In this kind of prayer we, as intercessory pray-ers, seek to connect someone in need with the God who can answer that need. They may be unsaved for example; Christ’s blood has been shed for them (2 Cor 5:18-19), but they need someone to stand on their behalf and call forth God’s purposes for their life. We stand between the person, identifying ourselves with them and pleading according to the Word and promise of God on their behalf. Spiritually, with one hand we take hold of the person, with the other we touch God, bringing the two together. We become, in a sense, the conduit through which Christ’s purpose for that person can flow.
The Hebrew word for intercession, “paga”, has many meanings. One of these is “to meet”.
Dutch Sheets in his book ‘Intercessory Prayer’ say of this:
“Intercession creates a meeting. Intercessors meet with God; they also meet with the powers of darkness…Similar to Christ’s often our meeting with God is to affect another meeting – a reconciliation. We meet with Him asking Him to meet with someone else. We become the go-between: “Heavenly Father, I come to you today (a meeting) asking You to touch Tom (another meeting)…Whether for a person or a nation, regardless of the reason, when we’re used to create a meeting between God and humans, releasing the fruit of Christ’s work, paga has happened.”(Intercessory Prayer, Dutch Sheets, Regal, ISBN 0-8307-1900-8 page 50,52)
Standing in the gap also involves creating a gap. Standing in the spiritual realm and shielding people from the assault of darkness. Again, we quote from Dutch Sheets:
“On the opposite end of the spectrum, as Christ did through spiritual warfare, our meeting with the enemy is to undo a meeting – a breaking, a severing, a disuniting. All of our praying intercession will involve one or both of these facets: reconciliation or breaking; uniting or disuniting.” (ibid)
The Hebrew word paga throughout Scripture often carries violent connotations, and is frequently used as a battlefield term (eg: Judges 8:21; 15:12; 1 Sam 22:17-18; 2 Samuel 1:15; 1 Kings 2:25-26).
In the context of intercessory prayer our meetings can often be violent confrontations with the powers of darkness. We, as Christ’s representatives on earth, are called to enforce the victory He won over the powers of darkness.