Worship and intercession go hand in hand. The person with a true heart of intercession will quite naturally find himself slipping into worship, because both of these aspects of prayer are fueled by the Holy Spirit and flow out from our spirit-man. Worship is the propellant which sends our prayer-rockets heavenward and gives them the “boost” to make it all the way to the throne.
Those of us who are intercessors have a very important role in the corporate worship setting, especially within church fellowships where entreating God for His Presence to settle in is understood.
Let me explain about His Presence, first of all, for those who may not have experience with what I am speaking of. God is omnipresent, meaning that He is capable of being everywhere at the same time. So, in that sense, He is always present among His people. When I refer to His Presence being among us, however, I mean a tangible sense that He has drawn very near (termed by some His “Manifest Presence”). For the spiritually attentive person, God’s Presence will be suddenly felt, whereas it was not felt moments before, and we know He has “entered the room” or “come down” among us. When we worship with clean hands and a pure heart, experiencing communion with the Lord in this way should be the norm, once we know that we can expect it.
Within my church family, it is a rare gathering where we do NOT have His Presence manifest among us. In fact, we normally do not shift out of our corporate worship into the sermon portion of the service until we know He is among us tangibly and that He has been pleased with our adoration. Sometimes our worship goes on long past an hour, and sometimes we never do get to a sermon, because lavishing our love on the Lord and reveling in His response is what He wants for our entire gathering time.
Obviously, a worship team that can flow with the Spirit is key in both bringing the congregation to a place of pure focused adoration and attracting the Lord’s Presence. But the intercessors are also important in accomplishing this goal. When I am in the corporate worship setting, I know that I have work to do. Both worship and warfare for breakthrough into His Presence may be necessary. (And remember, worship is a form of warfare in itself.) I stay sensitive to what is happening around me, listening for the Spirit, paying attention to the current atmosphere in the room, intensifying my intercession for breakthrough if I sense that it is not easily happening.
Without intercessors who are paying keen attention to what is going on around them spiritually during the corporate worship setting and taking the intercessory steps needed, the manifest Presence of God may never come down upon the congregation during its gathering. Intercessors are needed to discern and follow up with prayer (and possibly prophetic responses) concerning what we are discerning. Our intercessions, warfare, and prophetic responses can be done discreetly, so as not to draw attention to ourselves and thereby distract others.
Why would warfare be necessary during worship? There are several reasons. People can hinder heightened worship by bringing spiritual baggage with them into the corporate setting – sin issues, demonic problems, bitterness, unforgiveness, worries, lack of peacefulness, lack of being prepared for worship through prayerlessness, and just general distractions. These things affect the atmosphere and hinder worship for the entire body, and require overcoming intercession / warfare. Even when our hearts are right, and we have prepared ourselves for corporate worship, distractions can be presented deliberately by Satan to hinder us from connecting with the Lord.
Next time we will talk about why Satan makes such an effort to hinder worship.
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual