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Sat Mar 08, 2014
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Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
10 Ideas For Keeping Lent
Wed Mar 05, 2014
by Winfield Bevins
Intercessory Prayer: 5 Essentials
Prayer series: Click | View Series "If we truly love people, we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them, and this will lead us to prayer: Intercession is a way of loving others."—Richard J. Foster
Paul's Teaching on Intercessory Prayer
The apostle Paul is a great example of an intercessor. He was a man who lived and died by prayer. Even when living in a Roman prison and facing his certain death, he never ceased to pray for others. From the time of his Damascus experience and conversion, he was an intercessory prayer warrior. His letters were bathed with prayer for others. He prayed for his fellow Christian brothers and sisters, for kings and individuals in authority, and he even prayed for those who were trying to kill him. His letters also contain some of the best biblical teaching on prayer. We should be "Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18). Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." One of the best passages in Paul's letters about intercessory prayer says:
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:1-4).
5 Essentials of Intercessory Prayer
There are several important things that we can learn from this passage about intercessory prayer.
- Supplications. Supplications are specific requests to God for specific things. This means that when we pray we should be direct and specific. I suggest keeping a prayer list so that you will always know what to pray for and always remember when God answers your prayers.
- Prayers. Prayers are general requests, offered to God at any time for anything and anyone. Sometimes we have to pray in generalities if we don't know specifics. Whether or not we know what to pray for, we can have the assurance that God already knows! I think the reason he wants us to pray specifically when we can is so we never forget that he is the answer.
- Intercessions. Intercessions are coming to God with boldness and speaking with him about others. The heart of the biblical meaning of the word intercession is boldness. Don't forget that God is asking us to come to him with boldness! We can have the assurance that if he asks us to come boldly, he desires to answer our prayers.
- Giving of thanks. Thanksgiving puts wings on our prayers and brings us into the presence of God. He loves to hear our thanksgiving. It opens his ears. We thank him in everything because we know that he's going to work out our situation for good!
- Prayer for all people. Paul doesn't tell us just to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters, but to pray for all men and all those who are in authority. It makes a difference when we pray for both Christians and non-Christians.
To be continued.