Tag Archives: intercession

How Does God Prompt Us to Pray?

How Does God Prompt Us to Pray?

by Sandi Somers

praying-hands-http-__www.freedigitalphotos.net_images_Religion_g302-Praying_Hands_p26194
Paul wrote to his protégé Timothy,

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them (1 Timothy 2:1 NLT).

Mr. Meller came to our church only occasionally, and I didn’t know him well. However, I did know that his first wife and children had been killed in a plane crash many years before.

On one particular Sunday when he visited our church, I wondered if he still had open wounds or unhealed memories from that tragic loss. Later during the service, he stood up to share the story of his family’s accident. Choking back tears, he said that this day was the anniversary of their deaths and that losing them was still a painful memory for him.

This was a powerful experience for me. It was no coincidence that I had thought of his loss before he mentioned it.

God had been nudging me to pray.

I became convinced that God brings specific people to mind because we are meant to pray for them.

He prompts us, sometimes with a thought or question about their welfare.

Who is God prompting you to pray for?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, guide us today to pray when we think of specific people. Teach us that thoughts of people are a call to pray for them. Amen.

Tweetables:

God brings specific people to mind because we are meant to pray for them. (tweet this)

Who is God prompting you to pray for? (tweet this)

Sandi Somers

Sandi Somers

Sandi  is a former teacher and Instructor of English as a Second Language. She has lived in Colombia, South America, and has travelled widely. She now lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Her current passion is writing about faith, prayer and the writing life. Sandi also enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, walking and connecting with friends and her extended family.  She belongs to the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild.

 

How Jesus is Our Praying Priest

How Jesus is Our Praying Priest

by Violet Nesdoly

Christ as Mediator - artist unknown

“Christ As Mediator: Christ showing His wounds to His Father”
Artist unknown; Illustrator of ‘Speculum humanae salvationis’,
Germany (?), c. 1400-1500

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25, NIV).

Theologian Wayne Grudem writes about how Jesus is pictured in Hebrews in relation to the Old Testament covenant:

In the Old Testament, the priests were appointed by God to offer sacrifices. They also offered prayers and praise to God on behalf of the people.

In so doing they ‘sanctified’ the people or made them acceptable to come into God’s presence, albeit in a limited way during the Old Testament period.

In the New Testament Jesus becomes our great high priest …. Jesus functions as priest in two ways:

1. Jesus offered a perfect sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 7:279:1224-2810:1-2 and more).

2. Jesus continually brings us near to God (Hebrews 6:19-20 and more)” – Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology p. 626, 627 (of course Grudem expands on these points).

And Jesus does one more thing as our high priest. “He always lives to make intercession ...” (Hebrews 7:25).  In other words, He continually prays for us. 

To continue to read Violet’s post please visit Other Food: Daily Devos

Tweetable:

Jesus continually prays for us.

Violet Nesdoly

Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications.

Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.

How Can I Learn Intercession?

How Can I Learn Intercession?

Real Prayers from Real People

We need to move past good intentions and make interceding a vital part of living in Christian community. It moves us from being self-centered to being God-centered and other-centered. ~ Michele Cushatt

Someone told me the other day that you had to have special qualifications to be an intercessor in prayer. I disagreed.

Read the post in Today’s Christian Woman by Michele Cushatt.  You will learn that we can all intercede for one another; we are called to do so.

Read the whole post at Intercede, Pray, Love by Michele Cushatt, on Today’s Christian Woman.

Related Posts:

What is Groaning Intercession?

Prayer as Supplication and Intercession

Do We Need to Cultivate a Habit of Prayer?

Do We Need to Cultivate the Habit of Prayer?

Do We Need to Cultivate the Habit of Prayer?

by Cherry Warwick (used with permission)

Developing a new habit takes time.
And persistence.
Each new day.

We may think that we have mastered a new habit, but unless we keep at it,
it will fade away.
(click to tweet)

 (see more on Cherry’s website – Pursuing Heart)

Could it be that we also need to consider intercessory prayer
as a habit that needs to be cultivated? (click to tweet)

Intercessory prayer – to faithfully pray for the needs of others. It is easier for me to talk with God about my own concerns and needs.

