Intercession is covert ministry. The enemy has no clue of our position. I like to think of intercession as an ambush. We see this picture in Joshua 8:3. Joshua hid 30,000 men behind Ai. The folks in Ai had no clue. At the key moment, through Joshua’s signal, the ambush came out of hiding to set the city on fire. The enemy was defeated.
When we hide God’s word in our heart, it becomes our covert power that the enemy has no way to counter. God’s word will not return to Him void. It will accomplish what He sends it out to do. Therefore when we use His hidden word as our weapon, it will be like a straight arrow that hits its mark.
Luke 4:1 says that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. He was hungry. He had a felt need. What did the devil tempt Him with? A way that would fulfill His hunger. The devil told Him to command a stone to become bread. In verse 4 He answered, “…It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Jesus countered every one of the devil’s temptations with ‘It is written’ which stopped the temptations.
Jesus gave us an excellent example to incorporate. He used His word as a weapon to end the temptation’s enticement. Every temptation comes with a hidden intent to destroy our faith. An enticement is never seen as a temptation. The trap is set and we fall prey. James 1:14 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
Proverbs 7:21 says, “With her enticing speech she caused him to yield…” Verse 23 says, “Till an arrow struck his liver, as a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life.” Though this is speaking of a young man void of understanding, lured by a harlot, we can make an application. Proverbs 1:17 says, “Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.”
The devil’s traps are always set and baited to catch us unawares. If we are not daily in God’s word, observing truth and making it our personal application, our faith will be weakened. We become easy prey. 1 Peter 5:8 says that our adversary is seeking whom he can devour. Verse 9 says to resist him, steadfast in our faith. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing God’s word.
That means that we need to keep our heart inclined. Incline means to listen attentively. Psalm 119:36-37 says, “Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.” 1 Samuel 12:21 says, “And do not turn aside, for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.”
Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” This is where intercession is key. We stand in the gap made by their sin. We can encourage them through God’s word. Their heart though, needs to be opened first through our intercession. As we pray Scripture over them in our prayer, God will intervene. He watches over His word to perform it.
Never give up. Though we don’t see something happening, remember that our intercession is covet. It is under cover. We may be tempted to be that person’s Holy Spirit. That is a tempting enticement. Yet, we must remember that apart from the Lord we can do nothing. It is the divine work of the Holy Spirit that brings conviction. It is our intercession that fulfills the Lord’s desire for a man to stand in the gap.