Doubling back after being sidetracked/led elsewhere for a bit... Resuming the Prayer Secret series by Michael Bradley. I have been very much enriched and strengthened by this series, I hope you are too.This next prayer secret is another powerful prayer principle that has to be added to your arsenal. The first six prayer secrets all basically had to do with you learning how to properly approach God the Father for whatever your own personal prayer requests may be with Him. This next prayer secret is now going to take things one step further. This prayer secret will be learning how to step into the gap and pray for someone else's prayer need before God the Father. This is what is called intercessory prayer. Though most Christians know what this kind of prayer is, God the Father makes two very interesting statements in two of the three verses I will give you below. In both of these verses, God makes the statement that He was looking for intercessors, for those who would be willing to step into the gap for another person to pray directly for them - and in both of these verses, it says that He was not able to find one person to do this. I repeat, He could not find one person to go into the gap at the time that He was looking for one! Both of these verses are back in the Old Testament, so He was talking to His own Jewish people when He was making these two statements. Think of the ramifications of what was occurring when He was making these two statements. We are talking about an entire Jewish people and an entire Jewish nation - and God could not find one person who was willing to go into the gap to pray for the land to get Him to move with His deliverance power on the particular situation He was dealing with at the time. When you read these first two verses and how God is intensely expressing Himself, you will wonder, is He still having the same kind of problem with His people today, which are all born-again Christians? There is obviously no way that we can know the answer to this question, but what we can learn from these two verses is that God the Father is always looking for intercessory prayer warriors who are willing to go into the gap for another person at a moment's notice.
The Scripture VersesAll three of these verses are from the Old Testament, but each one of these verses still applies to every single New Testament born-again believer. In these three verses, God the Father is giving all of us an incredible and powerful prayer secret - and that secret is the power of intercessory prayer and how He can be dramatically moved to answer prayer if someone is willing to go into the gap for another person to pray for whatever their personal need or needs may be at the time. Here are three extremely powerful verses on this prayer secret:
1. "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one." (Ezekiel 22:30)
2. "He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for him..." (Isaiah 59:16)
3. "Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them." (Psalm 106:23)Notice in the first verse that God was actually looking for an intercessor to "stand in the gap" on behalf of the land so that He would not destroy it. This verse says that God had "sought for a man," but literally could not find one man who was willing to do this.
The fact that God was actually looking for a man to stand in the gap is shouting out a major prayer secret - and that secret is: God is looking for intercessory prayer warriors who will be willing to go into the gap from time to time to pray for someone else's need or possibly for an adverse situation that may be developing.When God the Father is telling us that He is actually looking for intercessory prayer warriors, then you know He is shouting out a major prayer secret loud and clear. If God is looking for intercessors to go into the gap from time to time - then this means He will answer many of these intercessory prayers if He is properly approached. Think of the ramifications and possibilities with this secret - that we can go into the gap and pray for someone else and have a good chance on getting God to want to move to answer the prayer. If God is telling us that He is looking for intercessors, then that tells us that He will be answering many of their prayers, otherwise He would have never bothered making this kind of statement in these first two verses!
Notice in the second verse that He is once more making the statement that He was looking for an intercessor and once again could not find anyone. Notice the additional statement He then makes in this second verse where He says that He then "wondered that there was no intercessor." The key word here is the word "wondered".This key word is telling us that God the Father was wondering why no one was willing to come forth to intercede for what was being needed at the time. The way He is wording all of this, He is basically implying that He cannot believe that not even one person was willing to step forward to intercede before Him. When you put these first two verses together side by side, God the Father is really shouting out a major prayer secret.