Continue to read this wonderful devotional about prayer. Thanks Cherry for allowing us to understand Intercessory Prayer.

WHAT IS A GRANDMA PRAYER BUG?

The Grandma Prayer Bug

by T. L Wiens 

Striving in Prayer

I became a grandma on the thirteenth hour of the thirteenth day of January, 2013. Some may see this as a sign of bad luck but I see it as a blessing. I was chosen to be with my daughter and her husband as they welcomed their daughter into this world. My life changed from the moment I lay eyes on this little one. And my prayer life went into hyper drive.

As a grandparent, sometimes that’s as close as you can get to this child that steals your heart but lives so far away. You know the hardships life can contain but you can’t always physically form a protective barrier for this precious life. But you can pray.

I will never forget the day my maternal grandmother passed away. I felt it as did all of her grandchildren. Our prayer warrior was gone.

“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-28, KJV).

Now I understand the hours my grandmother sat in her chair with her eyes closed, her heart bent on her grandchildren. And I am so thankful for the years she stood there as my guardian while I faced life’s turns. Now, it’s my turn to pick up the torch not only for my grandchild but for all those who don’t have a praying grandmother.

Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit T. L. Wiens for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.

ARE YOU STRIVING IN PRAYER?

Are You Striving in Prayer

by Mark D. Roberts (reprinted with permission)

Are you striving in prayer?

Are you striving in prayer?

Read: Romans 15:20-33

“Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:30 NLT)

Earlier this month I watched on television as the University of North Carolina Tar Heels won the NCAA Basketball championship. The Tar Heels dominated their opponents on their way to victory in this year’s “March Madness” (which finished in April, by the way).

During the interviews after the final game, the players talked about how hard they had worked during the last year. They were focused on one goal: winning the championship. This focus translated into countless hours of exhausting practice as they honed their skills and learned to play as a unified team. The result for UNC was a happy one: their fifth national championship in basketball.

If the Tar Heel athletes were speaking ancient Greek, they might have used a verb to describe their efforts that Paul uses in Romans 15:30 to talk about how the Romans can share in his ministry. He urges them to “join in my struggle by praying to God for me.” The Greek verb translated as “join in my struggle” came from the realm of athletics. It described the activity of an athletic team as it gave its all for victory. Most of the Roman Christians would never actually go with Paul on his missionary trips, but they could become his partners in striving through their prayers.

You and I have been called into the ministry of Christ wherever we are.

Part of this ministry includes the privilege of teaming up with God’s people who are on the front lines of his mission throughout the world.

We may never travel to South Africa or China or India or Moscow or Tijuana, but we can strive in prayer for those who serve in these hot spots of the kingdom. When we remember our goal—that the world might know Christ and be transformed by him—we find the strength to “join in the struggle” of prayer.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:

Do you ever experience prayer as something like an athletic effort? When? Are you regularly interceding for your partners in Christ’s mission.

PRAYER:

Dear Lord, I thank you for calling me into your mission. I am privileged to serve you each day right where I am. But you have also challenged me to pray for my mission partners who serve both nearby and far away.

And so I do pray today. First, I pray for those who serve in my church…

[Note: I’d encourage you to pray for the leaders of your church and for your partners in mission. What follows is my example.]

I pray for the elders in this time of pastoral transition, for Ryan and Christi in their work with the youth, for Phil and Derek as they lead worship, and for all who serve you in the work of St. Mark Presbyterian Church.

I think also of my partners in your mission throughout the world. Today I remember especially those who serve in southern Africa. I pray for the Siakis as they minister in South Africa, for Thembe and Buhle Bhembe and their work among the poor in Soweto, and for Pastor Solomon and the New Life International School in Swaziland. Give these folks strength, safety, wisdom, and power.

Help me, Lord, to be more faithful in striving alongside others in prayer. Amen.

