What is Intercession?
It was a time of total confusion that I will never forget. A minister called me on the telephone and accused me of attacking him and trying to destroy his ministry. I was speechless, for I knew that I had not done these things. I walked into the next room and told my wife about it. I then asked, “What's going on here?” We concluded that we must be in some kind of spiritual battle, whatever that was.
That same day, unknown to me, a band of intercessors began to wage spiritual warfare in the heavens against an army of spiritual enemies—demonic hosts—which, they had discerned had invaded America. While in prayer, the leader had a vision of a man walking up behind him, looking around, and then asking, “What's going on here?”
“Look and see,” he said, pointing to the demonic hosts in the vision. The newcomer, he would write the next day, looked surprised, and then put on the spiritual armor and joined the fight.
That was me. I had just become an intercessor. It would have been nice if I had known consciously what was happening! But I did not know, because my level of conscious discernment was too low. I could neither hear God's voice nor see in the spiritual realm. That is, I was both deaf and blind, as prophesied in Isaiah 29:10 (NASB),
10 For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep. He has shut your eyes, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, the seers.
And yet, in Isaiah 42:16 He promised to lead His blind servants in ways that are incomprehensible:
16 And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.
More than a year after that first spiritual battle, in which I had unwittingly taken part, I met the man who had seen me in the vision. He told me later that he recognized me immediately from the vision. I later obtained copies of the original battle reports, which told me of his vision, and compared those reports with my own diary. Only then did the events of that day become clear to me. Only then did I understand that the accusatory telephone call was essentially correct. The fact is, that minister was a POW of the demonic host which the intercessors had attacked in spiritual warfare. He was unwittingly being used as a spokesman for his captors in this situation. And yes, I had joined his “enemies” in attacking and fighting them. But it did not happen in the way we understood at the time.
His enemies were the intercessors who had attacked the demonic army. I had joined that army and hence had “joined with his enemies.” It was not the minister that we had attacked, but his captors who were using him to give voice to the accusation.
What is Intercession?
The word “intercession” comes from the Latin, meaning to stand between. Intercession is quite different from ordinary prayer. It carries with it a priestly function and duty, and since all Christians are or should be priests, it follows that all Christians have the potential to be intercessors. And from my own experience, I know that one does not need to be conscious of it to be involved in it. There are many who go through troubles blindly, not knowing that they are interceding.
Just as the Bible required training before the Israelite priests could take full responsibility at the age of 30, so also with the intercessors. They must come to some level of spiritual maturity before they can really be effective in that type of ministry. The sons of Aaron, however, entered into an apprenticeship at the age of 20, which lays down the principle that an intercessor (or priest) must undergo some on-the-job training.
Three Phases of Intercession
Bearing their iniquity in six steps:
Taking the blame
Setting the level of judgment
Faith, but little understanding
Resurrection and Harvest