Examples Of Intercessory Prayer In The Bible

Intercessory prayer is one of many kinds of prayers and should be an important part of our prayer lives. Praying on behalf of other people ought to come before asking for our own needs and must be something that we are eager to do. 

But sometimes the prayer requests of others can fall to the bottom of our lists and when we don’t know the details of their needs, or even who we are praying for, it may be difficult to know how to pray for them. 

examples of intercessory prayer

These examples of intercessory prayer will help us to understand the purpose of this kind of prayer, and show us how to engage in it, and what to say when praying on behalf of others. We can learn more about interceding for God’s people as we read what the Bible says about effective intercessory prayer.

What Is A Prayer Of Intercession?

Intercession is the act of intervening on behalf of another person. And intervening means going between or, according to the Oxford Dictionary, it means to “come between so as to prevent or alter a result or course of events.” 

I love this dictionary definition because it is so very accurate when used in terms of prayer since the Bible teaches us that praying truly can alter the course of events or prevent something from happening. Let’s find out how to get more involved in praying for the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Intercessory Prayer Examples Throughout The Bible

The Bible tells us over and over again throughout its pages, that we are responsible to pray for the needs of others. The Scriptures charge us with this kind of prayer. The New Testament churches were taught to pray on behalf of others, and these teachings apply to us even today. 

No special spiritual powers are needed in order to intercede, just simply speaking a simple request to the Lord over the lives of others. If you’re unsure of what to pray, you can look through these Biblical examples of intercessory prayers and find one or more that apply. 

This listing is given in the standard order of the books of the Bible. Unless otherwise noted, the passages below are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

Deuteronomy 9:25-27

“I fell down in the presence of the Lord 40 days and 40 nights because the Lord had threatened to destroy you. I prayed to the Lord: ‘Lord God, do not annihilate Your people, Your inheritance, whom You redeemed through Your greatness and brought out of Egypt with a strong hand. Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Disregard this people’s stubbornness, and their wickedness and sin.'”

In the book of Exodus, we read about the idolatry of the Israelites with the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments. When he came down and found them worshiping a golden calf, he prayed and begged God for mercy for the Israelite people. 

1 Samuel 12:23

“As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way. “

Samuel was disappointed with the people of Israel for requesting a king and not being satisfied with God as their leader. They begged Samuel to intercede for them in their sin, And Samuel did so. He wasn’t willing to give up praying on behalf of the Israelites, as it would have gone against the Lord’s purpose for his life. Who might you be failing to pray for, but need to be obedient to God over?

Job 42:10

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his prosperity and doubled his previous possessions.

Psalm 25:22

“God, redeem Israel, from all its distresses.”

​Psalm 122:6

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you prosper; may there be peace within your walls, prosperity within your fortresses.” Because of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be with you.” Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.

The two above prayers are Psalms of David, in prayer for the Israelites. We should also pray for God’s people and our brothers and sisters, the Jews and the Christians in Israel.

Isaiah 59:16

He saw that there was no man – He was amazed that there was no one interceding; so His own arm brought salvation and His own righteousness supported Him.

Here no one was doing anything about the sin, the greed, the mistreatment of God’s people. No one was being honest, everyone was either looking away or doing wrong themselves. So God Himself says He will intervene. And when God has to do what He has told His people to do, watch out! We can see from this passage that God expects us to intercede for the victims of wrongdoing – no matter who, no matter where.

Jeremiah 29:7

“See the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.”

This is God, speaking through the prophet, Jeremiah. He is telling his people to pray for the communities where He has allowed them to be taken as captives. From this, we can see that He expects us to pray for our governing officials, political situations, and even for our enemies!

Daniel 9:17-19

Therefore, our God, hear the prayer and the petitions of Your servant. Show Your favor to Your desolate sanctuary for the Lord’s sake. Listen, my God, and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city called by Your name. For we are not presenting our petitions before You based on our righteous act,s but based on Your abundant compassion. Lord, hear! Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act! My God, for Your own sake, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.

Daniel prayed this prayer of intercession on behalf of his own people, who were also God’s people. He begged God for help and mercy based on God’s righteousness, not based on any goodness or righteousness of the people. We can pray in a similar way when we see “desolations” and injustices in our world.

These Old Testament passages have been showing us that God expects us to intercede in prayer for His people. When we don’t do it, He will still take care of things, but our hearts are directed and put right when we pray. We will miss out on having the personal connection when we don’t take part in praying for our own world, country, people, community, or government.

The following New Testament passages are also instructional to us on our responsibility to pray, but also helpful for us to know how to go about it and possibly some of the subjects to pray over, along with the words to say as we go about being loving and obedient followers of Christ.

Matthew 5:44

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…

Luke 22:32

“But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

These verse in Luke is Jesus’ words to Peter as He reinstated Peter after his sin of denying Christ. Jesus is ever the great intercessor.

Luke 23:34

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing”

Even as Jesus was dying on the cross, He prayed for the forgiveness of those who had done it. He knew the whole story, while those who took it upon themselves to crucify Him, knew nothing.

