Tuesday, February 19, 2008

intercessory prayer

Intercessory prayer has the idea of interceding for someone before God. Bringing their situation, usually a troubling one to the Lord, for his intervention, answer and blessing.

Intercessory prayer is essentially selfless, but motivated by love. I'm reminded of Paul's words:

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

Intercessory prayer takes time and effort on our part. And it can involve a warfare. We certainly want and hope that we're praying like Daniel did, and in his case to the point of exhaustion. Or Epaphras, wrestling for believers' growth and maturity in Jesus.

Probably the most important aspect of intercessory prayer is to know that our Lord Jesus is interceding for us. And our intercessions are taken up into his perfect intercession. Because of that, we're encouraged to keep praying our often poor prayers, and those prayers are turned into something very good in God's will.

I have been encouraged, but I know that I am so much a learner in this. What help might you have to offer here, or any thoughts.

(much of my thought came from Richard Foster's book, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, from the chapter "Intercessory Prayer.")

8 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

Sometimes, as has more recently happened in a certain case with me, the love flows from the intercession.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Yes, it is hard not to care for someone when you pray earnestly on their behalf.

I fear that I grow weary and do not do battle well because my armor has dropped by the roadside - and yet, I trust that the Spirit in me continues to battle on.

The Walk said...

Wonderful thoughts, Ted. Prayer is such a powerful thing. And so often when I find I am at the end of my rope worrying for someone, it is the one thing--and best thing--I can do for them. Sometimes, I've found, I can guess when others have been praying for me, too, even if they don't tell me.

NaNcY said...

it is wonderful how the Spirit works! intercession is such a beautiful word. so comforting to know that through prayer in the name of Jesus and in the Spirit that we have intercession for ourselves and for others with God.
praise God and all that He is.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,
Yes. I think so. Intercession by the love of the Spirit, as Paul mentions, certainly ought to deepen our love or make it grow for anyone we're praying for, even including enemies.

Interesting that Jesus would have us love our enemies and pray for them. But thankfully we do this for our loved ones and friends.

Thanks for that good thought.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Susan.

Yes, I hear you on that, me too at times, or probably oftentimes. I wonder just how well I keep my armor on and maintain that, in Jesus. That does make it more difficult for us in the battle. We have to learn to keep it on better, I would guess.

Though I like your thought that God keeps praying through us or working, as we endeavor to be faithful, in spite of our weaknesses and even failures along the way.

So glad the Lord is there for us to help us, as I'm sure no one is perfect in keeping on all their armor all the time.

Really it's all there, the armor and weapons in Jesus, as we learn to walk in him in this world.

I have so much to learn in all of this, and I especially mean in living. But good to know that, as we seek to follow on in him.

Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, the Walk.

Amen. So good for you to learn at your young age, and to practice.

And yes, isn't it amazing how we have those times when we can sense that someone must have just prayed for us!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Nancy. Good words. Intercession is indeed a wonderful word- encouraging what we can do. How God has made it so that we can make a difference in him.

Thanks.