The Lord is teaching me. He often does. As He teaches me, He doesn’t give me the whole lesson in one lump sum but rather gently shows it to me in bits and pieces so it’s easier for me to understand.
This time He is teaching more about prayer. He hears our prayers (a lesson I wrote about in an earlier post). But more than just hearing our prayers, He desires our prayers. It pleases Him when we pray and talk to Him. He desires a relationship with each one of His children.
Consider, if you will, the subject of prayer. First of all, it is our privilege to pray:
- Prayer is a “realistic work” something we can do anytime—in the hospital, in prison, on battlefield, in the palace, in a shack, and literally anywhere.
- We are part of the practical, realistic part of the battle between God and Satan. Satan desires to destroy our witness as Christians. He desires that we never have the strength or power to pray as it weakens his battle against us. We are doing an active work on God’s side in the spiritual battle against Satan. So pray hard!
- Prayer is a warm, close communication with the living God—we need it, God desires it.
Second, prayer is so important that God has given us many intercessors:
Jesus intercedes for us: The last thing Jesus did before He was arrested was pray for His children/His followers including you and me. See John 17:1-26
John 17:19-21 “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed…20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
The Holy Spirit Intercedes for us: The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we cannot utter a prayer because we are grieving or just simply don’t know the words to say:
Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
The Saints intercede for us: We are to pray for each other. Our prayers make a difference and can move the heart of God.
Psalm 86:6-7 Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.7 When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.
Psalm 66:19-20 But truly God has listened; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because He has not rejected my prayer or removed His steadfast love from me.
Third, we are commanded to pray for each other:
1 Thess 5:16-18 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
James 5:13, 15, 16 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise… 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
1 Tim 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people.
When you think of prayer, remember your responsibility to pray. Pray for others as they most certainly are praying for you.
In my quiet time this morning, Father showed me this devotion about prayer from Come Away My Beloved by Frances J Roberts:
“But I say to you, that for those who walk in Me, and for those who are encircled by the intercessory prayers of My children, I will make of the suffering, yes, I will make of the trials a stepping stone to future blessing.”
“Encircled by the intercessory prayers of My children.”
Imagine this picture: God’s children (our brothers and sisters in Christ) forming a circle of prayer around us when we are in need. This circle could be in a literal physical sense or a spiritual surrounding. There is power in the prayers of the saints (a saved sinner).
Do you pray for others? Do you whisper a prayer for someone who asked for prayer? Do you pray continually throughout the day for others? Do you pray on a regular basis with a group of people or a prayer partner on a regular basis? Take your prayer ministry seriously.
“I am calling My Spirit-filled believers to concentrated labor in this, the vineyard of prayer…Other ministries you must carry on alone, but in this you have a mutual fellowship, for those in heaven have also an intercessory ministry for their brothers and sisters yet on earth.” Rejoice to be granted the privilege of so sacred a task. Count it most precious…Cherish it and cultivate it. Live in prayer, and you will know a full life of joy and remuneration of My blessing!” Francis J Roberts, Come Away My Beloved