Posts Tagged ‘Intercession’

“When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”  But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home.  Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.  I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers.  I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come.  And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed.  Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!  And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world-from east and west-and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites-those for whom the Kingdom was prepared-will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, ‘Go back home.  Because you believed, it has happened.”  And the young servant was healed that same hour.” (Matthew 8:5-13)

“Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom.  And he healed every kind of disease and illness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14).

According to research done by The Joshua Project, there are over 6,550 people groups on earth who have not heard the Good News about eternal life through our Savior and Messiah Jesus Christ.  Want to know who they are and where they are?  Click here (But first count the cost of having access to this knowledge, as you will instantly realize your responsibility to intercede for these people through continuous prayer): http://public.imb.org/globalresearch/Pages/ResearchData.aspx

Let us pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his fields to share the truth of eternal life through Jesus Christ to the remaining people who have never even heard of Him.  Like the Roman officer, let our faith put events into motion in the heavens.  When we pray for the Lord to send workers into these fields, we must understand the power behind our prayers.  We know the will of God on this issue (that ALL would hear), so we know our prayers match His will.  And we know that our prayers are the vehicles through which He accomplishes his purposes on earth.  We are called upon by the Most High God to use our voice on behalf of the lost, to lift them up in faith, that God would reveal himself to them so that they may be saved.

Scrolling through the list of the unreached, we see that many of these people groups have less than 100 people; they are completely remote and tribal.  They live on remote islands, at the top of unchartered mountains, in unexplored parts of jungles, and wild habitats.  God loves them all and wants them in His family.

These are our future brothers and sisters; our future family.  We cannot let them down by failing to pray for them while they are lost.  We see that hundreds of thousands of these people are lost because they are physically deaf and cannot hear the Word of God.  Most are also illiterate, so how can they be reached?  God will reach them through our prayers.  In response to our prayers, God will say ‘Go,’ and His workers will GO!  God will say ‘Do this,’ and his servants will do it.  The Roman officer in God’s Word understood very clearly how it works.  Do we?

Here is an example of how we can pray for them:

Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for the gift of life and for saving me and bringing me into your family through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  Somehow you made sure that I heard about Christ and you prepared my heart to believe in Him.  Lord, I know that it is your will that all would hear of the free gift you offer through your royal Son Jesus Christ and that none would perish.  In response to your love and for saving me, I long for all to experience what I have with you.  Today I lift up these unreached people groups [HERE, SPECIFICALLY NAME PEOPLE GROUPS IN THE LIST], that you would send your workers into their fields to proclaim the Good News about the Kingdom and Jesus Christ to them.  I pray for their salvation, that they may live in the House of the Lord forever.  May they praise your Holy Name and bring your Name great honor and glory through their praise and by living holy lives in honor of Christ Jesus.  May they acknowledge their sins, confess them to you, repent of them wholeheartedly, and follow Christ Jesus’s example in every way.  May they fellowship with each other to grow in their faith, pray for each other, and may they have access to the Word of God.  Lord, I also ask for your protection over them as they grow with you, that the enemy cannot come to kill, steal, and destroy the relationship they have with you.  Give their hearts good soil which receives your Word and causes it to grow deep roots that can never be uprooted by any force contrary to your will.  May your Holy Spirit do His work in their lives wherever they are and may your Kingdom come!

And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all peoples will hear it, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

“I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.  I will praise you with songs.  I will be careful to live a blameless life–when will you come to help me?  I will lead a life of integrity in my own homeI will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.  I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.  I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.  I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.  I will not endure conceit and pride.  I will search for faithful people to be my companions.  Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me.  I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence.  My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the Lord from their grip.” (Psalm 101)

Everyone must submit to governing authorities.  For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.  So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.  For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong.  Would you like to live without fear of the authorities?  Do what is right and they will honor you.  The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good.  But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you.  They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.  So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.  Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons.  For government workers need to be paid.  They are serving God in what they do.  Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” (Romans 13:1-7)

Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.  They asked him, ‘Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition?  For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.’ Jesus replied, ‘And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?  For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father and mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.  For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.  And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.  You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘and try to understand.  It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.’ Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you realize you offended the Pharisees  by what you just said?’ Jesus replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them.  They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.'” (Matthew 15:1-14)

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.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.  He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.  I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength.  You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.” (Daniel 2:20-23)

King David spelled out what the attributes of a godly leader are:

–One who is careful to lead a blameless life.

