A Conversation with Dave Kubal: What's the Difference between Prayer and Intercession?
April 1, 2022 | Megan West | |
What’s the difference between prayer and intercession? And does community impact the effectiveness of prayer? Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes, has a candid conversation with Dave Kubal, President of Intercessors for America, about the power of prayer and how there has been an obvious acceleration of people wanting to come together to pray and act on behalf of our nation in the last few years.
Dave also shares an inside view of how his organization is helping fellow Christians in Ukraine and what the church in Ukraine is facing right now.
You can learn more about Intercessors for America here: http://ifapray.org
To purchase meals for families in Ukraine, click here: https://ifapray.org/meals-for-ukraine
Jason: In every election season, our primary pursuit is to seek the Lord’s face in prayer. We should all be on our face in prayer as we pursue how he would lead us in elections. I'm so thankful for the partnership that I have with Intercessors for America and with you, Dave Kubal, who's leading that great organization. I'm just so grateful for all that you do. I remember when we met at the March for Life outside on the mall, and we've been good friends ever since.
Dave: Aww, we have and boy, we just really appreciate your leadership. Jason, you're a tremendous leader and My Faith Votes does a great job, so it's been wonderful. I don't know how many years three, four or five years we've been partnering together. So grateful for that.
Jason: Prayer absolutely is essential and the foundation of all that we do if we are not falling before God first and foremost and seeking him. We've got nothing to stand on. Just talk a little bit about how, kind of how you've gotten involved with Intercessors for America because I don't think we've done interviews before. I don't think we've talked about that in your journey and how that impacted you in your life.
Dave: Well, Jason, you know, let's start out talking about prayer. I mean, if you think of prayer over the course of history, mankind has reached out to God regardless of continent, the continent you live on, regardless of your gender, regardless of age. But there's always historical record of people reaching out to God. It's like he's hardwired us to communicate with him. And, you know, even a recent Gallup poll here in the United States showed that over 70 percent of Americans pray on a regular basis.
And if you think of the complexity of billions of people over thousands of years praying to God, it's really an incredible concept that God created this communication process of prayer. We don't have to worry about internet connection, or do we have enough battery, but God supports this concept of communication with him, and he's ready and willing to listen to us at any point in time. You know, we don't have to have the special formula.
We don't have to prostrate in a particular way. What we need to do is just be honest with God.
Jason: and we don't have to be good enough.
Dave: Absolutely. So just at the base level, prayer is created by God, supported by God and in very simple.
Jason: So how has prayer, really, It's clearly impacted your life, you're leading an organization Intercessors for America. What is it? What does it mean to be an intercessor?
Dave: Well, when you talk about prayer in intercession, it's easy to think it's all kind of lumped together in the same category, and you could certainly define them different ways. But when people ask me the difference between prayer and intercession, I like to make the distinction that both are good. But prayer is when you come before God with your needs that are on your heart and we need to bring our prayer requests before our God. But intercession is where you intercede, when you stand between God and you stand between a group of people. At Intercessors for America, we stand between God in American politics and politicians and pray for godly leaders. So that's an important distinction. I think both are good. We've got to pray to God, but yet at times we've got to stand both between the parties, stand between God, listen to him and pray his desire for our nation and to be.
Jason: When you just talk about your strategies of intercession, I mean, what does that look like for people to come before God? What are the things that you're doing that to help them in that effort to be? I don't know, is it right to even say more effective? I don't know.
Dave: I think that I think it really is, and I think that we can talk about how to pray effectively. I think there's two aspects of effective prayer. Two aspects of effective intercession. Now that we've made the distinction for both. The first one is you need to pray in community. What we find in the hundreds of thousands of intercessors is that we work with is there largely feeling lonely and largely discouraged. So to be encouraged to pray on a regular basis, encouraged to pray effectively, it's best to do that in community.
So I know My Faith Votes. You guys do a lot of that too. So I encourage everybody to jump on your prayer calls and in all of those things. But community is really important.
The second thing, in order to be effective in our prayer life, in our intercessory prayer life is we've got to rely on the promises of God. You know, God has promises in scripture for us. God has promises in scripture for nations, and we don't have to wonder about whether or not God wants godly leadership. We know he does.
And you know, Jason, we're in similar stages of life. The older I get in life, the less words I use in prayer, just to be really honest. You know, I spend more time in silence before the Lord listening. And, you know, I don't hear the audible voice of God, but I hear I see impressions and I feel like his Holy Spirit touches my spirit and leads me and guides me.
