The idea of personal intercessory prayer teams for Christian leaders is not new. Moses, Aaron, and Hur served as an intercessory prayer team for Joshua in the battle with Amalek (see Exodus 17). In this passage, Israel was in a battle with the Amalekites. Joshua, the ministry leader, was down in the valley in the heat of combat while Moses, Aaron, and Hur were interceding on the hilltop overlooking the battlefield.
Scripture tells us that as long as Moses’ arms and hands were up, touching God in intercession, Israel was winning the battle. However, when his arms were down, Israel was losing the battle. So Aaron and Hur came alongside Moses and held up his arms until the sun set. History records that Joshua defeated Amalek with the sword. An intercessory prayer team made the difference between victory and defeat for Joshua and for the nation of Israel.
Many other scriptures reference the power of intercessory prayer for leaders. We find in the New Testament that Jesus prayed for Simon Peter. Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, satan has desired to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:31-32, emphasis added). Today satan still desires to sift Christian leaders like wheat. As Jesus did, we must pray for our leaders, and I might add that we have a special responsibility to pray for those who minister to us personally.
Satan knows if he can strike a leader and slow him down (or stop him altogether), exponential damage is done to the kingdom of God. As Marine Lt. Col. Tom Hemingway, who served in Vietnam, pointed out, “The front lines (officers, corporals, and sergeants) make up 18% of the total army but suffer 54% of the casualties.” He said that the enemy is told, “If you see a man giving directions, take aim, and shoot him.” Our enemy—satan—is out to destroy the one who is giving needed directions and instructions: THE GOD-ORDAINED SPIRITUAL LEADER.
Because of this, it is vitally important to saturate in prayer every area of a leader’s life, including:
Personal and family protection: spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and financially
Wisdom and discernment in making decisions
For their ministry or area of influence to be God-honoring and to thrive unhindered
The ability to recognize spiritual attacks and an understanding of how to confront the powers of darkness
An intercessory prayer team to hold up the arms of the leader so spiritual battles can be won.