–One who leads a life of integrity, not just in the public eye, but at home.

–One who refuses to look at anything vile and vulgar.

–One who hates crooked dealings and has nothing to do with them.

–One who rejects perverse ideas and stays away from every evil.

–One who does not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.

–One who will not endure conceit and pride.

–One who searches for faithful people to be his/her companions.

–One who places in their cabinets and entourage only those who are above reproach.

–One who will not allow deceivers to serve in his/her house, and who does not allow liars to stay in his/her presence.

–One whose daily task it is to ferret out the wicked and free the city/country from their grip.

Sound too good to be true?  In today’s world of politics, where the name of the game seems to be achieving power at any cost, finding a leader or candidate for leader with godly attributes often seems as likely as finding a unicorn.

And yet, we are to pray for exactly this so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives, marked by godliness and dignity.  God is in control of who is in authority over us.  And we know that His will is accomplished through our prayers.

So are we bringing the world’s leaders before the Holy Throne of God Almighty as party of our daily prayers, thanking Him for them, interceding on their behalf, asking God to accomplish His will in them and through them, asking God to give them wisdom and discernment in governing?  We must pray for them and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in our prayers for them.

It is not God’s will that corruption, lawlessness, greed, power-lust, deception, slander, oppression of any kind, persecution, crooked dealings such as bribery, embezzlement, fraud and blackmail would run rampant throughout the earth’s high places of authority. 

It is not God’s will that the spiritually blind would lead their people by the masses straight into a spiritual ditch, and yet, everywhere we look this is what is happening. Sound and righteous laws are being over-ridden or re-written to fit the new modern age of iniquitous immorality.  Those who attempt to stand up for righteousness are labeled as intolerant and, in many cases, ‘terrorists’.  We live in an age where good is called ‘evil’ and evil is called ‘good’.

It is the responsibility of the Christian to come before our Father in heaven and intercede for all people everywhere, especially kings and all who are in authority.  We should be praying not just for our presidents/prime ministers and their immediate teams, but also for judges, government officials, police, military authorities, teachers, corporate leaders, ministers/preachers, and those who labor in the Gospel, that they all would carry out God’s will this day.

Only the silence of God’s people, who have been entrusted with the enormous responsibility to pray His will, allows such evil and wickedness to run rampant and unchecked, for God’s will is centered on justice and righteousness in every way, from the greatest to the least among us all.

Let us live our personal lives with integrity and a clear conscience in all things, thereby shining our lives as living testimonies to Christ Jesus.  And let us retreat into our quiet rooms of prayer every day to be alone with God, praising Him, thanking Him, bringing all of our cares and concerns to Him and interceding for all people everywhere, especially our leaders, that they may govern and lead us in righteousness.

Oh Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.  But we have sinned and done wrong.  We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations.  We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.  Lord, you are in the right; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame.  This is true of all of us, including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel, scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you.  O Lord, we and our kings, princes and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.  But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.  We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions he gave us through his servants the prophets.  All Israel has disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice.  So now the solemn curses and judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured down on us because of our sin.  You have kept your word and done to us and our rulers exactly as you warned.  Never has there been such a disaster as happened in Jerusalem.  Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses has come true.  Yet we have refused to seek mercy from the Lord our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth.  Therefore, the Lord has brought up on the disaster he prepared.  The Lord our God was right to do all of these thing, for we did not obey him.  Oh Lord our God, you brought lasting honor to your name by rescuing your people from Egypt in a great display of power.  But we have sinned and are full of wickedness.  In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from your city, Jerusalem, your holy mountain.  All the neighboring nations mock Jerusalem and your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors.  O our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead.  For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary.  O my God, lean down and listen to me.  Open your eyes and see our despair.  See how your city, the city that bears your name, lies in ruins.  We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy.  O Lord, hear.  O Lord, forgive.  O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people and your city bear your name.  (Daniel 9:4-19)

