Here’s an excerpt from Made to Pray:
Luke 2.37 says that Anna never left the temple but worshipped night and day, praying and fasting. The intercessor loves God and knows his face. She spends long and deep periods of time with God and has the key to God’s house.
True to Jewish custom, Joseph and Mary brought baby Jesus to the temple to be purified when he was only eight days old. But Anna, fresh from praying and fasting, walked up to baby Jesus and recognized that he was the Messiah for whom Israel had been longing.
There was no outward indication that this baby was the Savior, the Redeemer of Jerusalem. There were no angels or halos or Messiah business cards. There was just a soft and wrinkled baby. But because she had been with God, Anna was able to recognize God.
The presence of God created an awareness of God.
When describing Anna’s lineage, Luke not only says she was the daughter of Phanuel, he also says she was from the tribe of Asher. This is good information. The land that was devoted to the tribe of Asher was narrow land, but it was fertile land.
The land of Asher was known to be well suited for olive orchards and vineyards. Olive orchards produce olive oil, the substance that represents the Holy Spirit and anointing. Vineyards produce wine, the substance that represents God’s covenant and revelation.
One of the marks of intercession is guidance by the Holy Spirit.
The intercessor watches for the movement and anointing of the Holy Spirit and listens for revelation. Anna had no natural means of knowing the baby was the Messiah, but through her continual intercession for the redemption of Israel, she became wise to the ways of the Spirit so when the Redeemer appeared, she recognized him.
Narrow is the way of the Spirit and few are they who walk in it, but it is fertile. Those who go this uncommon way prosper with oil and new wine. Unlike the prayer of petition, intercession is based on guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Counselor, the one to guide you into truth. Jesus said he must leave so the Advocate could come. The Holy Spirit is God’s communicator, the agent of divine speech. The Holy Spirit reminds you of the words of Jesus and helps you to comprehend the mind of God. The Holy Spirit is the intercessor’s guide and friend. The Holy Spirit leads you into intercession.
If you want to become an intercessor, befriend the Holy Spirit.
Welcome the Spirit to land on you like a dove and move in such a way that the dove remains on your shoulder. Create a pleasant place for the Spirit to dwell, and he will build a habitation. Walk in obedience from one step to the next. Incarnation and habitation are different. Jesus incarnated because of sin, but the Holy Spirit inhabits because of obedience.