He is not only telling us that He is looking and wanting people to approach Him on an intercessory prayer basis when it is needed, but He will be wondering why no one will be willing to step into the gap for another person or persons to take up a specific prayer assignment - especially if a prayer assignment is being given to a person by the Holy Spirit Himself.The last verse then adds the final piece to all of this when it finally tells us of someone who did approach God the Father in the right way on an intercessory basis - and that was when Moses stepped into the gap between God the Father and the children of Israel in their wilderness setting. This was when Moses was receiving the 10 commandments from God the Father and the rest of the Israelites were down at the bottom of the mountain already starting to turn away from God by making false idols to worship and adore. When God sees this, He becomes furious and literally wants to consume all of them right there on the spot. But Moses, seeing how mad God is getting and what He wants to do to His own people, steps into the gap with God and pleads his case before Him telling Him why He cannot do this. In my other article, "Prayer Secret #"4 - Stating Your Case Before God," I give you the full verse on exactly what Moses said to God the Father to get Him to change His mind. As the last verse above tells us, Moses literally got God to change His mind from what His original intentions were going to be. This is how powerful intercessory prayer can really be with the Lord!
RemarksWhen you study the wording in the above three verses and put all of this revelation together, we are receiving a major and powerful prayer secret from God the Father. God is literally giving every single one of us an open invitation to step into the gap from time to time for either another person or persons, or for any type of situation that will need God's help to properly handle. When God is telling us that He is actually looking for intercessors, you know this is something that He wants all of us to learn how to do. For those of you who may be new to all of this, here are a few things you will need to know about this kind of powerful prayer.
1. Notice in the first verse that God is looking for those who are willing to "stand in the gap." Here is what God is meaning when He is using the words to "stand in the gap."Imagine you have a friend who is dying of cancer. He is lying on his deathbed and he is simply too sick to be able to pray for himself anymore. Imagine that this person is lying off to the left of your field of vision. Now imagine God the Father Himself off to the right in your field of vision. As you are looking at this scenario, your friend is too weak and too incapacitated to reach God anymore with his own prayer efforts. What you will now have to do is step into the gap between your friend and God the Father. Imagine yourself jumping right in the middle of this vision in between your friend and God the Father. Now you turn to the right facing direct to God the Father and you start praying on his behalf direct to God since he can longer do it for himself, asking God to heal him with the healing prayers that you will now present before Him. What you are doing when you do this is stepping into the "gap." A gap has occurred because your friend can no longer pray for himself. As a result, he now needs someone else to pray for him, which means someone now has to step into the place where he was initially praying at and take over the prayers for him to God the Father.
When you really study what God is asking us to learn how to do - this is really "superman saves the day" kind of activity. This is Green Beret, Special Forces type of activity. This is the same thing that a heroic soldier would do when he would step onto a battle field to save someone else who may have fallen behind enemy lines. The wounded soldier is incapable of fighting for himself and he now needs someone else to come in and rescue him.When you step into the gap for another person with God the Father, you may sometimes be going on a rescue and deliverance mission depending on exactly what you may be praying for.
2. I believe that many of the times God simply wants us to learn how to pray for our own needs all by ourselves direct to Him. We do not have to be bothering twenty other mighty prayer warriors for minor and trivial things that we may need from Him. However, there will be other times that we will either need other people to possibly step into the gap for us, or we may see someone else that we will have to step into the gap for.If God is wanting to answer many of our prayer requests with us just going one-on-one with Him, why would He then want to set things up from time to time where we would have to step into the gap for someone else, especially if that person is a born-again believer and who already knows how to pray to Him? Here are some scenarios that can occur where someone would have to step into the gap to pray for another person:
• Praying for someone who is not saved • Praying for someone who is too sick or too incapacitated to pray for himself • Praying for someone whose faith levels are too low with the Lord • Praying for someone who is too weak in the Word • Praying for someone who has very little, if any, personal relationship established with the Lord • Praying for someone who has a sudden emergency getting ready to attack them • Praying in agreement with others on an united prayer causeIf you have any loved ones who are not saved, you will definitely want to go into the gap and pray to God that He move to get them saved. They obviously do not know how to pray for themselves or have enough knowledge of the Word to be able to put it all together, so they will need others to pray for them to God the Father along with the right laborers being sent their way to properly witness to them. In reference to stepping into the gap to pray for someone else's healing - there will be times that the person you will need to step into the gap for may be too sick, too weak or too incapacitated to pray for themselves anymore. Someone else may be too high or too strung out on drugs to help themselves, and they thus will need someone to step into the gap for them to ask God to move in with His healing and deliverance power to be able to reach them so as to set them free from the bondage of their drug addiction. Someone else may get hit with some type of adversity, but they either have very low levels of faith built up in God as a result of no personal relationship ever established with Him, or they may be too weak in their knowledge of the Word because they have not spent enough time trying to understand and assimilate it all. As a result, God may ask you to stand in the gap and pray for them because you do have high enough levels of faith in Him and a good enough personal relationship established with Him, along with having enough knowledge of the Word and how to properly apply if for the emergency situation that may now be facing this person. Other times, God may ask more than one prayer warrior to stand in the gap and pray for a particular person or situation. What you will be doing on this is coming into agreement with other prayer partners to all pray together for the same prayer request. This is called the prayer of agreement. There are literally an infinite number of reasons and scenarios where you may have to step into the gap for another person to pray to God on their behalf - asking God to move in with either His help, His guidance, His knowledge or wisdom, or possibly His healing or deliverance power.
