Q: How do I pray for someone who has brought trouble upon themselves?

A: You can pray the prayer of intercession. Briefly defined, intercession is prayer made in behalf of another person or persons who have brought judgment upon themselves for wrongdoing. The Scriptures teach us that sin provokes God, and because of His just and righteous nature, sin calls for judgment (James 1:15; Romans 6:23). But God has no pleasure in judgment; instead He delights in mercy (Micah 7:18).

Judgment comes when a person has made a decision or action that takes them out from under God’s protection. They have moved into Satan’s territory where they are open to destruction and death. Intercession on their behalf can bring them to a place of repentance, and judgment can be turned aside or prevented.

Intercession in prayer can be on behalf of an unsaved person, or for a given body of people—such as a family, a prison, a town, a state or a nation. Remember, as you intercede for others, they do have a free will. You’re not praying against that, but against the forces of darkness that deceive their minds, so that God’s power can be made available to them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; James 5:16). Intercession enables others to choose those things that are in agreement with God’s Word, which is His will (Ephesians 1:17-19; Colossians 1:9-13; Matthew 9:37-38).

Intercession is a true ministry of love. Love covers a multitude of sins and stands in the gap until the one for whom you are interceding is completely free from the bondage of the devil. No matter what your circumstance, you can make a difference and have an impact on the lives of others through intercession. The Word says that Jesus was moved with compassion. Just yield to the love of God inside you and take a step today toward praying for others. Start interceding!

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