We all have them – those scriptures that you may read a thousand times in life, but one day when the penny drops, you feel like you’ve read it for the first time.
Understanding Ephesians 2:6 was like this for me. In fact, it has actually changed my life. And it has specifically changed the way that I pray and my understanding of what “intercession” truly is.
God is most definitely moving hearts toward intercession in this hour. I am seeing people across the globe “suddenly” realize that they are called to intercede for nations and generations, and I have walked with a handful of these people just this past week. I feel that God is redeeming intercession in the Church, and teaching His people how to remain happy and hope-filled while they pray.
Intercession is an invitation into hearing more of God’s heartbeat for His people and the globe, it’s not meant to be a weird thing reserved for only a few “special” ones nor is it only a tool to bring home the prodigals. Intercession is actually the very thing that will shake and smash the idols and the sinister spirits that have had such open space in our nations, families, marketplaces and governments.
I believe that it is Bill Johnson who said that intercession is the power to release God’s heart onto the Earth. What an invitation! Yet with this release of God’s heart, an intercessor must both know God intimately as well as know the power and authority that he or she carries.
Ephesians 2:5-6 – “…even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (ESV)”
I suppose to fully grasp the meaning of this verse, we have to go back to the end of Chapter 1 to get the context of Paul’s statements in Chapter 2. Let this sink in while you read it because this is the truth about who YOU are, as His Beloved:
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:16-23).
The idea that we are seated WITH Christ in Heavenly realms blows my mind. The implications of this are listed above – as the Church, we have been given His authority over all things. He sat us at the right hand of the Father (in Jewish culture, sitting at the right hand of the head or leader is the highest form of honor given), and we sit far ABOVE all rulers, dominions, powers, and anything that is basically not Jesus.
We are seated in a place of absolute power, ultimate victory, and all of the same authority as Jesus. 1 John 4:17, “as He is so are we in this world.”
Understanding this and actually believing it changes everything. Notice how Paul states there is “immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.” What if it’s simply our belief that holds us back from the power that is already ours?
I ran from intercession for a long time because I had a wrong picture of it in my mind. I guess one could say, I “threw the baby out with the bathwater” because I didn’t want to carry the strangeness, the heaviness and the grumpiness (oops…I said it) that some intercessors in my world seemed to carry. Because of what I saw in some, I had the very wrong impression that being an intercessor meant signing up for a life of constant warfare and burdens, though I could not understand how this was possible with scriptures like Ephesians 6 and Isaiah 61:3. There definitely were times that I felt a call to go to war in prayer for certain things – especially as I began to step out in the prophetic – but I always felt like I was begging God to pull Heaven down over Earth, which greatly frustrated me.
Until I discovered that I was already seated in Heavenly places!
Dear friend, if you are currently feeling a draw toward intercession and you want to run from it because of past experiences, misunderstanding or just not knowing how to walk in it, I’d love to encourage you to meditate on the first few Chapters of Ephesians. Ask God to reveal to you the authority and power that He has given you as an inheritance. There is a sense of frustration in always feeling like you have to pull Heaven down to Earth, but there is great ease and joy in knowing that you can, in fact, PUSH Heaven down because of the authority Jesus has given His Church.
We always pray from a place of peace and victory, and though the warfare may be slight, it can never really touch the Child of God who knows how high they are actually seated.
I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I am passionately journeying through the invitation into intercession, and these passages in Ephesians have been the most eye-opening for me yet. It took me some time to fully believe and therefore walk in His immeasurably great power, but once I started to believe I felt the shift in my prayers and began to see Him move mountains.
Now it is my great joy to carry people, nations and situations into prayer. Another book that I would like to suggest for further reading is Beni Johnson’s book, “The Happy Intercessor.” Both her book and an understanding of the ease of my prayers (because of Jesus) have turned me into a Spiritual weapon – and I believe that this is a promise for YOU, as well!
~ Mandy Woodhouse