July 29th

Intercession

And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him. If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life… 1 John 5:15-16 NIV

15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.  James 5:15-16 NKJV  

Praying for others, or intercession, is one of the opportunities we have to express God’s love to people.   When we make the effort and time to pray for others, we can expect amazing results, assuming we are praying with the right heart attitude (in humility & reverence).  The above verses point out some of the possible results of intercession: 

Considering these possible results, it makes perfect sense to get connected with other people in the body of Christ regularly to pray for one another.  This also gives us a time and place to confess our sins to each another, which goes hand in hand with prayer.  Habitual sin problems (like sex addiction) too often drive people into isolation from other Christians because of shame, pride or fear of rejection.  As a result, those people suffer because they lack the benefits that praying with others can bring, such as healing, life and forgiveness.   

Some people feel inadequate because they lack experience and/or expertise in praying for others.  Prayer need not be complicated or long and drawn out.  It can be simple and to the point, just as a child would ask his or her father for something good.  Consider how Moses prayed for Miriam’s healing from leprosy: So Moses cried out to the LORD, "O God, please heal her!"” (Numbers 12:13 NIV).  God answered the prayer and healed her after seven days.   

Intercession can also be a way to get our focus off our own troubles.  For example, people involved with sex addiction are often accustomed to serving themselves.  Intercession can be good therapy in that case because it helps us serve others by lifting their needs up to the Father.  Paul wrote, 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV).    

Questions for further thought:

·        Why does the devil want to stop us from praying for other people?

·        What character trait does asking or allowing someone to pray for us demonstrate? (1 Peter 5:5)

·        How can prayer affect our ability to endure temptation? (Matthew 26:41, John 17:15, 2 Corinthians 1:10-11)  

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, thank you that you hear my prayers and that I am counted as righteous in your sight through the blood of Jesus.  Please give me the desire to pray for others and teach me how to pray in faith.  Please also show me who I can connect with for prayer in my church or fellowship group.  Thank you, Father!  I praise you now and forever, Amen.”