But I think that's kind of the lost art of prayer and intercession is the practice the discipline of just being still before the Lord.
Jason: It's such an important thing being an intercessor, as you've described and shared with us, there are and there are so many people out there. Who are raising their hand, just as you're saying, maybe they're feeling a little lonely, maybe they're feeling a little defeated? And they're saying, what can I do? And there's no more powerful thing that they can do than to be an intercessor.
Dave: yeah, and to pray and intercede together. And you know, again, that's why I just I really appreciate about My Faith Votes. You guys understand that you mobilize your network to pray at the critical times. And so, you know, I've heard so many testimonies of people from your calls that jump on there and they're just so encouraged. And that just fuels long term prayer and intercession.
Jason: So I’ve got to tell you, you know, we've partnered in the past and in 2020 we did in a big way and we've continued to do this.
Dave: And I want to.
Jason: And we will and we're going to. Dave, did you know this year in the midterm elections, nearly a hundred thousand elections happening? Yeah. And we've partnered in a way of trying to connect with Christians who maybe aren't voting, who aren't bringing the influence of their faith into the public square by casting a vote.
And the biggest way that we've done that is in with the with what your team has done and built a whole tool to enable people to pray by name. For those who aren't voting. And meanwhile, My Faith Votes, we've been sending different messages and postcards. I got to tell you a story. My team was together in Colorado. It was just a beautiful place. We're all we work remote, so it's a real treat when we come together as a team and spend time together.
And in the middle of our meeting, one of the guys who works on my team came up and said, hey, Jason, I think you should read this to the team. And we had just gotten a message from someone who had heard me on an interview, who in 2020 received a postcard from My Faith Votes. And she described how it changed her life.
But the reason why I'm sharing this story with you because you were part of those efforts. But I believe that postcard had no power to change her life. But for prayer. And we know people were praying. Your intercessor were praying. And people who were writing those postcards or praying for those people. And this postcard changed her life in that these little acts. And their big acts. Yeah, and they really do have an impact.
Dave: Yeah, and you know, as I talk to people and you talk to people all the time to everybody ask “What can I do?” And it's there's so many opportunities and your opportunity that you gave people to write a postcard was so tremendous. But I think what people have to do is they just have to do something. You know, I think it was Samuel Adams that said that the intolerant minority must continue to set brushfires of freedom. And I think that's just absolutely critical that if you're watching this video watching this interview, God will guide you and direct you to do something.
Connect with My Faith Votes to be involved in the kinds of things. Connect with Intercessors for America. But God will guide and direct us. But don't be de-motivated because you can't find something to do. God will show you. We've got to set those little brushfires of freedom.
Jason: I love that. And we see the same thing. We use that same mantra. Do something. Do something.
Dave: It may not seem big, but it is big because if everybody does something little, it will connect and be something big.
Jason: Someone wrote that postcard. Maybe it wasn’t a big deal until it reached that person and was prayed over. Dave, I believe that God is doing some big things in America and. It's amazing how I'm even seeing leaders like yourself, hearing some of those same things from the Lord that we're hearing. So I want to ask you, you know, what are you hearing? What are the things as you're listening to the Lord? What are things that you're hearing that are pertinent to today and the things we're experiencing?
Dave: Well, we've walked together long enough, and I've seen your organization grow tremendously and we've seen Intercessors for America, grow tremendously too. And I think both of us would reflect on that and say I would say you're an effective leader. Don't know about me. But what God is doing is he's putting passion on people's hearts to pray and act, to pray and do something. And so as we see that in and I've seen it, you know, I've been with IFA for a little over 10 years now, the first six or eight, you know, not so much, but these last five years there's been an acceleration of people wanting to pray for this nation wanting to do something that is supernatural, absolutely supernatural.
And I'm convinced that if God is putting on people's hearts, the desire to pray, he's not done with this nation.
Jason: Well, and I know you've been listening to the Lord and that's led you to do some new things, some different things. You're doing some incredible things as we are hearing of war in Ukraine and we are recognizing an immense need of millions of refugees. Talk about what you're doing with the meals.
Dave: Yeah, well, a couple of years ago ago, God put us in connection with some leaders within Ukraine. They came to us and said, we want to start Intercessors for Ukraine. And it was weird because we've never partnered with any other organization or any other group in any other country. And we felt like the Lord was calling us to do that. And so we did. And they've been developing their network and in mobilizing people to pray. And it's incredible. Ukrainians are just like Americans. They believe their country is unique.
