Has anyone asked you, “Will you be an intercessor for me?”
We all need intercessors praying for us. Daily. Weekly. (Sometimes hourly!) And whenever led by God. If you don’t have intercessors praying for you, ask God to give you the names of people you can ask to pray. My article, “Why Every Intercessor Needs a Cover” goes into more detail of why this is so important, and how to go about it.
What happens if you are on the receiving end of this request? If someone asks, “Will you be an intercessor for me?” what does that mean?
The simplest answer is to ask the person, “What kind of intercessor do you need?” Does this person want someone to pray for her daily? Once a day? Throughout the day? At certain times? Does this person plan to email or text you of specific needs? Or is it more like this: “Pray for me as God leads you”?
When I was leading intercessory prayer at a church, I needed a group of people who were praying for me daily. The daily cover was vital to keep me hidden from the enemy as I went about my work of coordinating the church’s prayer cover.
This daily intercession can be as simple as, “Lord, please help this person today. Keep her covered.” Or it can mean inviting the Lord to bring that person to your heart throughout the day. God will help you know what kind of intercession He is calling you to offer. I knew I had a group that prayed daily. And others prayed as led by God.
At that same church, we had teenagers who volunteered to pray for staff members and special situations. I remember one young teen, who I asked to pray for one of our ministers. She set her alarm early every morning, so she could wake up and pray for that minister. What a comfort it was to the minister being prayed for. And what an awesome time that teen had with God each morning.
I have covered individuals and families in prayer as a dedicated intercessor. Sometimes, the person has asked me and God has confirmed it. At other times, I have felt prompted by God to intercede, without the person asking me. Each time, I have told the person, “I feel like God has called me to intercede for you.” Then I have asked the person if there is a specific need. If not, I have trusted that God would lead me in how to pray.
In some situations, I intentionally keep the person before the Lord throughout the day. In other situations, I pray as prompted by God or by the person.
I have also interceded for healing ministry sessions, where I pray at certain times when sessions are taking place. I literally set aside that time to pray – but that’s because this is what I’m called to do.
When someone asks you to be an intercessor for her, and you feel called to respond with a “Yes,” just ask the person: “What does this look like?” Also ask that question of God. The reason for asking the person is to be sure you’re on the same page. The reason for asking God … well, it’s because He knows what He is calling you to do as an intercessor. You want to be in line with His plan, and follow His leading.
Sometimes being an intercessor for someone means asking God to keep our hearts and spirits open to a person’s prayer needs.
This happened recently with a friend of mine. I was going through a circumstance where I desperately needed immediate prayer. I told God that I needed this particular friend to pray. Because I was in the middle of a difficult moment, I had no opportunity to contact her.
Imagine my amazement (and relief) when out of the blue, I received a text from that very friend, saying, “I am praying for you.”
I managed a quick text back to her, “How did you know?”
Later, she told me God had nudged her, while driving, to pull over, text me, and pray for me.
I have long believed that when we cry out to God, He can nudge even people we’ve never met, perhaps on the other side of the world, to pray for us in that moment.
As intercessors, we can make ourselves available for those kinds of prayers as well.
So, when someone asks, “Will you be an intercessor for me?” the first thing to do is pray and ask God if this is what He is calling you to do.
If God says no, that is okay. Just tell the person you don’t feel called in that way. Trust that God will bring the right people to that person’s heart to ask. It is much better for you to say no than to take on a burden God has not called you to. It won’t help you or the person you’re praying for.
If God says yes, then you can prayerfully consider what that might look like for you. What can you offer that person by way of prayer? Do you feel called to be a daily intercessor? If not, do you feel that you’d be able to receive and respond to prayer requests as they come up in that person’s life? Don’t offer what you can’t commit to. Once again, trust God to orchestrate all of this, and follow His leading.
Do you feel called to pray for just that person, or for the person’s family, or ministry? Or do you feel called instead to be available for God’s promptings, like my friend who prayed for me at the side of the road?
All of these are good, and needed. It just depends on how God is leading you. God will orchestrate the prayer cover needed by that person. Just do what you feel called to do, offer what you have, and leave the rest up to God.
Once you feel like you have your response to that question, just let the person know what you can (or can’t) commit to. Don’t overstep or over-commit. Stay focused on what God has called you to do.
Remember that to be an intercessor for someone means that you are following God’s lead, and praying in the spirit. You are not responsible for carrying that person (that is Jesus’ job!).
When you pray for someone, it might be tempting to take that person’s burdens on yourself. But those aren’t for you to carry. Ask God to lift those burdens Himself.
God might help you to be aware of specific burdens, but that is only so you will know how to pray. The burdens are His to carry. Read Matthew 11:28-30 whenever you need to be reminded of this.
Just keep inviting God, through prayer, into that person’s life and situations. Let Him do the rest.
How has God used you as an intercessor for someone? Daily? Weekly? As led? Have you ever felt prompted to pray for a person you don’t know? Or an unfamiliar situation the Lord has placed on your heart? God bless you for your prayers for others.