 

Mark D. Roberts

 

 

Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts is Senior Advisor and Theologian-in-Residence of Foundations for Laity Renewal, a multifaceted ministry in the Hill Country of Texas and the parent organization of Laity Lodge. He has written several books, including his most recent: Can We Trust the Gospels? (Crossway, 2007)

 

He blogs at  http://www.patheos.com/community/markdroberts, and writes a daily devotional for http://www.thehighcalling.org.

WHY DOES PATRICIA HAVE A NEW PURPOSE?

We have a guest poster today, Patricia Day, who posted this first on July 3rd on Devotional Christian. She also blogs at Devotionals.

A New Purpose

by  Patricia Day

Praying Hands

“Give your worries to the Lord. He will take care of you. He will never let good people down” (Psalm 55:22 NCV).

Sigh….my patio needs major repair…………..sigh!
Sigh….my flower beds do not look as beautiful as I had planned or hoped…….Tut!
I have a heap of ironing to get through and it is too hot to iron……sigh!
Sigh….my husband and I had a small ‘spat’ and now there is a silence going on……….oh boy!

Then I get devastating news that the only child of a dear friend has been found dead. In the blink of an eye, my pity-party is over! What seemed important a moment ago, is now trivial!

My mission now is to comfort my friend however I can. My second – equally important mission – is to get this message written and issued.

I need to spread the good news of God and His Son, Jesus. To tell hurting, frightened people about how encouraging His word (the Bible) is; in an attempt to stop other young adults from the deep despair or compromising lifestyles they are in, and to not think about bringing their lives to an early end as a means of escaping the fear or the pain brought by the ugliness of life.

To implore them to not give up and tell them that God loves them – just the way they are – and tell them they will feel His love, if they ask Him to show them what to do next.

Thank goodness, my pity-party ended. I would not have chosen to end it this way, but now in its place is a desire to reach out and touch hearts and spirits with a renewed determination to save them from all that is keeping them in a place of despair or danger. Even if I reach one, that is great…..but more would be splendid.

“God, listen to my prayer. Do not ignore my prayer. Pay attention to me and answer me. I am troubled and upset by what the enemy says and how the wicked look at me. They bring troubles down on me. In anger they attack me. I am frightened inside. The terror of death has attacked me. I am scared and shaking. Terror grips me. I said, “I wish I had wings like a dove. Then I would fly away and rest. I would wander far away. I would stay in the desert. I would hurry to my place of escape, far away from the wind and storm”. Lord, destroy and confuse their words” (Psalm 55:1-6 NCV).

Hang in there – whatever you are dealing with – there really is a better way to live. Please reach out to somebody and share your pain. Make sure it is to a good person, nobody who is a danger or a threat to you. God will help! Ask Him! NOW! God, I need Your help! I don’t know what to do next! Please, if You hear me, answer me and show me the next right step! In Jesus Name, I ask and pray, Amen.

He might now answer right away, in a way you understand, but rest assured that things will change. Trust Him!

WHAT IS GROANING INTERCESSION?

Groaning intercession

by Violet Nesdoly (reprinted with permission May 29, 2012)

Intercession

Praying for others – Intercession

  “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” (Romans 8:26

Has there ever been a time in your life when need has so overwhelmed you that you couldn’t even form words to pray? This is the situation Paul addresses in the latter part of Romans 8.

So how did he get from the picture of wholeness in God we saw yesterday to such brokenness and raw need? He comes via the realization that the ideal and the actual are still far apart. For the glory that will someday be revealed in the universe and in the sons of God (us) is still in the future. And just like creation “groans and labours with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22), we can be puzzled, frightened, overwhelmed, freaked out, scared wordless by the things that come our way.

At this very moment I can think of a handful of people who may be feeling just this way. In one case cancer treatments have almost been exhausted. It is time for a decision — do they try one more possible life-lengthener, or let nature take its course? In another there has been cancer, surgery, a painful complication, more surgery, and now waiting for the body to strengthen so treatments can resume.

It is, I believe, in just such a context that the type of prayer Paul talks about would fit. And such prayer may be the privilege and responsibility of those of us who are bystanders. For when one is weak and sick oneself, it’s hard to pray, to focus, even to stay awake long enough to think the words.

