Intercessory Prayer

Joy Petroelje

READ : Numbers 14:1-21

The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression. (v. 18)

We regularly ask God to meet our personal needs—for safety, provision, and happiness. God certainly hears our prayers and blesses us in ways we can’t imagine. However, when we go to him in prayer for the needs of another, his will takes on a new and deeper meaning. We look outside ourselves and instead ask God to act for those around us. Intercessory prayer is prayer on behalf of someone else.

The Bible tells us not only that we need to intercede for each other but also that the Spirit of God “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). There are times when we are not aware of what to ask for, so the Spirit pleads our case to the Father.

Moses’ act of intercession could be compared to that of the Spirit. While the Israelites’ vision was clouded by fear and disappointment, Moses clearly saw the need to implore God for their forgiveness. While the faith of the people faltered, Moses knew the importance of naming God’s attributes and asking for his mercy yet again. God heard Moses and honored his request to pardon his chosen people, exhibiting the same kind of grace we know today.

Intercession does not mean we can instruct God or choose our desired outcome. But intercession does bring us into greater communion with God, allowing us to be part of his work here on earth.


Dear God, help me to joyfully intercede for those around me.