I mean, shouldn't we all that God called our countries into being? They believe that that it's largely a spiritual battle that they're seen before their eyes. Their prayer is regardless of what happens within the nation, they want awakening and revival. I mean, it's just like here in the United States, just wonderful salt of the earth people that are trying to make a difference for the Lord. So we've worked with them for a couple of years. And even as this conflict, this unprovoked aggression by President Putin has come in and, you know, brought all this violence and death into this nation, they are still crying out that the church would be awakened and that there would be revival.
So if you're a Ukrainian and you are part of a Protestant church, they think you part of a cult. The Orthodox in the Catholic Church are so strong within that culture that that Protestants are seen as cult members. And so as our church, as our leaders, who most of them are actually pastors and they mobilize people in their area, they were getting together and this one has a bomb shelter in his basement. And before the conflict broke out when tensions were especially high, they were talking to people on the street.
You can come and be in our bomb shelter if you want and people are like, “No, you're part of a cult.” And so now fast forward a number of weeks and they're like, “What? Yes, I would love to participate in what you're doing.”
Jason: I want that bomb shelter.
Dave: So, you know, the needs, you know, felt needs. So long story short, we've worked with a a collaboration of organizations here in the US to send one million meals to the Ukrainian people. And we understand that this is just the first attempt. So folks can go to Ukrainemeals.com and for fifty dollars, they can feed. Are you ready for this? A family of four for almost two weeks. Wow. The meals are packed in a way that they have a long shelf life.
They're packed in a way that they're mobile. They can put it in their backpacks. And just like what you're saying, this is the largest wave of refugees that we have seen in our life over a million coming from the eastern part of the country to the western part of the country. So I couldn't be more pleased. And here's the uniqueness of the relief effort that we're a part of. We're utilizing the church. We're not using government agencies. We're not using whatever, whatever, but we're giving the church the opportunity to shine.
Jason: Dave, it feels like I went to McDonald's with my family and spent fifty dollars and I can feed a family for two weeks. What an amazing thing, because I'm even sitting in a sitting wondering, what can I do right regarding this travesty for the people of Ukraine? So I thank you for all the work you're doing and how that's making a difference.
Dave: Well, it's been a tremendous opportunity. And, you know, just in a couple of weeks for even hundreds of thousands of dollars, people just want to do something, you know, checks of fifty bucks, hundred bucks.
But let me tell you how real this is. One of our leaders is a pastor in Sumy, which is right on the Russian border. His city is pretty much devastated. His associate pastor was ministering, working in Sumy and just within the 24 hours, within 24 hours, 24 hours of us taping, he was killed. Well, he was killed trying to serve his people to his very last breath.
Alexi was bringing gospel, the gospel to his people. And now, because of this unprovoked aggression, he's dead. It's just tragic.
Jason: Testimony to his faithfulness,
Dave: yeah, because he could have left. Yeah. I mean, he could have left and fled like everybody else.
Jason: So what are you learning? Or recognizing in terms of faithfulness.
Dave: You ask really hard questions. I was pretty good until this one. You know, I think that the days ahead will be nothing like the days in the past. I think the days ahead will be harder than anything we have seen in the past. The ability for the church to perceive and understand what the truth really is and then be engaged in culture is nothing like what we've seen in the past. We're taping this at a convention where there's religious broadcasters, and I think that there's a unique opportunity for those of us who develop and deliver content to the church of Jesus Christ.
The technology, the opportunities for us to deliver content that is glorifying to God are immense. And we're going to be able to supernaturally develop our streams of communication, just like the people watching this video, develop the streams of communication to deliver truth to those people that that desperately want.
The passion for the truth is at an all-time high, but the cost of understanding the truth is also at an all-time high.
Jason: Well, we're all recognizing things aren't going in a direction that are at least comfortable. It's uncomfortable. I think you wisely said that the challenge to discern truth is growing, and it just points to the need to be fully committed, to be faithful, to understand the truth and to walk in it.
Dave: I mean, whatever the dividing issues of the past are, we've got to rise above that and understand that our religious freedoms are at stake. We've got to focus in on the bigger issues, come together and say, you know, whatever your view is on whatever, that's fine.
Let's fight together for religious freedoms. That's really at stake.
Jason: Primary issues, secondary issues. We are united. We're united in our faith and who we serve. And we can have disagreements around the secondary issues, but elevate and stand strong for the primary.
Dave: Got to. Got to.
Jason: Dave, it’s so great to spend time with you. You are such a great friend and partner in all that we do. Thanks.
Dave: Thank you for all you do.
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.