“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?’ ‘Yes! It was such a small price for such a great bargain. My precious child changed the whole course of the nation of Israel.'”
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.