What Is an Apostolic Intercessor?

Quite a few people coming to this blog are asking about apostolic intercession. So today, I would like to share what I have learned thus far on the subject.  I’m going to state honestly and right upfront that there is not a lot of concrete information in the Bible to help us.  I will be sharing a little of what I have been taught by others, but mostly what the Lord has been revealing to me personally over time.

Let’s start with a few possible definitions.  You may recognize yourself in one or more of them, but keep in mind that definitions are simply tools to help us understand concepts, not standards to measure ourselves against to see whether we have arrived  or are disqualified.  We will be much happier if we simply do what God has given us to do, let Him continually take us further, and not worry about wearing tags and titles.

1.)  An apostolic intercessor functions as a personal intercessor for an apostle.

2.)  An apostolic intercessor is aligned with an apostle and taps into the apostolic authority flowing downward from that apostle.  Whatever the apostle’s jurisdiction of authority is, is what the apostolic intercessor has authority to reach into in prayer and receive answers for.

3.  An apostolic intercessor has been given authority by God to pray and receive answers within a particular sphere of influence — such as a region, state,  or nation that he or she is called to intercede for.

It is this last definition that I would like to examine more in-depth.  In a sense, the apostolic intercessor might be acting in the role of an apostle in the realm of prayer — being “sent” in intercession (“apostle” means one who is sent) to a region or nation.

Another mark of this type of apostolic intercessor is that he or she will usually be a leader of other intercessors.  Teaching others the keys to answered prayer and bringing them up into greater levels of understanding about intercession will be part of his or her function.  The group of intercessors that he leads will also flow corporately in the greater authority of the apostolic intercessor leader in receiving answers to prayer for their region.

The Old Testament prophets provide a model of what apostolic intercession entails.  They were sent not only to speak to the nation of Israel, but in many cases, to pray for her as well.  And they received extraordinary answers as they prayed.  Daniel repented on behalf of Israel and with his prayers accomplished their return to their land from exile (Daniel 9:1-19).  Elijah prayed for the rain to cease, and he received  the answer; he prayed for the rain to return, and it did (James 5:17, 18).  After first laying the groundwork in prayer, he decreed an end to rain, and he decreed the onset of rain again 3 1/2 years later (1 Kings 17:1 and 1 Kings 18:44).  Elijah taught others by establishing schools of prophets.

An apostolic intercessor would certainly need to be a prophetic intercessor as well — listening to the Holy Spirit for direction and then praying matters out according to what He reveals.

Rees Howells, who lived during the first half of the 20th century, is a fine example of an apostolic intercessor who, along with the band of intercessors he led, received miraculous answers during World War 2 for Great Britain and the rest of Europe.  In addition, their prayers brought intervention for Ethiopia during a critical time in its history, and were instrumental in the reestablishment of Israel as a nation.  If you are serious about understanding apostolic intercession, I strongly recommend reading The Intercession of Rees Howells, by Doris Ruscoe and Rees Howells: Intercessor, by Norman Grubb.  You may wish to read my series of posts about Mr. Howells as well.

I also recommend Derek Prince’s book, Secrets of a Prayer Warrior.  In it are essential keys for apostolic intercessors (or anyone who desires to change the world through prayer).  Mr. Prince comments, “God has made us a Kingdom of priests.  As such, our responsibility is to rule by prayer.  The Bible reveals that this world is not really ruled by presidents and governors and dicators.  They only seem to rule.  The people who really rule the world are those who know how to pray.”

You might find my book,  House of Prayer ~ House of Power of value, too.  It is geared toward the one who is feeling a tug upon his or her heart to form a prayer group and lead others in intercession to transform their region.  It has practical information on how to get started, along with outline teachings you can use to train up your group in the art of intercession.

The role of apostolic intercessor is weighty.  It requires serious commitment to prayer.  It also requires humility — an emptying of self with all its ambitions for recognition.  It is not an overnight process, but something that takes time and a great deal of refining to come into.  E. M. Bounds commented, “A severe apprenticeship in the trade of praying must be served in order to become a journeyman in it.”

We all have a long way to go, at every level of intercession, in being effective.  Whether you are specifically called to apostolic intercession or not, God will show you your area of influence and how to obtain your answers.  Each of us has a key role to play in advancing the Kingdom of God through prayer.

