Without exception, God calls each believer to become a prayer warrior.
While some believers are uniquely gifted as intercessors and their prayers seem to flow right out of their spirit, all are nonetheless expected to intercede for others.
But how do we respond to that call to mediate for another person—especially if intercession is not one of our gifts and we stumble along in our attempts at intercession, feeling inadequate and even inept?
How can we answer God’s call upon us and become the best prayer warriors this side of heaven?
Abraham is the first example of intercession as he speaks to God about Sodom and Gomorrah and gives us a couple of excellent clues on how to be a prayer warrior.
First and foremost, Abraham models a personal relationship with his God.
Think about it: which of our personal relationships allow us to be most like our real selves? Which of our relationships encourage us to be open and honest? It is always those relationships that are the most open and honest themselves that give us the platform to speak freely and not worry about condemnation or recrimination.
So the first step in becoming the best prayer warrior we can be for others is to develop a rich, authentic relationship with God.
The next thing that Abraham models is a boldness that often startles us when we read his words in Genesis 18: What if there are …. ?
Abraham is questioning God with a boldness that arises from the personal relationship he is in with God. Almost as if wondering out loud (but knowing God is always right there), Abraham queries God with a successive set of bold questions.
In this way, Abraham’s example encourages us, too, to be bold in our stand before God.
But let us immediately notice that right along with boldness is humility.
After all, who is Abraham to implore God—and by association, who are we to do that same thing? And yet that is exactly what Abraham does! Abraham’s example is that while we boldly stand before God, we simultaneously recognize the absurdity of it all. Who are we to have this personal relationship with God and to stand boldly before him?
Abraham’s intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah is the perfect illustration of the paradox of our faith: to be able to boldly approach the Creator of the universe in a personal, genuine way.
The last piece of becoming the best prayer warrior we can be is to know some of the details of the situation for which we are storming heaven. Abraham shows us the need for a personal relationship and to boldly ask while remaining humble. Beyond what we learn from Abraham is the need to, whenever possible, have real specific particulars when we pray. This isn’t because God needs to know the details but because it will help keep us focused and alert. It will aid us as we approach God for the needs of another.
If we are praying for someone who is having surgery, knowing the date, time, and location of the surgery helps us pray more vigilantly, more successfully.
Oswald Chambers said it best when he said: As a saved soul, the real business of your life is intercessory prayer. Whatever circumstances God may place you in, always pray immediately that His atonement may be recognized and as fully understood in the lives of others as it has been in yours. Pray for your friends now, and pray for those with whom you come in contact now.
In other words, become the best prayer warrior you can be!
Cheryl Dickow is the president of Bezalel Books and is the author of Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage and Our Jewish Roots. Cheryl lives in the beautiful state of Michigan with her husband of 27 years and her three grown sons. Her works appears on a number of faith-based sites and has been published in a variety of magazines and papers.