It is prayer that starts out not sure what it wants or should ask for. As a sidebar article in my Bible explains it:

“Presumption — supposing we already know how to intercede for others — will not only hinder maximum effectiveness, it will also cause us to miss the thrilling sense of adventure God wants to bless us with as we receive His insight and enablement for intercessory prayer. How do we know without infinite minds whether God wants to move through us with weeping, travailing, wrestling, fasting, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, dreams, visions, mental pictures, impressions, verses of Scripture quickened to us, or silence? Only by waiting on God and giving Him time to move on and through us. Psalm 62:5 teaches this wisdom: ‘My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.'” – A. Joy Dawson from “The Spirit’s Direction” – pp. 1562-3, in the New Spirit Filled Life Bible.

“…thrilling sense of adventure”? Wow, that’s a new way of looking at intercessory prayer! Maybe it’s time for me, and you, to set out on such an adventure for our beleaguered friends and family members.

PRAYER:

Dear God, please teach me about prayer, and to pray with the help of Your Spirit. Help me to be willing to give my time, energy and emotions for such intercession. Amen.

MORE: O.C. says:

“Worship and intercession must go together, the one is impossible without the other. Intercession means that we rouse ourselves up to get the mind of Christ about the one for whom we pray? Too often instead of worshiping God, we construct statements as to how prayer works. Are we worshiping or are we in dispute with God — “I don’t see how You are going to do it.” This is a sure sign that we are not worshiping. When we lose sight of God we become hard and dogmatic. We hurl our own petitions at God’s throne and dictate to Him as to what we wish Him to do. We do not worship God, nor do we seek to form the mind of Christ.” – Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, (March 30th reading).

Violet Nesdoly

Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications. Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.

PRAYER CHANGES LIVES

Prayer Changes Lives

by Janice Keats

It seems that faith sharing hasn’t gotten any easier over the years. Perhaps it is because of the ever-growing battle that we are up against. Many people are not interested perhaps but God’s power is still available to change lives. We alone do not have the ability or the power to change people’s hearts and minds but we can prayerfully intercede on behalf of others. God is attentive to the prayers of the righteous.

Roman 1:16 says:

“The Gospel is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes.”

How good it is to spend private moments with God, especially when you are in complete stillness with Him. God expects His children to faithfully offer prayers and petitions. God is not only an answering prayer God, He is our most trusted friend, and He loves and disciplines us as His dearly loved children.

Our faith may weaken sometimes, but our prayers have great worth because God hears us. We must persevere in prayer so that we do not lose heart.

And in the book of Colossians we learn that we are to be devoted to prayer.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2).

When we pray we ought to believe and not doubt.

“Therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).

As difficult as it may seem sometimes, we must not allow our faith to waiver, but to continue in Him and encourage one another under all circumstances.

Ephesians 6:18 says:

“And pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

When Jesus walked among men, he would often spend time alone with God. He prayed for His disciples, He prayed for all believers, and He prayed for Himself. Sharing the ‘good news’ continues to be challenging, but we ought to recognize the opportunities that God places before us to share His amazing love and plan of Salvation.

Christian witnessing has the power to influence but God’s Word has the power to save.

Let’s continue to pray our heartfelt concerns. He is mighty to deliver and lift our burdens. Let us not be afraid to tell people that we are praying for them. We can do our job by allowing God to do His!

Thoughts to ponder:

Have you ever received an answer to pray almost immediately? Were you surprised?

Do you know of someone who has been praying the same prayer for years before it was answered? Describe that person’s faith.

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

EFFECTIVE PRAYER – CHIPPING AWAY AT THE STODGE

Effective Prayer – Chipping away at the Stodge

by Jan Cox

Growing my soul

I always wonder how effective I am at praying for others.

When I pray for others am I identified with the ways of Christ?

Last week someone in my Bible study said something very profound. She said she thinks we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we give our lives to Christ but then she believes, and I tend to agree, He takes us residence in us along with a whole bunch of other stuff.

Oswald Chambers calls is STODGE. And until we can chip away at the stodge we aren’t solely filled with the Holy Spirit.

