The Activity of Intercession

candle-flame“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning…” (Exodus 17:11)

One of the most difficult things for us to grab hold of in intercessory prayer is the fact that it doesn’t appear to be doing anything. If you bake a pie and take it to the neighbors, you are doing something. If you stand at the church door and pass out bulletins you are doing something. The hardest thing to get past when trying to understand intercessory prayer is that it somehow seems we aren’t doing anything. Most of us want to do something for God.

The Scriptures teach us something amazing about the activity of intercessory prayer. Let’s go back to Exodus 17:8-13, where the children of Israel had been released from their bondage in Egypt. They had crossed the Red Sea. They are on their way to Mt. Sinai… a huge group of one to three million people moving south through the wilderness. On the way they are attacked by the warlike tribe of the Amalekites…With Moses’ arms outstretched to God in prayer, an amazing thing happened. The Israelites, a group of untrained soldiers, begin to defeat the Amalekites – but only as long as Moses’ arms are in the air. As soon as his arms get tired (remember that Moses is 80), and they come down, an astonishing thing happens – the battle begins to turn against Israel. Now the Amalekites are winning. What an old man does with his arms on top of the mountain shouldn’t have any effect on the battle in the valley below. But it does in the kingdom of God. And what you and I do sitting in our homes and churches while praying for a village in India or China shouldn’t seem to have any effect logically, but it does in the kingdom of God.

Father, help me to trust that when I intercede on behalf of Your plans and purposes, You are moving in power.  Let me continually be aware that this will always be the most effective “doing” I can engage in throughout my life.  

–Adapted from the article, Intercession: Unleashing God’s Power on Earth by Dave Butts, author of The Devil Goes to Church.  This resource is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

Prayer Points

Read Ps. 139:13-17 and praise the God who knit you together in your mother’s womb. Give thanks for all of his wonderful works. Confess those moments when foolishly you’ve tried to hide from God. Commit yourself to living each day with the full assurance that God has written each one in his book. Ask that today you might be reminded of God’s precious thoughts toward you.

Pray for those organizations throughout North America which promote the sanctity of human life. Ask God to put down the evil of abortion on demand. Pray that parents in your city or community who are considering abortion today will choose an alternative to preserve the life of their unborn child.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

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