One of our most valued partners during the years of our missions ministry was an elderly woman called Marge.
A prophetic intercessor and prayer warrior, Marge had an accurate ability to detect when we were experiencing severe trials or spiritual warfare.
At those times, she would phone us and simply say, ‘What’s going on?’
The most memorable of those times occurred when we were on the road, doing itinerant ministry with our young family.
The knowledge of Marge’s prayer support and her sensitivity to the Holy Spirit brought us continual encouragement.
Last week I shared about how to make the most of prayer support from the leader’s perspective, and how you can take care of your relationship with your personal intercessors. 
Today I would like to share my heart with those of you who function as personal intercessors or prayer partners in some capacity.
Over many years, I have been a personal intercessor, the leader of an intercessory prayer team, and a receiver of intercessory prayer myself.
Here are 8 things that I have learned along the way and would like to share with you:
1. Keep Your Prayer Commitment
There are differing levels of commitment when it comes to personal intercession.
At the lowest end of the commitment scale, you may have signed up to receive a prayer newsletter from a leader or ministry that God has put on your heart.
In this case, the degree of prayer support you give is over to you.
At the highest end of the scale of commitment, you may be one of only a few intercessors or prayer partners. You may be in a close personal relationship with the leader you are praying for.
It is important that you faithfully pray, as you are able and committed.
If you receive an email, pray immediately upon receiving it, and print it out.
You can put alerts in your diary, or on your mobile phone or digital calendar to remind you to pray for specific events.
2. Embrace the way God has Wired you.
It is amazing to me how many intercessors struggle with feelings of inadequacy in their prayer gifts.
Not everyone has the same prayer style. You have a unique gift of prayer.
Some intercessors are structured and pray at regular times. Unstructured prophetic intercessors tend to pray when they perceive there is a need or sense a burden to pray from the Holy Spirit.
Other prayer warriors excel when there is a crisis or an urgent alert to pray.
All types of intercessors are valuable and needed.
Don’t be afraid to be up-front about the kind of prayer commitment you bring to the table.
3. Be Light on Expectations
Remember that every leader communicates with their intercessors differently.
Do not place expectations on your leader with regard to relationship, communication, or involvement in their ministry. The least your leader will do is communicate their needs with you regularly.
Don’t expect more than this, even though some leaders are more relational and do communicate more regularly.
Occasional feedback to the leader you are praying for is an important part of your role.
This doesn’t have to be a prophetic word or vision—it could be an encouraging comment or scripture, or simply a ‘praying for you’ note. By communicating regularly with your leader, you are indicating that your ongoing interest and prayers are still in place.
Even the smallest feedback can be a great encouragement.
5. Prophetic Insights
Any prophetic insights you bring to your leader are most welcome and have the potential to be a great blessing when they are timely and encouraging.
Remember that your prophetic words and pictures are subject to being weighed up. (1 Cor 14:29, 1 Thess 5:20-21) Don’t place any expectations on prophetic submissions being responded to or acted upon. This is especially important to remember if you are an intercessor in a church.
Treat all communication from your leader as confidential, even when the material appears to be common knowledge. Take great care to retain trust in this area.
7. Be Part of a Church Community
Personal intercession is a private ministry. I know, because there have been countless times that I have prayed alone, pacing a room or on my knees as the Spirit has burdened me to pray for a leader.
I also know that if it were not for my involvement in church life, I would not be where I am today.
The ministry of intercession may be hidden, but it is vital that we engage in a church community and have accountability and leadership in our spiritual gifts.
Involvement is more than just attendance. It means helping to serve in the church, being under leadership, and being part of the church prayer community.
There are no ‘lone rangers’ in the body of Christ. We are a body, with different parts and different gifts and we need each other (1 Cor 12)
8. Take Time out.
Personal intercession can be hard work and intercessors (depending on the relationship) can carry a great burden of care.
When our intercessory team carried one of our pastors in prayer during long weeks of life-threatening surgery, I was very aware of their labour in prayer and the emotional nature of their concern.
As the one coordinating the prayer effort, I became very tired, and eventually realised that I needed to hand the organisational responsibility over to someone else.
Do not feel that you have to be on prayer duty 24/7. As with any ministry, put some boundaries around your time and energy.
If you feel that you no longer carry a burden from God to pray, don’t be afraid to be honest and to step out from the prayer commitment.
You will be greatly relieved when you do—and the leader will respect your decision.
You are not indispensable. God is faithful, and will provide others to step into your place.
 See the post, ‘How To Increase Your Prayer Support Through Personal Intercession’
 A book on this topic that greatly blessed our prayer department is entitled Intercessors Discover Your Prayer Power, by FEMRITE, T; ALVES, E; KAUFMAN, K. 2000. Ventura : Regal.
Do you have any experiences or questions to share on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog
On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church