According to 1 Kings 8:59, God maintains the cause of his people at all times. How? By the constant intercession ascending to him – flowing like a river from the Son of God and from the Holy Spirit.
Most believers know that Jesus is our high priest who ‘ever lives’ to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34). Few realise that the Holy Spirit also petitions the Father on our behalf. This is a sound biblical truth that we need to know.
Consider Romans 8:26-27: ‘Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us…’
According to this passage the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with aching groans, burdened sighs, too deep for words. Those who are sensitive to the spirit of intercession feel this overflow at times from the Spirit. Paul referenced this when he informed the Galatians, ‘My little children, of whom I travail again in birth until Christ be formed in you’ (Gal. 4:19 KJV). This was a Spirit-inspired, inward groaning – an intercessory longing for growth and maturity to come in the believers.
The epistles are not just letters
Of course, the Holy Spirit is not confined to just unutterable waves of deep emotion. He also intercedes in precise language, especially through inspired scripture. Let’s establish this fundamental, powerful truth first by referencing two passages that verify the inspiration:
- ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness’ (2 Tim. 3:16).
- ‘Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit‘ (2 Pet. 1:20-21).
The Bible is God speaking to his people, not just men sharing ideas about God. This truth blossoms into an incredible revelation that will revolutionise our thinking on the subject of intercession.
Dwell on this for a moment – if the Bible is God’s inspired word, then the epistles are not just letters from the apostles to individual churches existing in their day, they are letters from the Holy Spirit to the entire church stretched out over two millennia!
If that be true (and it is), then the prayers contained in those epistles are not just appeals to the Father flowing from the heart of the epistle-writers, they are intercessory appeals flowing from the Spirit, petitioning the Father for the entire church.
And irrefutably, the Holy Spirit has never prayed a prayer that the Father did not answer. There is never an instance in which Jesus appealed to the Father with no return response, and the same must be true concerning the Holy Spirit. If Jesus or the Spirit prays over us, the Father will respond and will answer according to the request.
Claim general scripture prayers!
Search out every general intercession found in scripture and claim it as a personal intercession of the Spirit over your life, fully expecting it to come to pass. With each inspired petition read, instead of saying, ‘God, please do it,’ boldly say, ‘I claim that; I receive it by faith in the name of Jesus!’
There are some Old Testament prayers for God’s people we can claim…
a) David’s prayer for God’s people
‘May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble…defend you… send you help from the sanctuary…strengthen you…remember all your offerings… grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfil all your purpose…fulfil all your petitions’ (Psa. 20:1-5).
b) The Levitical blessing
‘The Lord bless you…keep you…make his face shine on you…be gracious to you…lift up his countenance on you…give you peace’ (Num. 6:24-26).
Claimable New Testament prayers
Here’s a list of twelve Holy Spirit inspired prayers, just from the epistles, that cover many major areas of our need. Look them up; read them; memorise them and quote them, fully expecting their manifestation in your life:
1. Patience, consolation and unity (Rom. 15:5-6 MKJV)
‘And may the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded toward one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one mind and one mouth you may glorify God.’
2. Peace and mercy (Gal. 6:15-16)
‘For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be on them.’
3. Spiritual riches (Eph.1:15-23)
‘…that the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power…’
4. Fulness (Eph. 3:14-19)
‘… that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.’
5. God’s amazing ability Eph. 3:20-21)
‘Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.’
6. Excellency (Phil.1:9-11)
‘I pray that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus.’
7. Sanctification and preservation (I Thes. 5:23)
‘Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’
8. Abiding presence of the Lord (2 Thes. 3:16)
‘Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way.’
9. Perfection (Heb. 13:20-21)
‘Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete [perfect – KJV] in every good work to do his will, working in you what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus.’
10. Perfection and more (1 Pet. 5:10)
‘But may the God of all grace, who called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.’
11. Prosperity and health (3 Joh. 1:2)
‘Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.’
12. Being kept by God’s power (Jude 24)
‘Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless.’
Read and pray in expectation!
I urge you to read these passages often, especially when you are in prayer, and praise God for their fulfilment. Don’t beg or plead on these issues. If the Holy Spirit inspired these prayers (and he did) you can fully expect their manifestation. So claiming their fulfilment is actually an act of worship.
As a final conclusion to all of these New Testament prayers, may we echo Moses’ Old Testament petition (Psalms 90:16-17): ‘Let your work appear to your servants, and your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be on us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.’
Mike Shreve has served as an evangelist for forty-five years and is also pastoring The Sanctuary in Cleveland, TN. Founder of Deeper Revelation Books publishing company, he has authored 13 books himself, including the best-selling Charisma House book, 65 Promises from God for Your Child and the Our Glorious Inheritance series. Links: http://www.charismamag.com/life/relationships/16417-learn-to-claim-god-s-promises-for-your-children / www.shreveministries.org / Mikeshreve@aol.com.