Prior to any move of restoration and revival of God's people, there must be of necessity a recognition of our need to repent before God by the people of God. This requires sincere intercessory prayer.
Most of what we call intercessory prayer today takes place on a certain night, and is scheduled to last for a specific period of time.
BEFORE WE CAN ENTER INTO TRUE INTERCESSION FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD AND THE NATION, WE NEED TO DUMP OUR "SCHEDULE" MINDSET.
It isn't wrong to have "time schedules" of prayer…the Bible speaks of certain times of the day when prayer was made.
Acts 3:1 speaks of the 9th hour as being the hour of prayer.
Daniel 6:10 speaks of the fact that Daniel's custom was to pray three times daily, so we can see that there were set times when the people of God would assemble to pray.
The issue at hand, though, is intercessory prayer on behalf of the people of God, your community, your region, and the nation. True and effectual intercession cannot be accomplished on a time schedule.
In Daniel chapter nine, we see that Daniel purposed in his heart to fast and pray to intercede on behalf of the people of the Lord. He didn't set a specific time, but he sought the Lord through prayer and fasting UNTIL HE GOT AN ANSWER. It took 21 days to get the answer from the Lord.
In Jeremiah 42:4-7, we see that Jeremiah sought the Lord for ten days before he got an answer.
There is no time limit on intercession…but it needs to be done out of a pure heart, and with a true burden for the object of our intercession-not just because it seems like a good idea.
Daniel's prophetic ministry consisted of fasting and intercession on behalf of the people. He understood that the 70 years that had been appointed to Israel to be in captivity under the reign of the heathens as Jeremiah had prophesied was almost to an end, and his true desire was that Israel would become a Nation that genuinely sought after the Lord, not only in times of crises, but also in times of peace and prosperity.
Daniel chapter nine relates a wonderful prayer that Daniel had prayed on behalf of the people. Daniel's prophetic ministry was one of no compromise and true denial of self as he sought the Lord's mercy concerning Israel.
To successfully intercede on behalf of others, we need to KNOW that we are just as guilty of sin as those we are interceding for-maybe not the same sin, but we need to KNOW of our need for a Savior on a daily basis. It is easy for a Christian to have the head knowledge of his or her need for a Savior, but when it comes to our daily affairs, we forget that need, and we end up standing in judgment of others who profess Christianity, but who may not have received victory in areas of their lives that we ourselves don't struggle in.
It is easy to see the motes in other people's eyes, but very difficult to see our own beams. Instead of being like that Pharisee who compared his walk before the Lord to that of the publican's who was in the temple praying beside him, we need to become more like the publican who smote his breast because he knew of his need for mercy.
The fact of the matter is this…regardless of how given over to the flesh a Christian may be, the Lord wants that person to overcome the struggles he or she may be having. So while the majority of the Christians "who are better off" than this one who is struggling are busy rolling up their eyes and writing them off as a lost cause, the Almighty God doesn't have that kind of attitude toward them. His Spirit is interceding on their behalf, and He seeks Children of Compassion through which He can intercede.
If the truth were known, there are some Christians that we who are intercessors may travail in prayer for, and there are others we have just kind of written off. "After all, if they don't want help, why should I pray for them?" I praise my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that this is not His attitude toward any of us.
I have met many Christians who profess to have an "intercessory prayer ministry" who have given themselves over to being critical of the condition of the Church in America. Rather than being critical, the intercessor needs to be burdened with the desire to see the Church become what it needs to be.
Jesus Christ said that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church, yet if we were honest, we would see that the church has given up her position of Authority and Power in exchange for worldly comfort.
The one who is called to intercede on behalf of the church shouldn't join league with the Accuser of the Brethren, pointing his or her fingers at the failure of the church; rather, they should be moved with indignation at the carnage that the enemy of the Church has wrought inside the Church. This indignation will result in a sense of urgency in the intercessor's prayers.
If my best friend is getting assaulted by a gang, I wouldn't stand beside one of his assailants and point fingers at him, and say, "Man, I don't understand John. I don't see why he is allowing you creeps to beat him up like that. But I knew it would come to this one day. I tried to tell him that hanging out with you guys would result in something like this! Lord, I just pray You would let him see the light. Well, he's going down this time. He's getting what he deserves. God's justice is being served on him."
If he was my best friend, I would be overtaken with a sense of horror at the sight of him being beaten up by these creeps. That sense of horror would cause me to take action. I would immediately call 911, and then I would get whatever was at my disposal, to help my friend out of his situation. If he was my best friend, I wouldn't idly stand by while the enemy beat him up, even if he was at fault for allowing this situation to come to pass.
The Church in America is spiritually in a bad place right now. But this shouldn't be an occasion for gossip or talking bad about the Church.
Those of us who are called to intercession (actually, that is all of us who profess Christ: 1 Pet 4:7-8; 1 Tim 2:1) should be pouring our hearts out to God on behalf of His Church, our brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
When they had prayed, the Bible tells us that the place was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word with boldness. The focus of the prayer here was on what the enemy was doing against God's people and against the Lord.
If we are filled with the Holy Ghost, we will speak the Word of God with boldness. We will be His witnesses in the world (Acts 1:8). And if we are filled with the Holy Ghost, the Spirit which is within us will move us to intercede on behalf of our brothers and sisters.
Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Daniel didn't pray "Lord, your people have failed you. They are all messed up. Please have mercy on them."
Instead, he prayed a prayer that included himself as being guilty before God. His confession was "We have sinned, and committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and from your judgments".
Dan 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Intercessory prayer does not consist of pointing our fingers at the faults of the church.
One who is given to interceding on behalf of the Church will be aware of his or her own infirmities, and will confess his or her own need for the Lord's Intervention on their behalf.
Intercession is prayer which is fueled by love and genuine concern for those who have fallen prey to the enemy.
The God-Birthed Prophetic Word or Ministry's ultimate aim is to see God's people restored to a place of right standing with Him. True intercessory prayer will be a labor of Love before God's Throne on behalf of His People.