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6 responses to “What Is an Apostolic Intercessor?

  1. I am Eastern Orthodox- a convert from evangelicalism and from the charismatic movement- so that you will know where I am coming from. In 1972 I was called to intercession in a special way….I read Rees Howells back in the middle seventies, and scores of other books on intercession from the evangelical and charismatic perspective, including Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting by Derek Prince.
    As far as intercession is concerned a true Eastern Orthodox monk is an ‘apostolic intercessor’- to use your term, and when one plumbs the depths of their teaching you find that it goes way, way beyond anything that one finds in the evangelical world. One might read the Philokalia, a compilation of 15 hundred years of wisdom on the life of prayer. It is a five volume set, edited by Kallistos Ware.

    When we were baptized into Christ, we become a participant in his Cross, so that by taking up our crosses, in effect it is Christ carrying the burden in His. So, in such circumstances, the sins/demons/sicknesses- whatever- we intercede for have the potential of coming upon us, for in so doing, they are coming upon Christ and His Cross, through us His members. I’ve seen a number of deliverances in this way.

    To pray prayers of agreement in a full way, one must be in the Communion with the undivided Communion that has existed from the beginning, that subsists within Orthodoxy. There are three witnesses in the earth- the Spirit, the Water (Trinitarian bpatism), and the Blood (Holy Communion). Evangelicals have to some extent participated in the first two witnesses- but that of the Blood is an eschatallogical reality, that has a historic continuity, for it is a Communion. The burden of evangelicals is to find their way back into the Third Witness- that of the Blood, which also involves the orphan children of Christ having their hearts turned back to the Fathers (Patristics), and the hearts of the Fathers being turned to the children (Communion of Saints). Therein is the prayer of ‘agreement’ that Scripture speak of having so much power.

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    • Hi Ben,

      Thank you for taking the time to write. I have friends who are Orthodox, and while there are doctrinal issues that we cannot agree upon, I respect their walk with Christ.

      As you know, I come from the viewpoint that we do not take on the sins/demons/sicknesses of others in our intercession, but that Jesus paid the full price and did a complete work upon the cross, and that all believers, regardless of denominational background, participate in the Communion of Saints.

      I suspect that when we reach heaven, we will find many believers there who held the same faith in the Lord Jesus across quite different denominational lines.

      In Christ,
      Lee Ann

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  2. Dear friends: As an experienced intercessor I have found, through many years experience that the most difficult part of intercession is the part of “bearing one another’s burdens.” You will find yourself flooded with some thoughts and problems. You will pray them through, doubting that you are fully sane. Then a couple of weeks later you will find another person with the same conflict. I sincerely believe that when the Bible said” you must be clean that bear the vessels of the Lord, that this is part of what He was refer-
    ring to. The joyful part is that God can purge two lives at the same time.
    Please remember that Jesus, our High Priest is touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
    Also consider the tabernacle in the wilderness. Part of its construction details included the construction of a “silver filet”, or cord This was set on the very top of each standing board which made up the fence surrounding the tent of meeting. I believe that this shows us that we are attached spiritually.
    Finally, Please consider David who said” For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavillion. In the secret of His tabernacle, He shall hide me, he shall set me upon a rock. Sincerely, Wild Rose )my praise name!!

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  3. I must leave a comment on this issue; “One might read the Philokalia, a compilation of 15 hundred years of wisdom on the life of prayer. It is a five volume set, edited by Kallistos Ware.” I am a cradle-born Greek Orthodox Christian now at a ripe old age of 60+ and the reading material suggested is not our common reading material for lay-people! It is truly geared for monastics; written by monastics for a monastic setting. However, there are jewels which can be found in the volume set, but it can be tedious reading. A more, lacking the correct term, “prayer-friendly” book for those interested in a taste of what the Philokalia points out is by Archbishop Anthony Bloom ( of blessed memory) titled: “Beginning to Pray” It is a small, readable book. I do not recommend the Philokalia!
    How we pray, and how we enter into intercession is important! The Holy Spirit guides each of us on this path. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while and it does give vital, important, and extremely “on the mark!”, spiritual insights, directions and encouragement. Keep on!
    Christ is risen!
    Blessings on you and your household!
    Costa

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  4. robert Chakanetsa

    Thank you for the knowledge. I would like to learn more from you Man of God about intercession.

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