By Fredi Trammell
Intercessory prayer is filling the gap between someone and/or a situation and God. It is, in my thinking, grasping either the hand in one’s spirit of that person for whom one is interceding or the handle of the situation for which one is interceding and, stretching the width of the gap, grasping with the other hand the HAND OF GOD. Then, with travailing, agonizing prayer you pull . . . pull . . . until you make connection with both of the hands which you are grasping. When the hand of God touches the situation for which you are praying, the answer will be there. Anything that is touched by the hand of God will be changed.
Genuine intercession and travail must be saturated with love pouring forth from the heart of the prayer in order to be effective. The coupling of FAITH AND LOVE is a powerful combination. “. . . Be sober, putting on the breastplate [covering the heart area] of FAITH AND LOVE . . .” (1 Thessalonians 5:8).
Peter was walking on the water. He began to sink. Jesus reached down and WITH HIS HAND, caught him, thereby saving him. “Though he fall, he shall not utterly be cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him WITH HIS HAND” (Psalm 37:24).
The reading of the eighth chapter of Ezra has blessed me for many years. In this chapter, Ezra declares, “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river, Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us and for our little ones and for all our substance.” (The connection was made which closed the gap.) Further in the chapter, we read, “Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: AND THE HAND OF OUR GOD WAS UPON US AND HE DELIV-ERED US FROM THE HAND OF THE ENEMY, AND OF SUCH AS LAY IN WAIT BY THE WAY.”
Intercessory praying never is accompanied by a serene, beautiful setting. Sometimes there is fasting involved. Groaning’s which cannot be uttered escape the lips of the intercessor. A woman in labor is compared to the person who travails and intercedes in prayer. This area of praying cannot be incessantly practiced. One can intercede for many hours, and one can fast for numerous days; however, the welfare of the physical body must be considered. The body, mind and emotions of one who sincerely intercedes in prayer are under excessive tension. One must use wisdom in this area of prolonged praying and fasting.
Also, as the pains come at intervals to a woman in labor before the delivery of her child, so does God bring upon us, much of the time at His own timing, intercessory prayer and travail. If, indeed, one has never experienced intercessory prayer and travail, I see nothing amiss in asking God for a spirit of this type of prayer.
At one time, I seriously considered terminating my subscription to the early morning newspaper. There were stories of all sorts of hideous crimes and troubles in every issue. Reading about all these horrible happenings disturbed me. Then I listened to Nona Freeman speak about having had the very same thoughts. She said that God spoke to her concerning it. He said, “No, I do not want you to discontinue reading about the horror that is upon this world. As you are informed of these incidents, I want you to bring them to me in prayer.” What a revelation! This was enlightening to me, and I took it for my answer, also.
A dear friend of mine stood on the shoulder of a highway near her home viewing the horrible wreckage of her teenage son’s automobile. The accident had just happened, and the body of her precious boy lay crumpled against the fence beyond the shoulder of the high-way. People began to gather before the ambulance arrived. My friend heard whispers that her son was dead. There was no visible life in his body. She dug her heels deeper into the dirt, and within her heart she defied every intimidation that Satan fired at her. She had prayed in agonizing travail for the salvation of that boy! God had given her the assurance that he would be saved. She told me that human nature screamed at her to panic. She could not panic. Nature said, “Cry bitter tears,” but no tears would come. Instead, there settled within her heart a peace and a confidence and a calm. This young man did live and preaches the gospel today! This same mother interceded for others of her sons, who lived through terrifying ordeals which would have, without doubt, snuffed out their lives, except for that travailing mother that would not give up!
I sensed in my spirit to add the following prayer to this chapter, prayed by Rev. T.W. Barnes and it is used with his gracious permission:
“In the NAME OF JESUS, I cut off Satan’s line of communication to all these we are praying for. In Jesus’ Name, I cut it off, Lord. We plead the blood. And now, Holy Spirit, talk to them. Talk to them in the morning, talk to them at noon, talk to them at night. Talk to them on their bed at night. Make them dream about eternity. Make them dream about the rapture. Make them dream about hell. Talk to them, Lord. Talk to them. AMEN.”
I quote, by permission, a discourse which was given by Dr. Joan Carpenter. “When I look at some of my loved ones and know that if they were snatched suddenly into eternity, they would writhe in the tormenting flames of hell forever, my heart comes up in my throat. When I look out over our sanctuary and see pews that once held men who had vowed their total commitment and loyalty to God, and I see those pews empty, my heart is crushed within me. In my heaviness, I hear a haunting voice coming from the book of Ezekiel saying, ‘And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Nobody willing to stand in the gap. And I vow, ‘Lord, I want to be that man.’ When I wonder why we are not having great revival, I hear Isaiah speaking to me,
. . for as soon as Zion [the church] travailed, she brought forth children.’ Then I realize this is the answer, and it is the only answer — intercessory prayer and travail.” She went on to say (and I insert it here because I feel it cannot be said better): “You will not come to God once a week with a little token prayer to ease your conscience and receive great things from Him. Sure, emergency needs require emergency prayer. But, the hour we live in requires daily prayer.
Everyday! Nobody has time! You take time! You build up the hedge. You stand in the gap. Intercessory prayer is violent. It’s part of the price. Valuable things cost a lot. ‘Hannah, was the baby, Samuel, worth all that desperation?’ 0 yes! It was such a small price for such a great bargain. My precious child changed the whole course of the nation of Israel.’
“Bind the forces of evil that come against you in Jesus’ Name. Take dominion over them! Cast them down! Loose whatever spirit you need to see working. According to Matthew 18:18: ‘Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. ‘Don’t let Satan tell you that you’re getting a little bit flaky with all this binding and loosing; this is your right as a child of God. Satan knows it is true; but he doesn’t want you to know it. Use your rights! This hour demands our most powerful weapons!”
Dear reader, don’t let go! Hold the hand of God and bring it into contact with your need.
A Tribute to My Elders
You’ve been here longer than I,
You’ve gone places I’ll never go.
You’ve seen things I’ll never see,
But you carved roads as you walked;
Made bridges across the way;
Prayed prayers that crossed the gap;
Cried tears that flowed through the years.
It’s likely, I’ll be here longer than you.
I’ll go places you’ll never go;
I’ll see things you’ll never see.
But I couldn’t be here right now
If it weren’t for
Roads and bridges and prayers and
Tears that stood the test of TIME.
by Judi Trammell Hooter
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. 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 (Romans 8:26-27).
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Ephesians 6:18).
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power (Ephesians 1:17-19).
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:14-16).
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10).
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be tilled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness (Colossians 1:9-11).
Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him (Isaiah 59:15-16).
Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way (1 Samuel 12:23).
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25).
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God (Colossians 4:12).
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none (Ezekiel 22:30).
Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not (Jeremiah 31:15).
Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! (Jeremiah 9:1).
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:22-23).
Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, 0 daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies (Micah 4:9-10).
Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause lo bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God (Isaiah 66:7-9).
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you (John 16:21-22).
But if they be prophets, and if the word of the LORD be with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon (Jeremiah 27:18).
We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side. 0 daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us. I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way (Jeremiah 6:24-27).
Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn (Jeremiah 31:8-9).
Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared (Hebrews 5:7).
Their heart cried unto the Lord, 0 wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease. Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street (Lamentations 2:18-19).
The above article “Intercession” is written by Fredi Trammell. This article was excerpted from the 4th chapter of Trammell’s book The Prayer Journey.
The material is copyrighted and should not be repainted under any other name or author. However, this material may freely used for personal study or purposes.