Thank you for Your Intercession
5 Principles for Effective Prayers of Intercession
I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men–1 Tim. 2:2.
Are you a believer in Christ seeking a more effective prayer life? If so, then it’s important for you to learn God’s principles for prayer so that your prayers of intercession may receive His response.
These divine principles for effective prayers of intercession are revealed in God’s Word, They’re awaiting our discovery and application.
So in this post, we’ll consider five of these divine principles from Genesis 18 to see how Abraham practiced effective prayers of intercession so that we also can apply them in our prayer life.
Five basic principles for effective prayers of intercession
Intercession refers to an act of interceding, an interposing or pleading on behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble. In the Bible it refers to our prayer to God on behalf others.
In Genesis 18, we can see Abraham’s intercession to God on behalf of Lot, his nephew. This case reveals at least five basic principles for our effective prayers of intercession.
1. Initiated by God’s revelation—Gen. 18:17-21
God was seeking an intercessor and He found one in Abraham. After receiving the meal prepared by Abraham, God made His heart known to him in Genesis 18:17-21 where God begins by saying, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?…”
Part of the footnote on this verse in the Holy Bible Recovery Version says,
“…God revealed His heart’s desire. The proper intercession is not initiated by man but by God’s revelation. Thus it expresses God’s desire and paves the way for the accomplishing of His will.”
Today, we can receive God’s revelation by reading His Word and proper ministry books that open up the Word. In Ephesians 3:3-4, Paul said,
“That by revelation the mystery was made know to me, as I have written previously in brief, by which in reading it, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ.”
2. For God’s people—Gen. 18:23
Both God and Abraham were concerned for Lot—one of God’s people who drifted into the world.
Although God had determined to judge that corrupted world, His heart was concerned for Lot, particularly as it relates to Lot’s relationship with Christ. Ruth, who would become a great grandmother of Jesus was a Moabitess, a descendant of Lot and God was concerned for Lot in order to protect Christ’s genealogy through her.True prayers of intercession focus on God’s interest in His people. They are related to God’s gaining people in order to bring forth Christ in them and through them (Gal. 4:19). God needs us to intercede for His people, including the backslidden ones Lot so that Christ can be brought forth in them and through them.
May our prayers be turned from our private interests to care for God’s interest in people according to the desire of His heart.
3. An intimate conversation with God according to God’s heart—Gen. 18:22-33
“…Abraham remained standing before Jehovah” (v. 22). There God and Abraham had an intimate conversation as between two friends (Isa. 41:8).
It’s amazing to see how God opened His heart to Abraham and how Abraham conversed with God—even challenging God—on a human level, in such an intimate way.
To learn this lesson, we first need to learn to fellowship with the Lord. Then we need to learn to linger in His presence—to have an intimate conversation with Him.
This hymn: “Pray to fellowship Jesus, in the spirit seek His face” really develops this point. I encourage you to pray over the lyrics to learn to have such an intimate conversation with the Lord.
4. According to God’s righteous way—Gen. 18:23-32
Abraham learned another lesson regarding intercession, that is, how to appeal to God according to His righteousness (Gen. 18:23-32). Whether God expresses His love and grace toward a person may fluctuate according to His feeling. But God’s righteousness is absolute.
Righteousness is the foundation of God’s throne (Psa. 89:14). So we need to learn how to challenge God according to His righteousness.
However, holding God to His righteousness is difficult to do without an adequate knowledge of God’s Word. For example, if God has given us His word of promise in the Scriptures, He would be unrighteous if He does not do according to His Word.
May we learn to intercede by praying, “Lord, You said in Your Word…now do as You have spoken and fulfill Your promise.”
C. H. Spurgeon in The Secret of Power in Prayer said,
You put your finger down upon the very lines, and say, “Do as thou hast said.” This is the best praying in all the world. O beloved, be filled with God’s Word. (p. 21)
5. God speaking in our speaking—Gen. 18:33
Finally, we can see that Abraham’s intercession ended not with Abraham, but with God. Genesis 18:33 says,
“And Jehovah went away as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham…”
This Word gives us two practical points to remember. First, genuine intercession is God’s speaking in our speaking. Second, our prayers of intercession should end when God has finished His speaking. So we need to learn to remain with the Lord until He has finished His speaking.
