Derek Prince - Intercession Is Being So Related To Jesus That He Can Share His Burdens With You
Many, many Christians have never seen this, but in Romans 12:1, Paul writes to Christians on the basis of the redemptive plan of God that he’s unfolded in Romans, and he says: I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. So what is the sacrifice that God requires there? Just the same as that of Jesus, that we present our body. And our body becomes holy when it’s laid on the altar of God’s service. It’s very important to understand how you can have a holy body.
Jesus was talking with the Jewish priests in Matthew 19:26, and they were saying, If you swear by the altar, you’re not bound. But if you swear by the sacrifice on the altar, you’re bound, you have to keep it. Which was ridiculous. Jesus said: How silly can you be? Which is greater? The sacrifice, or the altar that sanctifies the sacrifice that’s placed upon it? So you see, the altar, sanctifies what’s placed upon it. So when you place your body on God’s altar in a sacrificial offering, it sanctifies your body. That’s very important because lots of us in different ways, have defiled our bodies in the life of sin.
Today there are millions of young people who’ve defiled their bodies by illicit sex, homosexuality, drugs and so on. It’s a wonderful revelation that if you repent and return to Jesus, you can have a holy body. Because when you place it on the altar, the altar sanctifies the gift. And then God calls us to the ongoing ministry of intercession. I believe that worship and intercession are perhaps the two highest ministries of which Christians are capable. Intercession means literally, the word means, coming in between. So intercession is coming in between God and somebody who needs God. It’s totally un-self-centered. It’s where we get released from our selfishness.
You’ve probably heard somebody describe the typical prayer of the average church member. God bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four, no more. Amen. Acts 2:4. That’s not intercession. Now, Jesus is the perfect intercessor. But, like everything, He wants to share with us. So intercession is not thinking of what you should pray about, intercession is opening yourself to the Lord through the Holy Spirit and letting Him share His burden with you. And in real intercession, burden is a true description. God places a burden upon people. We had a visitation that I’ve spoken about briefly in our local church in the spring of last year. And first of all, God called us to self-humbling and repentance.
That went on for days on end, and we spent most of our time on our faces on the floor. I got to know the smell of the carpet in that church very well; I had my nose so close to it for so long. Praise God it was a moderately clean carpet! And then God began gradually to release intercession. And He chose the most improbable people. Not always the ones that you’d consider super-spiritual, or that we would. There was one young man, God did something in him. And he would... For days you wouldn’t hear him pray and then suddenly he’d open his mouth and he’d go on half an hour at least.
I remember one morning he prayed for the people of the Soviet Union as if his heart would break. I don't think he really... I doubt whether he could really find the Soviet Union on the map. But he got this supernatural burden. He prayed for the KGB, the secret police, for many of them to be converted. It’s interesting that we know from reports, that the KGB listen pretty regularly to Christian radio! Interestingly enough, it was very shortly after that, within two weeks, that the nuclear disaster took place at Chernobyl. The Holy Spirit knew what was coming.
So, intercession is being so related to Jesus that He can share His burdens with you. And it’s sovereign. He places upon you the burden for a person, for a nation, for a church, for a Christian leader. And you have to be extremely sensitive. It’s not a matter of: When it suits me Lord, I’ll pray. You probably heard the old Negro spiritual: Every time I feel the Spirit moving I’m going to pray. Well, that’s the intercessor. You may be in the middle of cooking lunch, you have to stop. You have to get down on your face. And who knows how long you’ll be involved?