3. So how do you know when to go into the gap to pray for another person so you do not waste your time and God's time? As I have stated numerous other times before, for those of you who have established a good personal relationship and a good inside connection to the Holy Spirit, many of the times you can pick it up directly from Him whether or not you should be going into the gap to pray for another person. The Holy Spirit can save you hours of wasted time in the prayer room if you can learn to pick it up from Him ahead of time whether or not you should be taking on a particular prayer assignment. Some of the times, God may not want to move in with His help, guidance, and healing or deliverance power at the time you are looking to move in on the situation. Many of these kinds of prayer assignments are really battle situations and you will need to be guided by the Lord as to when to move and how to move on the situation.Maybe God does want to heal a person, but He may tell you to hold your position for awhile before stepping into the gap because He may want to try and reach that person with a lesson or some knowledge before He will want to move to heal him. Maybe that person has brought on a lot of his own misfortune due to his own pride or stubbornness, and God may want him to experience the full consequences of his actions for engaging in something that was not right in His eyes to begin with.
On many of these types of deliverance situations, you are sometimes dealing with a timing factor with the Lord, and you simply have to learn how to wait for God's timing on when to move and when not to move. If you move ahead or out of God's timing on a particular situation, you will end up wasting both your time and His time in the prayer room since He will not be ready to move in on the situation for whatever His personal reasons may be at the time.For those of you who have established this kind of good personal connection with the Holy Spirit, you really have to learn to rely on His guidance and His leadings on these types of situations. Just like no soldier will ever move into battle on his own without a green light from his superiors, in the same way we have to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit as to when to move into a battle situation and when not too. For those of you who have not developed this kind of connection and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit at your present level of spiritual development with the Lord, realize that this is something that can be given to you by the Lord.
If you really want to learn how to become a mighty and powerful prayer warrior in the Lord, you will need to learn how to develop this connection and sensitivity with the Holy Spirit. If you can, you will end up saving yourself hours and hours of wasted time, blood, sweat and tears in the prayer room for praying amiss for things the Lord really may not want you praying for. The Holy Spirit is God and Lord Himself, and He will always know when to move in on a certain situation as a result of His perfect union with God the Father.For those of you who do not have this kind of connection and sensitivity opened up yet with the Holy Spirit, simply go to God the Father in sincere and heartfelt prayer and ask Him to open this realm up for you. Over the course of time, the Holy Spirit will then start to move in your life in many different ways and in many different circumstances so you can learn how to pick Him up and read Him when He does start to try and communicate with you. This is something you will have to learn by trial and error - but it can be learned! You can learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit. Until that happens, just analyze each prayer situation that may come across your path and do the best you can to decide if you should step into the gap to pray for another person. If you see a situation that you would really like to give a try, do not be afraid to jump right in and go full force with God the Father. This is the only way you will learn how to do this - by actually stepping into the arena and taking the prayer assignment head on with full force and full intensity in your prayers to God on the other person's behalf.
