Intercessory prayer is a practice we learn and develop as we grow and mature spiritually. It also requires a willingness to enter into prayer whenever the Lord lays it on our hearts, even if it sometimes means long periods behind closed doors.
Intercession involves the ability to hear the voice of the Spirit while in prayer and know what His direction is in that moment; therefore, when we step into the realm of intercessory prayer, it is also prophetic.
In my experience with leading times of corporate prayer, I've noticed that those who miss God’s direction are often those who won’t pause for quiet long enough to listen to His voice.
Of course, we're all always learning and growing in our understanding, but it is important to realize that prayer has two sides: talking and listening.
The ability to function prophetically in times of corporate intercession takes faith and practice: faith to pray out loud what you believe God is speaking, and practice in learning to discern the Spirit’s leading personally and for the group.
The prophetic often flows out of intercession. As we intercede, whether for people, nations, current events or governments, the Lord will speak back to us, releasing His powerful rhema word.* We then use these prophetic words to make declarations, bind demonic activity and bring into existence in the natural what the Lord has already spoken in the spiritual. It is always good for the prophetic words be written down, so they can be referred to for further prayer, in addition to serving as a record of how God brings things to reality.
When the prophetic and intercession come together, it brings destruction to the enemy's tactics and heals the broken heart of an individual at the same time. From the broader issues of a nation or city to the concerns and needs of each person, the combined pieces bring a manifestation of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
What Happens When We Pray?
The enemy knows that prayer is powerful, so he strives to keep God's people from praying. After all, in a world where humans are so moved by what they see, it's in their nature to be indifferent toward something they can’t see.
The remedy for this apathy starts with abiding in Christ—allowing Him to give us His mind so we perceive things with our spirit instead of with our flesh. As Paul cautioned, "to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6).
It’s with this understanding that we pray according to the Spirit. When our spirit is so intertwined with His, we can't help but constantly walk, pray and be in the Spirit. I can say from experience that if you take the time to fast and pray, you spirit will become tightly connected with His, even though the physical body may be weary or famished.
When we pray, we are shifting and releasing spiritual realities that are then manifested in both heaven and earth. We combat the spiritual principalities and powers to bring complete freedom and healing (Eph. 6; 2 Cor. 10:3-5).
The Results of Intercession
About two decades ago, in the small city of Almolonga, Guatemala, several believers and pastors began to unite in prayer and fasting for their region. At the time the city was plagued with prostitution, drug and alcohol addiction, bloody violence and murder, widespread corruption, and idolatry—it was a city in need of divine reformation.
When the Body of Christ began to make their stand against these things through intense prayer and fasting, they slowly saw transformation take place in Almolonga. Drug cartels fled the city, prostitution rings were dismembered, and governmental leaders came to the Lord. Within a short amount of time, the church exploded. It is reported that as much as 92% of the Almolongan population is now Christian. (1)
Not only did the church thrive, but so did the land. Most of Almolonga's citizens are farmers, and before revival came, they often struggled. The land was desolate and hardly yielded enough crops to survive. However, the more the city turned to the Lord, the more He blessed their crops. Now, supernaturally giant fruits and vegetables are produced, and the region often yields two or three harvests per year! You can even google pictures of Almolonga’s gigantic crops. The Lord healed their land in response to their repentance as He promised in 2 Chronicles 7:14. (1)
This is just one example, only the very beginning of what can happen through intercession!
The impact of intercession is beyond any earthly understanding! We have been given the keys to releasing the will of God through prayer in the world today. The Lord has entrusted us to be His priests, His prophets, His intercessors, so we can demonstrate His incredible, unfailing love through prayer.
He has given you the power and authority to pray the Kingdom of Heaven into existence in the natural today and transform nations! Do you believe it?
*The rhema, prophetic word should never contradict the logos, written Word!
Saia, Carol. God Ends Idol’s 700-Year Reign in Almolonga, Guatemala (2010),http://www.glowtorch.org/Home/IdolatryendsinAlmolonga/tabid/2767/Default.aspx