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.

Prayer Warriors who pray for leadersLeaders rely on intercessory prayer to support them in the areas of protection, blessing, guidance, and God’s anointing in their areas of ministry.

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. [1]

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.[2]

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.

4. Feedback

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.

6. Confidentiality

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 labor in prayer and the emotional nature of their concern.

As the one coordinating the prayer effort, I became very tired, and eventually realized that I needed to hand the organizational 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.


[1] See the post, ‘How To Increase Your Prayer Support Through Personal Intercession’

[2] 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.

Related Posts:

17 Signs You May Be A Prophetic Intercessor

© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

38 thoughts on “8 Essential Tips For Personal Intercessors”

  1. Helen, thank you so much for this post! It was so on time! I am a young, prophetic intercessor and sometimes I’m not sure if I’m trying to be super prayer woman or if it really is Holy Spirit prompting. The steps you gave confirmed everything I’ve been feeling and really gave some understanding to this awesome gift. And the leader I’ve been personally praying for, confirmed I was on track. Glory to God. I’m learning every day and your blogs really help. Thank you sister 🙂

  2. Hi Christine, it’s wonderful to hear from you and I’m so glad my blog has been a blessing to you. I too am a prophetic intercessor and the thoughts I have shared in this post have come from my own journey.
    I pray that you continue to grow into the unique and powerfully gifted person Father has created you to be. I pray that you continue also to experience ever-increasing intimacy with Holy Spirit and healthy, growth-building relationships in your church life too.
    Be blessed today!

  3. I stumbled across your blog and this posting yesterday evening, and I am SO encouraged!! It would seem I don’t have anyone to talk to about this subject around here. I have read Wagner’s book, Prayer Shield on personal intercession. I grabbed it a couple of years ago as I was trying to understand this journey I have been on. I needed some encouragement and needed to know so many things that he wrote and the sentiments you put here as well. (many of them very similar) I have longed for someone to just relate to and ask questions to though. I have been (I guess) a prophetic personal intercessor for near 4 years now, and this journey has led me down sometimes intense spiritual warfare. I have only prayed on a regular basis for one leader. I would love to ask you some specific questions if you don’t mind, but I’m not sure I want to post them on a public blog. Would that be okay?

    1. Hi Shelly, great to hear from you! The journey of personal intercession can be an intense and sometimes lonely one, I do understand!
      Yes, I would be happy to answer some questions by email, if you can allow me a few days to get back to you.

    2. Question:
      I sometimes have this strong feeling
      in the pit of my stomach ; that something is about to happen. But I just can’t put my finger on what it may be . And then later it appears. Is this the time that I need to pray ?

  4. Shirley Scroggins

    I am so glad I came across this on intercession, Helen I was told my God that he had called me to stand in the gap, and I recieved that and have been doing it for 20yrs, but my question is this, there are times when I don’t feel very fruitful at all, at times I don’t even feel like praying at all, can you please tell me why these feelings come aboout, I know what God has spoken to me, so why do I feel like anything but an intercessor, he uses me as a prp[hetic intercessor when I pray and lay hands on people, for many years I have had these questions and still no satifactory answer yet, may you can give me some insight on this, I know he hears and answer my prayers.

    Shirley Scroggins

    1. Hi Shirley, I don’t know whether there is any particular blockage you are experiencing (you could review this article and the ones in that series

      But apart from that, be assured that the feelings and experiences you mentioned are common to all of us in our various gifts and ministries, and certainly that is true of intercession.

      The feelings of being dry, distant or ineffective are a part of our walk of faith, the faith that takes God at His Word and keeps on keeping on. Elijah comes to mind, he sure had some highs and lows!

      If you have been ministering in personal intercession for 20 years, Shirley, that is an awesome contribution to Father’s work in the lives of people. Sometimes it can be hard for us because we don’t always know the answers to our prayers and also may not receive thanks from those we pray for, but rest assured that the fruit you have laboured for is beyond that which you could imagine. May you be richly blessed as you continue in your journey.

      1. Shirley Scroggins

        thank you so much for the encouragement, I am sure you know also it is not easy to talk to everybody, becuse some just don’t understand, so it is good to find those that understand what you go through, I never doublted God or his calling, it just seems like sometime I asked myself did I miss God on somethings, but I know he is working in my life in spite of me, may God continue to use you and bless you as you help and bless others.

  5. Hello Helen,
    Thank you for your excellent blog, which I have just discovered. Please could I ask you a question about accountability? I am a prophetic intercessor, and I am also involved in prayer ministry. I have a good relationship with my church leaders and I am accountable to them. I am also involved in different ministries that involve churches coming together, and I feel a growing call to support leaders in prayer. I sometimes hear things from people in prayer ministry, and also I hear things from the Lord in intercession, that I think I need to share with someone and get advice / another perspective on. Some of these things have some pretty major repercussions, e.g, adultery. Because of confidentiality, I feel really stuck sometimes as to whether or not I should be seeking advice or sharing things with anyone. Within my own church, it is clear that I can go to my church leader, but if it is another ministry, or churches together, I’m not always sure who to talk to. I have had some good prophetic training, and I know not everything God gives me needs to be shared, but as God is growing me in authority, I find I need extra wisdom. Do I need a mentor of some sort to guide me through some of these challenges? It is a great privilege to be trusted with things, but I am aware of the responsibility to handle things with sensitivity and wisdom.
    Thanks, Jane

  6. Hi Jane,
    What a wonderful ministry.
    It does sound as though you would personally be helped by having someone wise to bounce things off. You don’t need to mention names or disclose confidential information when you are sharing, as it’s primarily for your own benefit.
    Intercession and prayer ministry can be a lonely journey at times, and we need to be intentional about community and sharing.
    Don’t rush into finding someone, though – pray about it and wait for God to show you the right person. It may be a good idea to check in with your church leaders about this specific need, they may be able to give you some guidance or even point you to someone who could help.
    May you be richly blessed in your journey.

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