4. Another thing that will occur in this realm is that the Holy Spirit Himself will all of a sudden come up on you and prompt you to want to step into the gap for another person or possibly a particular situation. He may give you what is called a prayer burden. A prayer burden is a manifestation that will come directly from Him. When it comes up on you, you will know it. Sometimes He will tell you who or what you are to pray for, other times He will not.What you do in these types of situations is be guided by Him as to when to pray and how long to pray. You may end up praying just once or twice for a short period of time and that will be it. You will feel a "release" from the Holy Spirit that the prayer assignment has been completed and you will not need to go any additional rounds with it. Other times He may have you stay with a particular prayer assignment for some length of time before He will officially release you from it. This length of time could be a matter of days, weeks or possibly months depending on the gravity and intensity of the situation you may be dealing with. If someone is dying of cancer, and God wants to heal that person, but He is looking for a more prevailing type of prayer before He will release His healing power into the situation, you may have to stay with it until the healing is manifested by the Lord, no matter how long that may take.
I cannot stress enough how powerful this particular realm is where the Holy Spirit Himself will be the One to initiate you stepping into the gap for another person. With the Holy Spirit being God and Lord Himself, He can see into the future and whether or not someone has an unexpected tragedy about ready to hit them full force.In the Testimonies section of our site, we have an article titled "TBN Testimony #1 - Standing in the Gap." In that testimony, a woman was prompted by the Holy Spirit right in the middle of Home Depot to go into the gap for her husband. Her husband was just about ready to have a man walk into his office and shoot him dead in cold blood. Since this woman already knew how to do this with the Lord, she immediately went into the gap for her husband and properly prayed to God the Father to stop the impending tragedy. As a result, God moved in just in the nick of time and she ended up not only saving her husband's life that day, but she also ended up getting the man who was going to kill her husband saved that very same day. But had she not been open or willing to be used by the Lord for this kind of immediate emergency, she could have lost her husband that day along with the man who was going to kill him. She later found out that this person was also going to kill himself after he had killed her husband.
I wonder how many Christians have gone home too early because God could not find anyone close to their situation and circumstance to stand in the gap for them as this woman did in the middle of Home Depot for her husband? The first two verses mentioned at the top of this article are telling us that there are times that God may be looking for intercessors to step into the gap to stop an impending tragedy, but at times He may not be able to find any.So not only can the Holy Spirit give you prayer assignments that will help save other people, but He may also give you a prayer assignment that will be on someone that may be very close to you - like a spouse, one of your children, one of your parents or other siblings, or possibly one of your own close personal friends.
ConclusionI know in the fast paced, hectic type of lifestyle many people are now living in, many of God's people are not open to being able to be used like this - where in a moment's notice the Holy Spirit can prompt a person to go into the gap to save someone from a dire circumstance that is either getting ready to hit them full force, or go into the gap for something that they may have already fallen into, like a sudden drug addiction or just getting diagnosed with a terminal illness. When God tells us in the first two verses mentioned above that He is actually looking for people who are willing to intercede for others, you know we are talking about a major and powerful prayer secret.
I believe one of the reasons that this particular prayer secret is so powerful with the Lord is because it is such an unselfish act.You are not praying for any of your wants or any of your needs. You are completely praying for someone else's need. You are totally concentrating on this other person's need with the Lord, and you are doing everything you can to try and get God to want to move on this other person's behalf.
When you are willing to sacrifice a part of yourself and a part of your time - when you are willing to put forth some quality time, energy, blood, sweat and tears on behalf of another in your prayer closet with the Lord for something that they may need with Him - I believe God really gets moved when He sees this kind of an unselfish act. And being able to touch and move God in this way may be just the thing that will get Him to want to answer the intercessory prayer!For those of you who are really looking to advance in your spiritual walk with the Lord, open yourself up to Him and let Him know that you will be willing to step into the gap for another person - no matter who that person may be, no matter where that person may live, and no matter what kind of danger is getting ready to hit that person. If you let God know that you really want to tread into these kinds of deeper waters with Him, He will take you very seriously and He will start to guide you further into this realm through the Holy Spirit.
If you will allow God to use you in this way from time to time as different needs arise, you have absolutely no idea how many other people you may be able to save, touch, help, heal or deliver in this life. And this is the kind of activity that will be highly rewarded by God once you enter into heaven and He rewards you for the different kinds of works and labors that you did for Him in this life.
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Scripture taken from New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2005-2006 by Michael Bradley.