Benefits of Intercession in Marketplace Transformation
Scriptural protection occurs as intercessors learn to become sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, which alerts them to pray for others in critical times of need. This call from the HS can come through as a sense of foreboding or uneasiness concerning a certain individual, as well as simply by hearing the voice of the HS telling us to pray for someone.
We want to learn proactive intercession as opposed to reactionary intercession against the schemes of Satan. We don't want to just wait for attacks and then react. We want to do "watchman" prayer.
Isaiah 62:6 On your walls O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves.
Ephesians 6:18 and 1 Peter 5:8 both read," be on the alert.” Both verses are in the context of spiritual warfare. Each mentions the adversary and cautions watchfulness and alertness. Through intercession, God is offering more than just reactionary prayer and damage control. He actually wants to alert us in advance so we can build those protective walls and boundaries of protection. This is watchman intercession. The Old Testament Hebrew for watchman means protection through attentive watching. The Greek word watchman has a literal meaning of sleeplessness and being awake.
Another use of the word for watchman is pay attention or listen. We must be listeners. The voice of the Lord comes in many ways--premonitions, thoughts that originate with God, others sharing verses or God-inspired thoughts with us, and the still small voice of the Lord. The voice comes if we're listening.
Intercession is born out of fellowship with the Holy Spirit. As we spend time listening, we mature in our hearing and grow more sensitive to His promptings.
Three other Old Testament words for watchman are bodyguard, guard and protector. A further meaning is doorkeeper or gatekeeper. Watchmen determine through prayer what comes into their lives, homes, churches and cities. They refuse to allow the serpent and his emissaries entrance. Luke 10:19 tells us we can tread on serpents and scorpions. Let's keep them out of our gardens.
2 Corinthians 2:11 says we are not to be ignorant of Satan's schemes. Ignorant is without knowledge or understanding. Schemes are thoughts, plans, plots, devices. If we are unaware of Satan and his ways, then he can take advantage of us in our homes, marriages, families, communities, money, government, nation, reputation and more.
This is not to imply that every negative thing that happens is directly due to Satanic activity. Sometimes our carelessness, that of others, the curse of sin on our fallen world, and a variety of other causes result in destructive events, accidents, and disease. Watchman intercession, however, can protect from all kinds of adversity.
Four conclusions from Eph. 6:18, 1 Peter 5:8 and 2 Corinthians 2:11 above:
Protection from attacks of Satan even for believers is not automatic – so intercession is necessary to create that protective boundary.
God's plan is to warn and alert us of Satan's tactics – so we must listen to the Holy Spirit in intercession to be forewarned and know what we are up against and to avert disaster.
We must be alert and remain watchful or we won't be aware of God's attempts to warn us of Satan's attacks and plans. Isaiah 56:10 speaks of blind watchmen – so a plan to set aside time and reinforce going to God watching and listening is essential.
If we are not alert and watchful and remain ignorant, Satan will take the advantage and we will lose territory to him. So intercession keeps and guards, even takes back what is ours in Christ. It is not God's intention that Satan win. God wants to alert us. To ignore Satan is to abdicate territory. Remember, we are not trying to defeat Satan; he's already defeated. We enforce victory. Satan still has the powers and abilities he's always had (fiery darts, prowling, roaring, teeth, etc.). What he lost was his power over those who make Jesus Lord.
The proclamation of the Word over our lives is the highest and most effective level of intercession. As leaders, we want to align our speech with the word of God and His will and way in all situations. The Hebrew word asah which is used to mean create in Genesis appears in the following scripture in the context of speaking God's word:
Isaiah 55:11 “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty without accomplishing [asah-ing] what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Parenthetical comment is ours).
God's word does. God's word accomplishes. God's word performs. We must find out what Scripture teaches us about our situations and make our Biblical confessions and declarations accordingly. The leader needs to speak the performing word of God over his situations in agreement with the prayers of his intercessors. Here are some examples of what we mean.
- Luke 10:19, 1 John 4:4 I declare that God has given me authority over all the spirits in this situation. The Holy Spirit in me is greater than any power they can muster.
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 I declare that my weapons are fully able to disarm this situation. In Jesus' name I tear down the strongholds of the powers of darkness at work in this situation.
- James 4:7 I declare that I am fully submitted to God and know that as I speak God's word the evil forces must flee. I command you demonic powers to leave this situation in Jesus' name. I free these individuals from all of your influence.
- Romans 12:8, Ephesians 6:2-4 I declare that it is God's will that this family be at peace with one another. I speak these verses as a sword of the spirit into this situation to bring peace.
Strategies of intercession might also include works as well as prayer: things like praise, love and acts of kindness, and giving, as well as forgiving, prayers of agreement to break the back of the enemy, speaking the Word as a sword, declaring or decreeing Word truths into the spiritual realm, (done at the direction of God that prepares the way in the Spirit realm, resulting in changes in the natural realm), intense intercession in various languages, tears, travail, etc.. We boldly release the power of the Most High into everyday situations. He has given us His Word, His name, His glory, His sword.