.
- Government Intercessors: Bible Example: Daniel, "Hear the word of the Lord. . ."
Pray for those in government, civil or Church government. Shift from asking to declaring what Scripture says with the force of law "declaring what is said in the heavenlies" and proclamation, "officially announcing into the heavenlies what God has said." Speaking the eternal purposes of God.
Pitfall: thinking you know what God's saying because you know God. Not about you, but the kingdom and what God wants.
- Salvation Intercessors: Bible Example: Paul
Love to pray for the lost.
Pitfall: so many lost that it feels futile or hearing little response back and feeling discouraged.
- Apostolic/Prophetic Intercessor: Bible Example: Moses
Shift from asking God to do what he has already said he would do (petition) to finding out what God says now and releasing it into the atmosphere. Purposeful listening, systematic in prayer wanting each step to be done in order so that God can have his way. Greater authority, faith, and ability to make declarations, proclamations, and decrees.
Pitfall: write down and check with God to ensure His agreement.
- Worship Intercessor: Bible Example: David and his harp comforting Saul
Sing or play your prayer or poetry till the atmosphere changes. May be off key or only one phrase instead of entire song.
Pitfall: may hold back for many reasons.
Some Thoughts on Training
Training and orientation are vital to anyone stepping into a role in your organization. We recommend including the new intercessor(s) in your standard orientation for new employees. Initial training, then will include specifics around their scope of position, rather than training on being an intercessor. However, some of your intercessory team may need deeper knowledge and experience. Create a development plan for them just as you would for any employee.