“We have the notion that there are certain right and virtuous things in us which do not need to be based on the Atonement, and just in the domain of “stodge” that is produced by this idea we cannot intercede” (Oswald Chambers, May 4)

Now I have to ask myself – “So what stodge is there with the Holy Spirit in me?” “What needs to be cleaned out or thrown out?” “Where do I need to start chipping?”

Me – feeling of superiority – thinking I know it all and can do the best job and so am critical of others. I know this is getting better – it is decreasing, melting away. And if it does rear its ugly head I can whack it down quickly.

Me – my wanting to fix things. I have lots of good ideas. But I need to let God lead and let Him work it out first – and tell me when I can help or begin something. God has the best ideas.

“We do not identify ourselves with God’s interests in others, we get petulant with God; we are always ready with our own ideas, and intercession becomes the glorification of our own natural sympathies” (Oswald Chambers, May 4)

Now when it comes to praying – interceding for my friends – I need to see it in God’s eyes and through my friend’s life. No hidden agenda of mine. My words have to change. I can’t get emotionally involved. I can’t let my empathy for them get in the way of God working through them. Help me pray, Lord, for your will in their lives.

I ask the Holy Spirit to help me identify the STODGE in me. Then I can listen and work at chipping it away to make more room for the Holy Spirit to live in me.

It reminds me of The Grinch who Stole Christmas. Remember how the Grinch’s heart was so small and how it grew three times that day. Right now I see my soul as small – filled with the Spirit – but small. And as I get rid of the STODGE, my soul grows a little bigger. I see things differently, react differently, love wider and stronger.

I picture instead of a HEART – a CROSS. I see it growing bigger as I get to know God better.

I have to remind myself life is all about God – not about ME. And when I put God’s interests into my prayers – my prayer life changes. I try to see it as God sees it and give Him all the glory.

Praise be to God.

Prayer:

Father, I know I like things my way – but I know that I need to stop doing that. I want to start listening to the Holy Spirit and how you, Lord, want things to proceed. I am learning to trust in your wisdom. Help me when I pray for others to listen to You and ask for what You want for them. Give me boldness in my prayers and help me to use Scripture in my requests. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List  – counting to 2000 – I am at 1366

  • Grace is “aggressive forgiveness” (Romans 5:20-21 The Message)
  • “Growth in grace stops the moment I get huffed” (May 11, Oswald Chambers)
  • My Mom’s secretary is now in my living room
  • I am now sitting in her recliner chair
  • writing some words to say at the cemetery
  • connecting with my granddaughter on my IPOD
  • spaghetti dinner at the church – they made gluten free – yahoo
  • excitement to visit grandchildren and go to the zoo

The climber.

  • watching grandchildren at park go up and down a long slide a zillion times
  • walking in perfect weather
  • the peacocks, the butterfly

A Swallowtail Butterfly

  • playing hockey and then basketball with a 5 year old
  • watching grandpa and grandson work on the digger

The Digger

  • bath time with my 2 grandkids
  • exhausted – in a good way
  • naps in car on the way home (I wasn’t driving)
  • great sermon on “Labour and Deliverance” Video Post Cast 1, Video Pod Cast 2
  • first boat ride of the season
  • a snake swimming in the water (fascinating but yucky)
  • smooth water because not many boats on lake
  • a man at the docks to help us
  • remembering the important little things for the boat (put plug back in; trim up)
  • hearing from all 3 kids on Mother’s Day
  • sunny weather for driving to daughter’s
  • Delicious lunch at my sister’s – a feast of salmon, veggies and rice

What a feast for lunch!!

  • too cute – my grandson

Too cute!

  • just talking to God – awesome
  • little bird landing so close to me while I sat on the porch

Bird in the tree

  • smiles of recognition from 2 month old grandbaby
  • sounds of a grandbaby – hiccups, toots and babbling
  • messaging oldest granddaughter
  • “let the word of God be living and active in you.” (Oswald Chambers, May 14)
  • amazing new bathroom floor (Hard working hubby)
  • a great neighbourhood to live in

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan is working on a couple children’s books in which she is also the watercolour illustrator.