When someone you love, or even someone you know, is facing temptation, need, doubt or sin issues in their lives, its time for intercessory prayers. There are many examples of people interceding in the Bible and of God working in people's lives through the prayers of the people around them.
Intercessory Prayer for Strength
They’re bold words, a heartfelt promise…and ultimately, a lie. Jesus foretells Peter’s coming betrayal. But He does so in an interesting way, explaining that Satan has asked to “sift” Peter as wheat.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” – Luke 22:31-32, NIV
For modern day readers 'sifting wheat' just an expression. To understand what Jesus said, you need to know how wheat is sifted. It’s grabbed by the stalk and shaken violently. Doing this will separate wheat kernels, all else falls away.
So Satan’s true intent is that Peter would fall away from Jesus and never return. He has that intent for every believer. But Jesus intercedes for Peter, that he would turn back. If Jesus does it, its a good example for us! So if someone you love is enduring temptation, pray for them.
Example Prayer for Temptation
- Pray that if they fail to resist temptation, that they would be redeemed.
- Ask that God fills them with the strength to start again.
God, I pray for (name). I know they’re enduring a lot of temptation right now and You see that. Just as You saw Peter all those years ago. Now I ask, strengthen this person in Your name. Give them the wisdom to flee temptation and if they fall prey to it, show them how to repent and turn back to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Intercessory Prayer for God's Presence
Sometimes our loved ones really need to see God’s hand moving and know that He’s real and He intervenes in real life situations. When your loved one needs a sign, remember Elijah and pray that God would send them a one.
A Sign from God
The nation of Israel was at a crossroads. Some of the people worshiped Baal and other false gods. But a few like Elijah still followed the Lord’s commands.
Elijah knew it was time for the people to choose who they would serve. So he called the king and all of the prophets of Baal together. He proposed a plan: the wicked prophets would build an altar and offer a sacrifice, calling out for their god to send down fire.They did this early in the morning and they continued all day without results. That’s when Elijah built an altar and doused everything in water. Then he called out and fire fell from Heaven, proving that the Lord is God.
Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” – 1 Kings 18:38-39, NIV
Intercessory Prayer Example for a Sign from God
God, thank You for being the God who listens! I pray for (name) who needs a reminder of Your Presence and Majesty. Send them a sign that they would understand how powerful and merciful You are! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Intercessory Prayer for Doubt
When loved ones doubt their faith or question God, it can be upsetting. Maybe especially when it is our children. We worry that we’ve failed and we wonder how to show them love in the middle of their doubts.
Henry had been a pastor for over twenty years. He loved the little church he ministered over and delighted in serving them. He watched children grow up to become adults who brought their little ones on to the Sunday services.
But when his own daughter returned from college questioning her faith, Henry felt like a failure. He searched and searched, trying to understand what he’d done wrong. He was terrified to share his daughter’s questions with the congregation.
He finally reached out to a mentor. The older man listened to him as Henry poured out his heart, uncertain of how he should respond to his daughter. Finally his mentor said, “Do you know what Jesus did with Doubting Thomas? He let him to touch his scars. Jesus doesn’t shoo away doubters, rather he invites them closer.”
Jesus Invites Doubters Closer
Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” - John 20:26-27
Follow Jesus as your example—invite them to bring out their doubts. Let them wrestle through this season. You never know what Jesus will reveal to them.
Example Intercessory Prayer for Doubters
Jesus, I pray for (name). I think they’re doubting their faith and that scares me. Oh show up in my loved one’s life! Reveal Your gentle touch…show them Your scars and let them know they can trust you. In Your name, Amen.
Intercede for Righteousness
Sometimes when we intercede for others, we’re tempted to downplay their sin. But every sin is an affront to our Holy God. Rather than excuse unrighteousness, follow Abraham’s example and focus on the character of God.
Abraham Intercedes for City
In Genesis 18 God has visited Abraham and shared a meal with him as friends do. Then He sent His angels on ahead to the city of Sodom. He was going to pronounce judgement and punish it for the great sins the residents had committed.
But as God sent the angels away, He stayed with Abraham and revealed His plan. God’s actions were just. In His righteousness, He could not overlook or excuse the sin in the city. He was not willing to let it continue in wickedness any longer.
When Abraham knows this, he begins to plead with God, begging for the city to be spared. He negotiates with God, asking if He would spare the city for fifty righteous people living inside of it. What’s interesting is that Abraham intercedes by discussing the character of God. He says, “Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25, NIV)
Intercessory Prayer Example for Restoration
God, I know (name) has sinned against you. But I also know that You are merciful and compassionate. Please forgive them for their sin. Restore them to fellowship with You so they can walk in righteous ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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