In my last post, I gave some reasons why you should considering praying for your pastor and those in spiritual leadership. In this post I want to discuss what to look for in an intercessor, and how to pray.
A PROFILE OF INTERCESSORS
There are many types of intercessors. Some may pray on a more occasional or casual basis. Others may be in closer communication with the pastor and make a more formal commitment to prayer. A small group may form an inner circle that keep the pastor accountable and are more intimately aware of his life and ministry.
What are we looking for in an intercessor? Wagner lists some characteristics of effective intercessors, which I’ve added to here:
1) They have the gift of intercession: they love to pray, and they see results.
2) They are submitted to the Lord, to their local church, and to the pastor and his ministry.
3) They have a close relationship with God. Intimate fellowship with Him.
4) They receive guidance from God. They demonstrate that they are open and obedient to His leading.
5) Prophetic intercession—they get an urge to pray for specific people & situations.
6) They are often quiet people—Wagner says they frequently don’t want to be up front or in the spotlight.
7) The pastor has high priority in their prayer lives—prayer is seen as vital for the ministry.
8) Open communication—there is strong two-way communication between pastor and intercessors.
9) Confidentiality—they can be entrusted with private matters, and keep them private.
HOW TO PRAY? A SUGGESTED OUTLINE:
What should you pray for? Wagner suggests the following general outline:
Sunday: Favor with God (spiritual revelation, anointing, holiness)
Monday: Favor with others (congregations, ministry staff, unsaved)
Tuesday: Increased vision (wisdom and enlightenment, motives, guidance)
Wednesday: Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength (health, appearance, attitude, spiritual and physical wholeness)
Thursday: Protection (temptation, deception, enemies)
Friday: Finances (priorities, blessings)
Saturday: Family (general, spouse, children)
WHAT PASTORS CAN DO
Intercession, particularly in the context of a prayer shield relationship, is a two-way relationship. Here are several things pastors can do for their prayer shield:
1) Give specific information
2) Give input and trust to intercessors
3) Give feedback on answered prayers
4) Be open to intercessors
5) Share love and encouragement
6) Pray for them in return!
7) Thank them often