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

37 thoughts on “8 Essential Tips For Personal Intercessors”

  1. Thank you, Helen, for your insights. Sorry I didn’t reply straight away – things got busy! I do have a couple of people I sometimes bounce things off, and I especially find it useful to sometimes talk to someone who is outside of situations I am praying for. I just don’t have any kind of formal mentoring in place. I will pray about the next step and talk to my church leader too.
    Thanks again. Jane

    1. That sounds great, Jane. 🙂
      I pray that you continue to be empowered, and that when people can’t help on specific issues, that you will be enriched in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

  2. Hello, my name is Jacqueline. I am 16 and i just recently began this journey as an intercessor. The thing is in my church the Pastor or our Prophet tells us when or what gift we have or will receive according to the Holy Spirit but our church has recently been going through some tough times. With our Prophet becoming distant toward the church and our Pastor being falsely accused of stealing a car. I received word from God by way of my Pastor as to what my gift was but he did not have much experience as to what someone with my gift does and well i guess i just wanted to know what i can expect to happen with my gift and what i should do to preserve it. as well as ask if you can help understand the different types of intercessors if there are types.
    Thank you, Jacqueline

    1. Hi Jacqueline, it’s great to hear from you. 🙂
      Yes each of us can have a unique prayer gift, the main reason it is helpful to know that there are different types, is because we can then appreciate our own gift and not feel we have to try and measure up or be like someone else.
      I mention some different types of intercessors on this article:
      If you still want more information about types, I mention a book in the notes above (I see it’s available as an eBook on iTunes, and may be available other places as well)

      The main thing is to relax and enjoy the process of your personal relationship with God and your prayer times. Gifts are a journey of discovery, and it’s ok not to be clear about it all at once.

  3. I’ve had this gift for awhile (intercessory prayer) but it was for family and friends). Recently it was for someone I don’t know and I was groaning in prayer and fasting and hearing God and getting pictures. I literally now know what it means in scripture “When Zion prevailed then she brought forth her children.” Now that part is over, but it’s not finished this prayer. I wonder if the annointing is still on me for the second part. I wish I had some other intercessors to connect with so I could better understand what is happening to me. I feel alone. I wonder if I just have to learn it by myself.

    1. Yes I have had the same experiences of travail in the Spirit, and also know what it is to journey alone. You can trust Father to bring people around you at the times He appoints, and in the interim to lead you by His Spirit. You can also run the general gist of what God is saying past leaders, to confirm your prayer direction (even if they don’t relate to the manifestations and prophetic side, which you don’t have to go into depth of sharing about)

  4. we are apostles and prophets of the most high God needing prayer cover 24 hours a day, our families all god ordained lineage, spiritual linkages, finances, accomodation, marriage plans, children (to be whole and complete due to age) blessers, blessings, open doors no one can shut, mm/bb, new assignments, to be permanently removed from mouths, mind, altars of our enemies

  5. Hi,thanks for the advice.i am an interseccer and sometimes I sleep well and sometime not at all like tonight.please why is this happen,does that mean I have to stay in prayer all night.for example I read my bible,pray in the spirit and listen to some worship music.but i am not feelling to sleep.what must I do?

  6. Grace and Peace be unto you! I’m a Servant of the Lord, which happens to be a Prophetic Intercessor. I love all of the information you provided, I can tell that all of your information is from your personal experience. One thing I come to understand is that Prophetic Intercessors are selfless individuals. The burden on my heart is to help other people birth their gifts through prayer. I find that a lot of Christians don’t fully understand who they are in terms of their spiritual gifts. My personal experience was being in the presence of God wanting to communicate to him and allowing the Holy Spirit to take over to speak, sing, or move me anyway He please.

    People hear me pray and they want what they hear and love the technique but the first thing I try to teach them is the hunger and desire has to be there. Do you have any advise on how I can go about this? I’ve done it on a one on one basis but I’m a Vice-President of a low income community and they have given me permission to conduct bible studies. Today I’m teaching my favorite subject which is “prayer”! I’ll start off with The Lord’s Prayer and explain it. Then explain the different types of prayers. This will be about a seven week series. Hopefully, it will stir them enough to take it to the next level of travailing and worshipping in prayer. I see myself as a Mid-Wife spiritually.

    1. Hi Chappell, what a great opportunity to minister in the area of the Bible studies!
      Your question about how to lead people to hunger and desire – yes you can teach them technique and give them information about prayer, but the hunger and desire must be for God Himself, demonstrate a personal relationship with Jesus, your own hunger for Him will stir it in others.
      Here is an article about stirring up hunger for God:

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