An intercessor is a person that intervenes on behalf of another especially with pray-ers. It involves praying to a deity on behalf of others. It is a situation whereby some-one decides to stand in the gap and seeking the good of someone else. Synonyms of intercessor include; mediator, advocate, negotiator etc. The spirit behind the act of intercession is the need to bear another person's burden and it is a very im-portant ministry in the body of Christ for so many reasons. Some people hardly pray for whatever reason, so they need others to pray for them. Others are weak in prayers and need prayer support. Some may not be aware of the wicked plans of the devil over their lives, so they need the prayers of those who are aware of such plans. This happened in Luke 22:31-32. In this passage, Satan has concluded plans to destroy Peter's ministry and Peter did not know about it. Fortunately for Peter, Jesus perceived it and prayed for him and Satan's plan was aborted. This is what intercession is all about. The enemy is still waging wars against the people of God, their families and the church but we are blessed because Jesus in still in the intercessory ministry praying for us and this assures us of victory always. Just the way Jesus interceded for Peter and saved him from destruction, intercessors are needed all over the world because of the challenges people are experiencing. The following are needed for an intercessor to be effective.

(i) Holy and Righteous life

According to Isa 59:1-2, sin is a hindrance to prayers so an intercessor should avoid a sinful life to ensure result-oriented ministry. Since sin will render his ministry ineffective, he should prayerfully receive grace to avoid it and if he mistakenly falls into sin, he should quickly plead for mercy and receive forgiveness for it.

(ii) Discernment Spirit

In the example given above (Luke 22), it was discernment Spirit that revealed Sa-tan's plan over Peter to Jesus and He was able to pray and averted it. So every in-tercessor should covet this Spirit which will open their eyes to areas and issues they need to pray on. Without this, their prayers may not be addressing the real is-sues.

(iii) Heart of Compassion

An intercessor is a burden bearer and it takes a compassionate heart to be en-gaged in it. An intercessor sees other people's problems as his. He identifies with the challenges others are passing through and carries those challenges with them in the spirit realm with trust that God will intervene and handle such problems. He finds himself at the center of other people's afflictions and compassion drives him into the prayer closet for solutions.

(iv) Patience

Patience is very helpful in the intercessory ministry. An intercessor never gives up in the place of prayers until he gets answers and thus needs patience. He does not pray for just one day, one week, one month and stops. His concern is to get an-swers for those he is interceding for and even if it takes years, he has to hold on. He believes in PUSH; (Pray-Until-Something-Happens). For answered prayers that are yet to be made manifest in the physical realm, he switches to prayers of thanksgiving and glorifying God until such answers are physically received.

(v) Holy Spirit and the Word of God

These are key areas that intercessor needs most. He needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the word of God. The Holy Spirit is indispensable in the place of prayers. '...the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered'. (Rom 8:26). Prayers are most effective when backed up with the word of God so the intercessor needs to be grounded in the word to ena-ble him navigate accurately to relevant scriptures while interceding for others.

(vi) Effective and Fervent in Prayers.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jam 5:16). The in-tercessor's prayers should be sincere, passionate, heartfelt and sometimes should be backed up with fasting for the release of tremendous power.

In Eze 22:23-31, Israel sinned and God was looking for an intercessor to pray for mercy upon the land but He found none, so He poured out His indignation upon them; and consumed them with the fire of His wrath. Beloved, God is still looking for intercessors to stand in the gap for the families, the church and nations. You don't need any special qualification for that. God does not need your ability but your availability. All you need is to prayerfully say 'Lord, here am I use me' and He will anoint and set you apart for this great ministry with everlasting and glorious re-wards in Jesus name. Remain blessed.

Pst H. Nzeribe