Often, we look at the time and say, “My prayer time is over.” But, has God really finished His speaking? We may actually walk away from Him leaving the Lord with no channel through which to finish His intercession. May we learn to let the Lord speak in our speaking and let Him finish His speaking.
As earnest believers in Christ, the Lord will surely lay many people on our heart. He may give us the burden to pray for our family, friends, relatives, colleagues, classmates and neighbors. They all need our prayer, whether it is for their salvation, growth in Christ, or restoration from a backslidden ore dormant condition.
But, it is not only they who need God and His salvation. Even more, God needs them for the accomplishment of His purpose for Christ and the church, His Body.
To this end may we be one with God to pray prayers of intercession that are:
1) Initiated by His revelation,2) For His people,3) In an intimate conversation with Him,4) According to His righteous way and5) With Him speaking in our speaking.
In this way God, can carry out His desire and accomplish His will on this earth.
If you’ve been helped by this post to see the divine principles for prayers of intercession, please share your appreciation in a comment.
References and Further Resources:
Thank You For Your Business: How and Why to Say It
How does your company say thank you for your business?
If you answer “By supplying my customers with an excellent product or service,” you’re only halfway there. Customer delight is built many things — but it all starts with a thank you.
If you think that improving your thank you game is really just code for sending customers expensive gift items that are your budget — or for high-touch gestures that simply can’t scale — then you’re in for a refreshing surprise!
This week’s roundup is packed with goodness:
- creative ideas for how to say thank you (not just once, but built into everything you do)
- what can happen to your business when you don’t say thank you
- a case study of how a popular social media company prioritizes customer delight
- and a buzzworthy product that can help your business personalize thank you’s at scale
“Thank you” is one of the sweetest things your customers can hear. These resources are sure to bring smiles to their faces — and yours.
25 Ways to Thank Your Customers
We’re all in the customer service business, say the folks at software company Help Scout.
They’ve got a good point. No matter what industry we’re in, every product or service we sell should come with a side-helping of customer satisfaction. And there’s no better way to start delighting your customers than with thanking them for their business.
If you’ve been stumped for ideas — especially for options that are a little off the beaten path — then Help Scout’s “Fun, Quirky, Memorable: 25 Ways to Thank Your Customers” is the article for you.This isn’t a mere listicle. Each of the 25 tips comes with real-life examples, and many have resource links to additional articles, product websites or more information. Interested in sending a handwritten note to your customers? Check out the included resource for how to get your phrasing exactly right (and then see the other suggested links for some great stationery ideas).
Next-to-no-budget? No problem. Several of the ideas involve social media — meaning free, not counting your time! — and will be welcome additions to your thank-you stockpile. There are also ideas for brick-and-mortar business as well.
The article ends with a sweet little bonus: how to thank the ones who thank your customers. Internal customer champions are on the front lines of customer service, and their daily work has direct impact on your business’ bottom line. Thanking them is an extra-nice touch.
Whether you’re just beginning your customer delight efforts — or are just looking for exciting new ideas — this article is a gold mine of information.
When “Thank You” Does Not Come Standard
Do you thank your customers for their purchase? And we don’t mean including an automated friendly message in their email receipt.
We mean a real, heartfelt thank you for your business message that comes outside of the purchase transaction.
If you don’t, marketing strategist Van Amenya thinks your business may be in for some troubled times. In his first-person article for Medium, “How Strong Is Your Thank You Game?” he relays a time he fielded a 911 call from a client who had seen his customer renewal rates plummet.
Amenya queried his client about standard customer follow-up and heard…crickets. There was no thank you, no appreciation, no contact whatsoever.
