Intercession is a cry for change. But it is a battle that is always fought on two fronts: the internal and the external. Prayer is a process in which God changes us internally as He works on the external situation we are praying about. Although these battles are often fought simultaneously, external victory is dependent upon our winning the internal battle. Your heart is the beachhead of God’s invasion on planet earth.
In 1944, the world was at war. Hitler had marched across Europe crushing all opposition. The United States and the other partners of the Allied Forces understood the secret to freeing Europe was creating a beachhead on France’s northern coast. This massive invasion was known as D Day. In securing a beachhead, they would create a foothold from which they would launch an extensive invasion of all of Europe.
On June 6, 1944 this invasion was carried out with great success but at tremendous cost in human life. The Allied Forces alone suffered the loss of some 120,000 men.
It is said that the strategists behind the D Day invasion knew at the end of day that the war was coming to a close. Although some of the bloodiest battles were yet to be fought, the success of securing the beach on the Northern coast of France sealed the inevitable defeat of Hitler.
Intercession enters the believer into a similar scenario. When we are praying for breakthrough in given area, one of the primary keys to seeing the answer we cry out for is a deeper yieldedness with God. If He can secure our hearts, the victory is simply a matter of time. Your heart is the beachhead of God’s invasion into human affairs.
When we cry out to God to change our world, He starts with changing us. Revival begins with a transformation in how we respond to those around us. The fact is that we can cancel our prayers with our actions.
Even Jesus’ prayers were heard, not because He was the Son, but because of His reverent submission (Hebrews 5:7). Our surrender is intercessory leverage for God’s purposes.
Prayer is actually a mutual exchange of requests. When we enter the prayer closet we give our list to God and He gives His to us. In essence He says, “You work on my list and I will work on yours.” This may be a new concept to many of us, but the fact is that it is found throughout scripture. Zechariah 7:13 says, “’When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty.” Their responsiveness to Him was key to God’s responsiveness to them.
Now for those who think that is merely an old covenant ideal, I John 3:22 states, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
This is not works, a matter of earning the answer to our prayers. It is becoming one with our request. Our hunger for breakthrough will change us before it changes our situation. Our personal transformation is the first fruits of our answer, a token or down payment of the greater victory. We are becoming the answer to our own prayers.
Desire that doesn’t change us won’t change anything. This is an essential truth of prevailing prayer. In intercession there is a great exchange: our distracted comfort for breakthrough. If we can live contented and undisturbed without the answer, we will.