Helps To Intercession
Intercession with the prayer of faith is one of the greatest ministries of a Christian. It ranks with teaching or preaching. And it is a work we all can engage in.
Godís plan is that His people be channels of blessing. I believe we can best fulfill that purpose by praying for others.
Paul, writing to the backslidden Galatians, emphasizes the importance of prayer. He did not suggest he should come and preach to them or teach them further. Rather, he said he was travailing in birth until Christ be formed in them (4:19).
"Travail in birth" Ė soul bearing! This kind of prayer is hard and costly work. It means praying the prayer of faith in the Spirit. It means to "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ" (Col. 1:24). God always answers that kind of praying, for it originates in heaven and is energized by the Spirit (cf. Rom. 8:26-27).
The spiritual life is nourished by prayer. Jude speaks of "building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost" (v. 20).
It is Godís will that we learn to know Him well. Then we will trust Him and come to Him boldly. The Holy Spirit and a good conscience give boldness in prayer.
Submission to the will of God is a key to answered prayer.
For Effectual Prayer
Here are some suggestions for effectual prayer.
In the pattern He gave His disciples, Jesus taught us to begin prayer with worship Ė with times of thanksgiving, praise, adoration and fellowship (see Psalm 50:14-15).
Pray for that which will glorify God (John 14:13).
Give God time. The disciples said, "We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word" (Acts 6:4). We must wait upon the Lord until we know He hears and our strength is renewed.
Wait in worship, praying even when it is not agreeable. That is when we most need to pray. Satan hinders and seeks to discourage us. He hindered Danielís prayer for twenty-one days before the angel arrived with the answer (Dan. 10:12-13). But Daniel learned during that time that he was greatly beloved in heaven.
Forgive freely. Do not allow iniquity to remain in the heart (Luke 6:37; Eph. 4:26).
Seek the spirit of prayer as taught in Luke 11:9-13. It will impart compassion, concern and a burden for others, with faith and strength, and prayers will be wrung from our hearts.
Real intercession means toil, sweat, tears and much time alone with God, away from the world and often in solitude.
Is it too hard? Remember, God bids us to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16). "Obtain mercy"! That is what we need. We are not worthy. But when we seek mercy we receive it, and with it abundant grace.
Desire Godís Glory
Lest we exalt ourselves when God answers our prayers, we must surrender to Godís will, humbly desiring His glory alone. Would this lack of submission be the reason many prayers go unanswered? And sometimes we take the credit when, in fact, some afflicted, unnoticed saint may have prayed with greater faith and more power for the same thing.
Jesus said, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father...shall reward thee openly" (Matt. 6:6). When God burdens you for a work, a field, a church or an individual, pray for that specific need. But do not tell others. Pray in secret. God will reward you openly. That way God will be glorified, and not you.
God says to us, "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jer. 33:3). "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (Jas. 5:16).
Be alert and responsive to the Holy Spirit. Be willing and obedient at all costs. Others will be saved because you are faithful.
Intercede for godly leaders, missionaries, evangelists, pastors. Pray that God will lead them also into effectual fervent prayer Ė the prayer of faith.
Such prayer by those of greater gifts, faith, godliness and power than we possess may, indeed, result in great and mighty things to the glory of God through their ministry.
Ė From Alliance Life. Reprinted from an earlier Herald of His Coming.