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"Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" (Rom. 8:33-34, NIV).

Intercession is a big deal to God. Jesus Himself intercedes on our behalf, and this encompasses so much of what He does for us.

Intercession starts with prayer. When we pray for others, God peels away our personal perceptions. Underneath those layers lies the truth. God alone knows the road a person has traveled, and God alone knows what journey He has planned for her future. As you pray for others, God will create a tender heart in you, one that extends outward toward those you might otherwise judge.

In his book Praying Circles Around Your Children, pastor and author Mark Batterson writes, “Empathy fuels intercession.” This is true. You can’t be empathetic and judgmental at the same time. There’s a choice to be made. You must choose to feel empathy toward a person’s plight or choose to judge her.

Intercession also means we advocate for others. God calls us to move beyond empathy and into action as we champion the victims of oppression. As intercessors, we shine light into the darkness, extending the love of Jesus toward a world desperate for authentic action from the body of Christ.

Pastor Mark also says, “Your prayers are prophecies. You can write the future of your family with your prayers.” We are members of both natural and spiritual families. Let’s release prophecies over our families and the family of God with our prayers.

Take time to intercede on behalf of someone today as the Spirit leads you. If you are aware of an injustice, prayerfully take action. Be a woman whose words and deeds are driven by intercession.

Adapted from Girls with Swords: How to Carry Your Cross Like a Hero, Chapter 10 (WaterBrook Multnomah, 2013).

Lisa Bevere is a best-selling author of Fight Like a Girl, Kissed the Girls and Made them Cry, Out of Control and Loving It! and Be Angry and Don’t Blow It! In addition to speaking at national and international conferences, she is a frequent guest on Christian television and radio shows. She and her husband, best-selling author John Bevere, make their home in Colorado.

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