Acts 12:5

So Peter was kept in prison, but prayer was being made earnestly to God for him by the church.

Romans 10:1

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation!

Ephesians 6:18

Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

Philippians 1:9-11

And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.

When our prayers are answered, God is glorified. Of course, we always have reason to praise Him, but other people who may have a weaker faith have been strengthened mightily when they have seen answered prayers.

Colossians 1:3

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…

Colossians 1:9

For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 4:3

At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak.

1 Thessalonians 1:2

We always thank God for all of you, remembering you constantly in our prayers.

1 Timothy 2:1-6

To Timothy, my true son in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Philemon 1:4-6

I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. (NLT)

Hebrews 13:18

Pray for us; for we are convinced that we have a clear conscience, wanting to conduct ourselves honorably in everything. And I especially urge you to pray that I may be restored to you very soon.

James 5:13-16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.

We are told to go to God with such prayers as these and many others. In this way we can all be prayer warriors, praying for our family members, our church leaders and elders of the church, our friends, our coworkers, our acquaintances, and even for our enemies and also for those we cross paths with and know little about except what we can see. 

We often don’t know what needs these people have, but we can pray for their unspoken needs, for salvation, for God’s glory to be revealed to them, for their daily bread, for knowledge and revelation, for strength in difficult circumstances, for healing, for hope, thanking God for them, and anything else that we may perceive to be a need.  

When we don’t know the person at all, we can still pray for their peace, strength, salvation, to know God’s love, for hope, for their provision and needs that only God knows they have, and for any help in difficulties they may be having. God knows their every need and He knows their heart. 

What’s the worst thing that can happen if we pray for something they aren’t in need of at the moment? God can use that prayer at a time when they do need it, or He can use your prayer to meet a related need. 

For example, if you were to pray for salvation for someone who already knows Jesus, that’s ok, because out of your prayer request, they may be strengthened in their faith or receive an answer to a prayer need they have had. 

The power of prayer is remarkable, and phenomenal, and is beyond all understanding. You can bring about great change with just the devotion to pray for others. You may never see the result, but God knows the request and He knows just who made it. 

Forgiving Others Bible Reading Plan

Biblical Prayers Of Intercession For Israel

God’s people are close to His heart, and we won’t go wrong when we pray for them. The Israelites were the people God chose for Himself, that is the nation of Israel, the Jewish nation. 

The land of Israel has gone through tremendous upheaval and attack throughout the years since God proclaimed them to be His. But Biblical prophecy, which has proven to be true, tells us of Israel’s key role in God’s final plans. 

Psalm 25 is a prayer of David, ending with this intercession: “God, redeem Israel, from all its distresses.” in verse 25.

Psalm 83 is a prayer against the enemies of Israel, who don’t stand a chance when they go against the the Most High God’s chosen people.  

Psalm 102:13 asks for the Lord’s compassion for Zion (Jerusalem). 

Psalm 122 is a prayer for the peace of Jerusalem. 

Psalm 129:5-6 is a prayer against the enemies of Israel which are also enemies of God. 

In Romans 10:1, the apostle Paul says, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them (Israel) is for their salvation” 

I find this list of how to pray on behalf of Israel to be very helpful. These are prayers from the Scriptures, and praying God’s will from the Bible is a powerful way to intercede. 

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The Roles Of Jesus And The Holy Spirit In Intercession

When we pray, we are not just praying alone. Paul tells us in Romans that the Holy Spirit and our Lord Jesus Christ both help us and intercede between us and God. 

Romans 8:26-27

In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 

The power of the Holy Spirit helps us to pray according to the will of God. He knows God’s will, even when we do not. The Spirit knows our hearts and He also knows God’s will, so we can get it right every time. 

Hebrews 7:25

Therefore, He is always able to save those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them. 

Romans 8:34

Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. 

Isn’t it wonderful and amazing that we have Jesus the Son interceding for us to God the Father? Jesus Himself, the perfect intercessor, is doing the work as we lift our voices in prayer.

Besides the help we get from the Son and the Spirit, believers are guaranteed the ability to go directly to God with our prayers. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we are free to approach the throne of grace with boldness so that we can obtain mercy and grace when we need Him.


We know we ought to pray, and we put forth our best effort, not always knowing what to pray for or how to go about it. But no matter what we say in our prayers, the Holy Spirit knows what we mean, and Christ, who knows our true hearts and those we are intervening for, takes our prayers to God and intercedes on our behalf. 

God has a perfect system set up for us to pray effectively. When we pray we are essentially entering into the heavenly realms in the presence of God. 

There are no set methods or rules for interceding on behalf of others. When righteous people offer up intercessory prayers in Jesus’ Name, the great power of those prayers will never be known by humans, but every single prayer that goes up is known by God and answered at some time or another in some way or another. 

Praying for others is a great privilege and a great responsibility of the Christian life. We can use the Biblical principles of prayer to influence the world all around us for good.

You may also like to read these related posts on prayer:

10 Reasons Why Prayer Is Important In Our Lives

Faith-Inspiring Quotes On Prayer From C.S. Lewis

How To Start Journaling Your Prayers

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