How to Lead Intercessory Prayer in Church


Prayer is an essential aspect of the Christian faith and is a means through which we communicate with God. Among the various forms of prayer, intercessory prayer is especially significant. Intercessory prayer refers to praying on behalf of others, standing in the gap and pleading with God for their needs. It is an act of service and love for others, putting their needs before our own.

Leading intercessory prayer in a church setting can be a challenging task, especially for those who are new to it. It requires spiritual preparation, practical organization, and guidance from the Holy Spirit. In this blog post, we will provide a detailed guide on how to lead intercessory prayer in church, including steps for preparing spiritually and practically, tips for leading with confidence, and overcoming common challenges.

It is crucial to understand the biblical basis for intercessory prayer and why it is so important. The Bible encourages us to pray for all people, including those in leadership positions, and to intercede on behalf of those who need God’s mercy and grace. The Bible also highlights the significance of praying for one another, as it can deepen our relationship with God and bring us closer to one another as a community of believers. In this post, we will explore the biblical foundation for intercessory prayer and how it relates to our faith as Christians.

intercessory prayer in the Bible

Understanding Intercessory Prayer

Before we dive into the practical steps of leading intercessory prayer, it’s important to understand what it is and why it’s important. Intercessory prayer is when we pray on behalf of someone else. In other words, we stand in the gap and plead with God on behalf of others. This is an act of love and service to others, as we put their needs before our own. Intercessory prayer also aligns us with God’s heart, as He desires all people to come to know Him and receive His grace and mercy.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Paul urges us to pray for all people, including those in authority. He says, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (NKJV). This passage emphasizes the importance of interceding for others, especially those in leadership positions.

Preparing for Intercessory Prayer

Before leading intercessory prayer, it’s important to prepare yourself spiritually and practically. Here are some steps you can take to prepare:

Step 1: Seek God’s guidance

Begin by seeking God’s guidance through prayer and reading His Word. Ask Him to reveal any areas in your heart that need to be surrendered to Him. Spend time in quiet reflection and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

Step 2: Identify prayer requests

Next, identify prayer requests from the congregation. You can do this by asking for requests before the service, having a prayer request box, or having a time of open prayer during the service. Be sure to keep these requests confidential and only share them with those leading the prayer.

Step 3: Prepare a prayer list

Once you have identified the prayer requests, prepare a prayer list. This can be done in advance or during the service. You can group the requests by category (e.g., health, finances, relationships) or pray through them in the order they were received.

Step 4: Choose appropriate Scriptures

Choose appropriate Scriptures to read and meditate on during the prayer. These can be verses of encouragement, promises of God’s faithfulness, or passages that relate to the specific requests.

Leading Intercessory Prayer

Now that you have prepared, it’s time to lead intercessory prayer. Here are some practical tips:

Tip 1: Start with worship

Begin by leading the congregation in worship and thanksgiving. This helps to set the tone for the prayer and reminds everyone of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Tip 2: Be concise

When leading intercessory prayer, it’s important to be concise and clear. Avoid rambling or going off on tangents. Stick to the prayer list and pray specifically for each request.

Tip 3: Pray with faith

As you lead the prayer, pray with faith and confidence in God’s power to answer prayer. Remember the words of Jesus in Mark 11:24: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (NKJV). Encourage the congregation to pray with faith as well, trusting in God’s goodness and mercy.

Tip 4: Invite participation

Intercessory prayer is not just for the leader to pray alone. Invite the congregation to pray along with you. You can do this by leaving pauses in the prayer for others to pray, or by asking for volunteers to pray for specific requests.

Tip 5: End with thanksgiving

End the prayer with thanksgiving, thanking God for His faithfulness and for hearing our prayers. Encourage the congregation to continue to pray for the requests throughout the week.

The Role of the Holy Spirit in Intercessory Prayer

Intercessory prayer is not just a matter of technique or methodology. The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in guiding us as we pray. In Romans 8:26-27, Paul says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (NKJV). This passage reminds us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and intercedes for us according to God’s will.

As you lead intercessory prayer, be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He may prompt you to pray for specific requests, or to pray in a certain way. Trust in His guidance and rely on Him as you pray.

Overcoming Challenges in Intercessory Prayer

Leading intercessory prayer can be challenging at times. Here are some common challenges you may face, along with tips for overcoming them:

Challenge 1: Distractions

It’s easy to get distracted during intercessory prayer, especially if you’re leading a large group. To overcome distractions, try closing your eyes and focusing on the requests and Scriptures. You can also ask the congregation to close their eyes and focus on the prayer.

Challenge 2: Repetition

If you lead intercessory prayer on a regular basis, you may find yourself praying for the same requests over and over. To overcome repetition, try adding new requests or categories to the prayer list. You can also ask the congregation to share new requests each week.

Challenge 3: Time constraints

If you have a limited amount of time for intercessory prayer, it can be challenging to pray for all the requests. To overcome time constraints, prioritize the requests based on urgency or importance. You can also pray for a few requests each week and rotate through the list.


Leading intercessory prayer can be a powerful and meaningful experience for both the leader and the congregation. By preparing spiritually and practically, choosing appropriate Scriptures, and leading with faith and confidence, you can help lift up the needs of others to God and deepen your relationship with Him. Remember the words of James 5:16: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (NKJV). May your intercessory prayers be fervent and effective, as you seek to serve and love others through prayer.

In conclusion, intercessory prayer is a vital part of the Christian faith, and leading it in a church setting can be a rewarding experience. By following these practical steps and relying on God’s guidance and wisdom, you can lead intercessory prayer with confidence and impact. However, it is important to remember that leading intercessory prayer is not just about following a set of steps or techniques. It is about relying on the Holy Spirit, seeking His guidance and leading, and trusting in His power to answer prayer.

As you lead intercessory prayer, remember that you are standing in the gap for others, and that your prayers have the power to make a difference in their lives. Be encouraged by the words of Hebrews 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (NKJV). May God bless you as you lead intercessory prayer, and may your prayers bring glory and honor to His name. Amen.

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