In his book, Thank God It’s Monday, Rick Heeren recounts the following story of his experience with intercession in marketplace transformation:
Another friend, who is a marketplace Christian, imports products from Korea and sells them through large operations like Wal-Mart and Home Depot. A few years ago, my friend was having difficulty generating sales volume. He asked me if I would pray for this “felt-need.” My wife Rachel and I went over to his home and prayed for him and his wife. After a few minutes of prayer I received a word of knowledge, the word “receivables.” I stopped the prayer and asked my friend about his receivables situation. He said, “Receivables management is not a problem in our company. We monitor our receivables closely and people pay their bills on a timely basis.” Then he paused, and looked very thoughtful. Then he continued, “Well, there is a guy in another state who is way overdue in paying his bill. I have sent him threatening notes, but he has not responded.”
I said, “Perhaps the Lord wants you to send this guy a note telling him that you can imagine that his problems must be very great if they keep him from paying your bill. Perhaps the Lord wants you to forgive the amount he owes you.” My friend responded immediately, “I can’t run a business that way. I will never make any money if word gets around that I forgave this receivable.” I responded, “Why don’t you pray about it and we’ll talk later.” My wife and I left his office and returned home. A few hours later my friend called me and said, “I sent him the letter. I told him that I was writing off his receivable. I blessed him and told him that I was praying that his business problems would get solved.” The next day my friend called me on the phone and told me that he had just been awarded the largest contract in the history of his company. I asked him if he thought that there was any connection between his obedience to that word that the Lord had given us and the receipt of this new piece of business. He agreed that the Lord had blessed him for his obedience.
- Rick Heeren, Thank God It’s Monday, 2004, Transformational Publications, San Jose, CA
Introduction to Intercession in Marketplace Transformation
(much adapted from Dutch Sheets, Intercessory Prayer)
Okay, now that your appetite is whetted for intercession, we want to tell you what it is and why you need it. Then we'll look more deeply at the Biblical basis for intercession and what it looks like in a business.
Intercession is a big word, what does it mean and why do we need it? Mostly we think of praying; or some of us go further and picture these really holy types who do nothing but pray and spend time in God's presence.
The truth is that God works through the prayers of His people. He chooses to act through man. He's the sovereign One, but He's set things up here on earth so that He limits Himself to man's will and word and chooses not to act independently most of the time. For example God could save everyone, but He waits for us to ask. He could fill everyone with His Holy Spirit and keep us full, but He waits for us to ask and then tells us to keep full. He works in partnership with man.
The Bible also tells us that Jesus is our intercessor, that He is right now in heaven, interceding for us.
Romans 8:34b says “Christ is the one who died [and more than that, he was raised], who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us.” (Parenthetical comment is ours).
Jesus prays for us as our High Priest. Hebrews 7:24-25 reads “. . . but he holds his priesthood permanently since he lives forever. So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”
The Holy Spirit also prays for us according to Romans 8:27: And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will.
Though Jesus and the Holy Spirit are interceding for us, we too are encouraged to intercede for others and given many examples to follow which are in your handouts: 1 Timothy 2:1 exhorts us: First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people....
Here are some other instances that highlight intercessions in the Bible:
1 Kings 18:1, 40-45, James 5:17-18 It was God's will that it rain, but Elijah still had to ask.
Daniel 9:3 Daniel understood the timing of God releasing Israel from captivity, but still had to ask.
Numbers 14:11-12 God's answer when Moses prayed was, "I have pardoned them according to your word."
Ezekiel 22:30-31 And what happens when no one stands in the gap? - nothing!
"All intercession is prayer, but not all prayer is intercession." [Prayer Shield, C. Peter Wagner] A simple definition of intercession is asking God for something on someone else's behalf.
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