I’m not doing my usual word study with this post. Instead I’m doing a Word study.
Actually, it’s not even a study. It’s more a search for Scripture about intercession. I’ve been praying a lot lately for others. There are just so many needs among my family and friends — the world in which we live. But, one day, I came across this quote on Facebook (I know . . .but hang with me), and I was immediately struck (and convicted by it).
I had to stop for a moment and consider those words.
How many times does someone ask for prayer, and I respond that I am praying, will pray, have prayed — but the prayer is quick and even half-hearted? In my rush to get to the next thing, am I praying for others the way I hope people pray for me when I am in need?
According to Webster’s 1828, intercession is defined as the act of interceding; mediation; prayer or solicitation to one party in favor of another.
It’s difficult to read that definition and then rationalize a 5 second prayer for another, isn’t it?
To take it a little farther, I found so many verses in the Bible about intercessory prayer, I can’t even list them all here, but I do want to share a few of them:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And 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. (James 5:14-15)
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. (Ephesians 6:18)
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. (Philemon 1:4-6)
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. (Colossians 1:9)
Friends — prayer is so powerful. People are healed, covered with peace, strengthened, given power, filled with love, granted knowledge and wisdom, and more, when we sincerely intercede on their behalf.
God calls us to pray, Jesus set the example, and in doing so we are given the blessings associated with participating with God in His work in the lives of others.
The next time you pray for someone, remember to pray for them the way you hope others pray for you. Our all-powerful God can certainly accomplish His works without us, but he has clearly established prayer as a part of the plan to accomplish his will. It is our privilege to do so.
Let’s treat it as such.
I want to share a few of my favorite inspiration resources for learning more about prayer. These are books and other media that have recently had an impact on my prayer life — I dare say they have been life-changing for me. I (sincerely) pray they are the same for you.
War Room Movie If you missed seeing this incredible movie in the theatre, be sure to rent or buy the DVD and see it.
The Armor of God Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer – I am working through this study now with the women at church. I think this is probably my favorite of any study I’ve done. You can download the videos here. I downloaded them to watch in between Bible study nights, and to have for future use.
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian – This book will inspire you to a deeper relationship with your husband through praying for him. I especially recommend it for those of you in a difficult marriage situation when you don’t particularly desire to pray for your husband.
The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O’Martian – I love this book because it breaks down praying for your children into areas of needs. So if your son or daughter has a specific prayer need, you can go to that chapter for help learning how to pray for that particular need. There are also sample prayers, which I really appreciate.
If you liked this article, you might enjoy reading A Simple Way to Pray for Your Children.