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Posts Tagged ‘intercessory prayer’

In 2005, in the last 6 weeks of his life my Daddy spent 3 weeks in the hospital, then nearly 3 weeks at home before he passed. The first week or so wasn’t too bad, and then it began to wear on me – physically and emotionally.  We went through such a “roller coaster” of emotions from “he’s not going to live through the night” to “we’re going home in a day or two…” And then, to couple this with only getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night, well it was taking a toll!

One day, when I was particularly stressed, one of Daddy’s sisters-in-law called me. Now, this lady is just special! And she… just encouraged me so much that day. So, after I hung up from talking with her, I wrote this piece that I titled “Running on Empty”.

Running on Empty

“God is ever gracious, ever loving, ever caring, ever teaching in every trial of our lives.

When my physical and emotional “tank” is on empty, He sends someone with a smile, a hug, a laugh, or a prayer that adds a little fuel to the tank and gives me a few more “miles” of strength.

Oh God, thank You that in this time of need someone came to me. Thank You, that in this time of need I saw so clearly how need-ful something like that is, and how helpful it can be.

Grant me, I pray, the “eyes” to see the opportunities to pour a little in another’s “tank” when they, too, are “running on empty.”

Thank You for this one You sent to me today.
Amen”

 

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How does intercessory prayer overcome free will?

I spent the morning praying for a friend’s child and their struggles. I prayed that today would be a good day, because I know (from long personal experience) that that is how you survive the struggle. You pray for today and then tomorrow you pray for today as well… and you keep on praying for today until that particular battle becomes a skirmish, and that skirmish becomes something that you talk about in the past tense, while praying for the conflict that the new day brings (because every day brings one of its own, as Matthew 6:34 teaches.)

I prayed this morning for a loved one with a struggle, and for a friend whose husband has cancer – very serious cancer… I prayed for her strength and courage today.

I prayed for some I know who have made poor choices, that are now being covered by lies and deception, and for others who are overwhelmed by their responsibilities, and for those who are just plain afraid.

But, I kept coming back to “how does intercessory prayer overcome free will?” If my friend’s child chooses to turn away; if my own loved one chooses to react; if my friend chooses to give in, or allows fear to take control of her life… how does my intercessory prayer change anything?

How does intercessory prayer make someone tell the truth or give someone a way out, or keep someone from fear?

And the answer is – I don’t really know. All I know for sure is – there have been times in my own life when the only way I made it through was in knowing that someone was praying for me.

So, maybe I should let them know that they are being prayed for… Maybe that’s where intercessory prayer gets its power. Maybe just being reminded that even if you’re powerless; even if you’re the one on “the stretcher” that you still have friends that are willing to carry you to Jesus, tear off the rooftop, and lower you down to Him… Maybe that’s where the power really is.

We just need to allow Him to deal with the sin or the heartache or the pain or the fear. I don’t have to (and in fact, can’t) “fix it.” But He can, if it is His will; if it brings Him glory… I only have to pray.

I still don’t know how intercessory prayer overcomes free will. But then, I don’t have to understand – I only have to pray.

And Father, I do pray, today… and leave it in Your hands. In Jesus’ Name – Amen.

 

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But Even if No One Prays

You’ve just read about the power and comfort of intercessory prayer, and how Aaron and Hur “came along side” of Moses to help hold his arms up when he grew tired and weary (Exodus 17:10ff). That kind of praying is very important, however this morning I began thinking about that devotional, and the thought hit me that the Holy Spirit – the Comforter is the word “Parakletos” in Greek, and it literally means “one who comes along side of another.” So… even if there is no one who prays for me, as a Christian, the “Comforter”, the “Paraclete” (as it is translated into English) is already within me, already “along side” of me holding me up during times of struggle!

Yes, it is very comforting to have a warm body there holding us, comforting us and praying with us – but even if there is no one, there is still Someone! There is Someone Who takes your prayers to God, even when you have no words (Romans 8:26-27). And, there is Someone who is sitting on God’s right hand (Hebrews 10:12) Who “lives forever to intercede” for you (Hebrews 7:25).

We should pray for and comfort one another, but when you feel all alone – know this – Someone is with you who promised that He would never leave you nor forsake you… (Hebrews 13:5) and He won’t!

May this comfort and strengthen your heart as it has mine! Amen.

 

 

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I wrote this prayer at least 20 years ago, but it is still relevant – maybe even more so…

 

1 Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I exhort that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all mankind for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

Our Heavenly Father, this morning I pray for this nation. I pray for the leaders of our nation. Today and every day, fill them with Your spirit and Your guidance.

Father, as we are in the midst of a time of elections, as the debates and the positioning continue, as we exercise our freedom and recognize our responsibility to vote this Tuesday… open our eyes as we seek for whom we should vote. Before we enter the voting booth, let us first enter our prayer closets. Lead us in our choice of leaders, and decision makers – both locally and nationally…

But O Lord, even as we pray this prayer, as we cry out, we are afraid that You will give us what we “deserve.”  That in giving us what we need You will allow us to be carried into “captivity” as You did those who bore Your very Name.

But in many ways, we are already in captivity – the captivity of our souls and our hearts. We are enslaved by our possessions and in bondage to our own selfish desires.

Father we realize that it isn’t the money, or the earning of money that is evil – it is what we do with it! We are entrusted with such a huge amount of the world’s resources, and yet… still… the world is hungry… And we must ask ourselves, is my neighbor hungry?

Please Father, don’t give us what we deserve. Have mercy on us, and forgive us. And lead us to elect a leader who will bring us to the place of righteousness… I pray that we have not gone too far…

God I pray for revival in this land, in our churches and in our own hearts. I pray that we Your people, who are called by Your name, will humble ourselves and pray; that we will seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, and that indeed, You will heal our land and our souls…

We lift our prayer to You this morning, calling upon the Name above all names – Amen.

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From my 40+ years in the art and craft world, I have a lot of friends who are not believers and some who are even out right antagonistic toward faith in Jesus Christ. But still – I love them.

What really hurts is when they hurt with a hopelessness that cannot be healed in this world. I strive to convey that there is a Word of Hope available to them, and I try very hard to share it with a non-judgmental compassion – a compassion born through (as the KJV puts it) “bowels of mercy”.

The Hebrew idiom “bowels of mercy” or “bowels of compassion” means to feel emotion. When we’re excited, or nervous, or afraid, where do we feel it? Right – in our stomachs! Or as some would say, “in our gut”. So, to have compassion with “bowels of compassion” means that I don’t just feel compassion for you – I feel compassion with you – that I feel it in the pit of my stomach. That’s how I hurt for them – and that’s how I pray for them.

Prayer:

Gracious Lord and Creator God, I lift to You those who are hurting – who don’t know You, or worse – don’t care about You. What a hopelessness they must feel to have no faith in a Father who loves them and has prepared an eternal home for them. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to face an end (my own or a loved one’s) without the Hope of a new beginning.

You have taken the stinger out of death, and snatched the victory from the grave through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. You have conquered hopelessness and redeemed the sinner by the cross and set forth righteousness through the life of the only Righteous One.

We can’t avoid the pain of losing a loved one, but we need never feel hopeless. Thanks be to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for our salvation and our comfort. We pray Lord, draw them unto Yourself, and in Your mercy, pour out Your grace upon them, and give them peace.

In the Name of the Prince of Peace I pray – Amen.

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