For the third post in our series on prophetic intercession, I want to share briefly about what it means to be a supplicant, warrior, and watchman in prayer. To start, here’s a personal story:
Holding my baby close, I paced the floor, praying. His fever was high as I again petitioned the Lord to bring relief to my son. This was the second night in a row I had been up with him. Somehow, I knew this sickness was a spiritual attack against our fledgling ministry in a church where witches had attended our first service.
Turning again toward the living room, I saw a vision of a bright ball of light in the hallway. As I walked toward it repeating the name of Jesus, it darted over to the window.
Still holding my baby, I again approached it in the name of Jesus. The light ball left by way of the window. Immediately, my baby slept peacefully without a fever.
The intercession I had done that night tied together two abilities: the ability to perceive things in the spirit realm and the ability to petition the Lord for healing. A simple act of spiritual warfare brought my intercession to a close. My task was completed and my baby was healed.
The Bible gives us three pictures to help us better understand the task of an intercessor. The first is of a man standing in the gap as a supplicant, the second is of a warrior, and the third is the illustration of a watchman.
Standing in the gap in prophetic intercession
In Ezekiel’s time, the Lord used the illustration of broken walls to describe Israel’s spiritual rebellion, sin, and corruption. The nation’s spiritual walls had huge gaps that resulted in the invasion of unholy philosophies and practices. Israel needed someone to stand in the gap, plead for mercy, and rebuild her spiritual walls, but there was no intercessor. The Lord said,
I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV).
Francis Frangipane has described a gap as the distance between the way things are and the way things ought to be. There are many situations in peoples’ lives and in the life of a nation where gaps appear. Sometimes these breaches are caused by personal sin; other times they are the result of another’s sin. Demonic bombardment often assails the walls of those called to proclaim the gospel.
It is an intercessor’s task to stand in the gap to plead for God’s mercy and intervention and to fight as spiritual warriors against the invasion of evil. The first is called supplication; the second is spiritual warfare.
The supplicant in prophetic intercession
Supplication can be described as asking or petitioning another for mercy. Intercessors stand before the throne of God and ask for his intervention in the affairs of men. Psalm 106:23 gives us the example of Moses as a supplicant for the nation of Israel:
So he said he would destroy them, had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them (NIV).
The warrior in prophetic intercession
The second purpose of an intercessor who stands in the gap is that of spiritual warfare. In this arena intercessors do not face God in prayer as they did in supplication. They turn and face the forces of evil and war against them. The warrior’s role is one of enforcing Christ’s victory, which was won at Calvary.
The watchman in prophetic intercession
As intercessors, many of us watch upon the spiritual walls of our families, keeping vigil against an unseen enemy. Through the eyes of the spirit, we are able to sight impending danger and sound an alarm when needed. Sometimes there is a gap in the wall where stones have shifted and fallen into disarray. At that point we must leave our watchtower, stand in the gap, and engage in spiritual warfare.
Watchmen also have the privilege of announcing the arrival of important ambassadors and dignitaries (see Isaiah 52:7, 8). Two New Testament watchmen saw the coming of the Messiah and, on the day of His arrival in Jerusalem, both Anna and Simeon announced His entry to all who would listen (see Luke 2:25-38). The promise of a Messiah, given so long before, had finally arrived in the form of a baby.
The role of a watchman involves both watching for danger and announcing the arrival of the promises of God. God sets watchmen in their places upon the walls, and He requires that they take their job seriously (see Isaiah 62:6, 7).
Well, that’s it for today. Which task of an intercessor are you most comfortable in—supplicant, warrior, or watchman? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below, Susan
For more on how to operate as a watchman, warrior, or supplicant, see Chapter 7 of Intercessors, God’s End-time Vanguard-How to Pray Effectively For the Things That Matter Most.
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know . . . all of your friends would be nice.