Did you know that people tend toward certain types of intercessory prayer? I didn’t either when I was beginning in prayer. I was raised in a Christian home where we were taught to pray, read our Bible and go to church. I appreciate this solid foundation in my life, however, it was pretty legalistic. God was “in a box”. I just needed to do certain things to please Him and go to heaven. It wasn’t until into my young adult years when I discovered God was much bigger than the “box” of my childhood.
God began to expand my prayer life during this time. Before it had been routine and often boring. But now I began to see there were many different ways to pray. Through this process, God began to reveal some patterns as I observed how other people prayed.
Just as we each have a different personality, I believe God has given us a unique intercessory prayer style. While it’s not about putting someone “in a box” there are some general trends that can help us understand ourselves and one another. Here are four types of intercessors we’ve observed along with their strengths and weaknesses:
Strengths: The warrior intercessor is often intense and passionate, praying long and loud prayers. They have great endurance and always ready for the fight. They like to be active in their prayers, moving, pacing, raising hands, etc.
Weaknesses: The warrior intercessor can get burned out or wounded in the “battle”. They often intimidate other intercessors who might not pray in the same way. Every prayer is important whether loud or quiet, long or short!
Strengths: The watchman intercessor is alert to danger and skilled at discernment. They are on the lookout for what the enemy is doing as well as God’s activity. They are a valuable asset for strategy.
Weaknesses: The watchmen intercessors can tend to be loners and often misunderstood. Breaches can form if they insist the pastor or leader take a certain course of action based on what they are sensing. It’s important for them to understand their role is simply to pray. If they feel led to share with others their insights, they can, but then let it go.
Strengths: The scribe intercessor is very detail oriented and focused. They tend to like lists and find enjoyment from praying through them. They are great to keep things organized.
Weaknesses: Scribes can miss the relationship aspect of prayer and miss the flow of Holy Spirit.
Strengths: The priestly intercessor focuses on worship as a lifestyle. They are like the High priest of Israel who would minister to the Lord while carrying on their heart the needs of the people. They don’t need to say every prayer request, but enjoy worship as their predominant expression of prayer.
Weaknesses: The priestly intercessor can carry burdens too heavily and might not engage in “battle” when it is time to do so.
Most of us are a blend of the four intercessory prayer types, but often one or two will stand out. Understanding the four styles is not meant to restrict you but to help you understand yourself and others better. You can enjoy all four styles at different times and seasons in your life, though one might be your “default.”
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About Adena Hodges Our Guest Author
Adena has a passion to see people walk out their God given calling in Christ and co-leads Kingdom Equipping Center with her husband, Gil. She’s also the director of Intercessor’s Workshop, a ministry to train and equip the Body of Christ to advance God’s kingdom through intercession. Adena conducts workshops as well as speaking frequently at regional churches.
For more information, check out her website at: www.intercessorsworkshop.com. One of her specialties is training strategic intercession teams around pastors and leaders in all walks of life. Adena has also written two books, 3 Easy Steps Toward Revival and the Inheritance in addition to a weekly blog on prayer at www.1000WaysToPray.com.