Amenya’s a copywriter by trade, but he sure knows how to salvage customer relationships. While his 6-step answer is not rocket science, it is a revolutionary processes for many businesses — especially for those industries where customer contact isn’t really required post-purchase.
Are you a service business? You’re not off the hook. Amenya’s advice goes double-duty for you (and it’s even easier to pull off).
He calls his solution an “easy fix” — and it is, in a way — but only if you’re wise enough to have put it into play in your business. What’s in your customer follow-up? If it needs some improvement, let this article be your gentle wakeup call.
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How Buffer Thanks Its Customers
Handwritten cards and stickers? Check.
We knew these items were in Buffer’s welcome arsenal, because when we participated in our first #bufferchat — the chat hosted by the popular social media company — we were wooed for our address and, within days, had received our hand-signed card and sticker stash.
But Buffer doesn’t stop there. In their article “Inside Buffer’s Community Delight: How and Why We Send Swag and What It All Costs” written by Nicole Miller, she cops to an entire “swag routine” to welcome customers and charm prospects.
Miller — not surprisingly, the same Buffer employee who sent us the stickers — spends an entire day each week on “Buffer love.” That’s 40-60 cards and packages mailed out — and a countless amount of goodwill.But sending swag is serious business, and as Miller outlines the steps she takes, she makes it clear that swag is best appreciated when it’s tailored to the recipient (and even more when it’s a surprise). She outlines her whole strategy in the article — from how she sleuths out what to send, to the various vendors she uses, to how much it all costs the company.
There are some great ideas here (Moleskines? That’s a whole lotta love!) and Buffer’s swag repertoire is vast enough to showcase ideas and items to fit most budgets, even down to the very small.
But what’s most refreshing here isn’t the items at all; it’s the spirit of generosity and community in which they are given. And that’s something you can harness on any budget.
Want to learn more about the impact of Thank You on your business bottom line? Talk to the guy who wrote the book on it.
Business coach and bestselling author Michael F. Sciortino Sr. takes the idea of thanking customers to a whole new level in Gratitude Marketing.
Rather than just thanking customers once or twice, Sciortino wants us to weave appreciation into every customer contact. “When you combine relationship-building ideas with consistent nurturing, you create clients for life.”
Sciortino works and consults in the financial services industry, but the takeaways in his book apply to all businesses. The core tenets of Gratitude Marketing involve developing meaningful relationships and taking consistent steps to make clients feel appreciated and valued. Much of the book describes specific examples of how to do just that.
The payoff for all this effort? Long-term customer retention and delight. Although worthy in their own right, high satisfaction and trust will also bring in higher referral rates and easier upsells, says Sciortino — everything a business loves.
If you’re looking for more than just tchotchke ideas — if you’re interested in a more integrated way of expressing appreciation to your customers — this book is an excellent place to start.
Timeless Sentiment Meets Modern Technology
“Technology should be transmitting joy.”
That’s what Kenji Larsen, CTO of Bond, has to say about about his brand’s unique combination of old-fashioned thoughtfulness and high-tech delivery. Which makes sense for a company that helps your business send personalized thank-you notes
over the internet — or even from your phone.
Bond offers a computerized process that takes your hand-crafted message and puts it — literally — pen to paper. The notes aren’t handwritten, but they sure look they are. You can even create a font in your own handwriting, where no one would be the wiser.
More than just cards written in script-y font, Bond’s Business Solution addresses the features companies — or busy execs — would need to make a card-delivery system worth its salt, such as note scheduling and detailed reporting. (It even integrates with SalesForce.)What about the ROI? There are two case studies — both in the premium/luxury space — that spell out how Bond can help with customer engagement and retention.
And if you’re having a hard time reconciling the idea of personal touch with a text-to-handwriting service, have a listen to the CEO Sonny Caberwal, who says intent is always the harbinger of thoughtfulness. Bond, he says, just makes it easy to act on that intent.
Thoughtfulness made easy. It just might be the thing your business is looking for.
Want some inspiration for saying thank-you to your coworkers as well? Check out Appreciation at Work: How to Thank Your Colleagues »