A Guide To Intercessory Prayer
by Rev. Richard W. LaFountain

Praying Godís Purposes

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that,
if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us.
Ė 1 John 5:14

We often donít know what to pray. That is not unusual. It is a normal, even preferred response to prayer. "The Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be articulated." -Ė Romans 8:26. Jesus intercedes for us before the Father constantly (Hebrews 7:25 / Romans 8:34). God has a will and a wish for every person in every situation . (Jeremiah 29:11) Though we are stumped sometimes not knowing what to pray for, or how to pray in given situations God has a plan and purpose for which we can always pray with total 100% assurance that is according to the will of God.

That is why it is so good to pray Scripture. It is always conformed to his will. That is why it is good to pray Scriptural prayers like that of Abraham, Moses, Jabez, Isaiah, Daniel, and the Apostle Paul. We can learn much from the perfect prayers according to the will of God. When we pray like this we can assuredly say, "In Jesus name and for Your glory, Amen." To pray the purposes of God is what the Scripture means when it says, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." (John 14:14) To ask in his name is not a name-it and claim-it doctrine. To pray in his name is to pray according to his will. That is, to be in tune with God on the subject.

The Prayer of Jabez (I Chronicles 4:9-10) is an excellent example of this. Paulís prayer for the Ephesian church is another. Try praying the essentials of those prayers. The will of God is revealed throughout His word. Pray the Word!

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of GodÖ. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


There are times in all our lives when life seems chaotic and things seem to happen without any rhythm or meaning. It is understandable that we should question whether the Creator of the earth is indeed in control and supervising even the footsteps of the tiniest ant. Yet God affirms over and over again in his word that he is in control. We need to learn that and reaffirm that fact as we pray.

God Has Sovereign Purpose

  • Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the LORD stands for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
  • Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
  • Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: 18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, 19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
  • Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

God Reveals His Sovereign Purposes (his ways or purposes)

  • Psalms 103:7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
  • Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself:

Godís Ways Are Not Our Ways.

  • Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
  • Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Godís Purpose in Answering Prayer

  • His Name Sake - His name and reputation is at stake.
  • His Kingdom Comes - His kingdom is to be sought, not our kingdoms.
  • His Glory Revealed - His glory and our good, always in that order.