The Lord’s people cover the whole earth and live in every nation.  We are Israel.  We bear His name.  If we would humble ourselves before the Lord our God, confess our sins to him, pray on behalf of our nation and ask for forgiveness, our nations may yet be forgiven and healed.  Daniel did this for Jerusalem and the Lord heard him and answered!  We can pray it too, as it was so powerful that it is in God’s eternal living Word.  Pray it for your nation when you find yourself burdened with the need to pray for your leaders and people.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.  The world and all its people belong to him. (Psalm 24:1)

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7)

“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”  (Matthew 18:18-19)

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.  For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:19)

“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.  You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.  Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.  And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure.” (James 4:2)

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

What if we discovered that God will not act independently to implement His will on Earth?  What if we found out that when God gave his children dominion over all the Earth, that truly included ALL things?  What if it was revealed to us that, although we cannot manipulate God to do anything against His will, we as his children, hold the keys to that which IS His will on Earth?  What would we do if we realized that NOT praying actually does hinder God’s work on Earth?

Would we see the power that has been entrusted to us?  Would we embrace the responsibility of being those who PRAY?

If we are in right standing with God, obedient to Him, living our lives with a clear conscience, then rest assured that when we pray we are heard and our prayers accomplish much.

As Watchman Nee writes in his book Let Us Pray, Chapter One ‘What is Prayer?’, “The foremost question to be asked is, Why pray? What is the use of praying? Is not God omniscient as well as omnipotent? Why must He wait till we pray before He commences to work?  Since He knows, why must we tell Him everything (Philippians 4.6)? Being almighty, why does God not work directly?  Why should He need our prayers?  Why is it that only those who ask are given, only those who seek find, and only those who knock enter in (Matthew 7.7)?  Why does God say: ‘Ye have not, because ye ask not’ (James 4.2)?

Upon asking the above questions we must then continue to inquire as follows:  Is prayer contrary to the will of God?  What is the relationship between prayer and righteousness?

We know God never does anything against His own will.  If opening doors is God’s will, why should He wait until we knock before He opens?  Why does He not simply open for us according to His own will without requiring us to knock?  Being omniscient, God knows we need to have doors opened; why, then, must He wait for our knocking before He opens?  If the door is to be opened and if opening doors is in accordance with God’s will, and if furthermore He also knows that we need it to be opened, why does He wait for us to knock?  Why does He not just open the door?  What advantage does our knocking give to God?

Yet we must further ask these questions:  Since God’s will is to open the door and since opening the door is in accord with righteousness, will God nevertheless open the door if we do not knock?  Or would He rather have His will and righteousness delayed without accomplishment in order to wait for our prayers?  Will He really allow His will of opening doors to be restrained by our not knocking?  If so, will not the will of God be limited by us?  Is God really almighty?  If He is almighty, why can He not open the door all by himself–why instead must He wait till we knock?  Is God really able to accomplish His own will? But if He truly is able, then why is His opening of doors (God’s will) governed by our knocking (man’s prayer)?

By asking all these questions we come to realize that prayer is a great mystery. For here we see a principle of God’s working, which is, that God’s people must pray before God himself will rise up and work: His will is only to be realized through the prayers of those who belong to Him: the prayers of the believers are to accomplish His will: God will not fulfill His will alone — He will perform only after His people show their sympathy in prayers.

Such being the case, it can therefore be said that prayer is none other than an act of the believer working together with God.  Prayer is the union of the believer’s thought with the will of God.  The prayer which a believer utters on earth is but the voicing of the Lord’s will in heaven.  Prayer is not the expressing of our wish for God to yield to our petition and fill up our selfish desire.  It is not a forcing of the Lord to change His will and perform what He is unwilling to do.  No, prayer is simply speaking out the will of God through the mouth of the believer.  Before God, the believer asks in prayer for the Lord’s will to be done.

Prayer does not alter that which God has determined.  It never changes anything; it merely achieves what He has already foreordained.  Prayerlessness, though, does effect a change, because God will let many of His resolutions go suspended due to the lack from His people of prayerful cooperation with Him.”

If only the children of God understood the stakes here.  Our enemy Satan does all he can to distract us and discourage us from prayer because it is by prayer that his worldly kingdom is rebuked and forced to submit to the cross of Jesus Christ every day.  If the children of God are silent, Satan’s works abound and he does as he pleases.  It’s just that simple.

Let us ask our Father in heaven for wisdom and discernment concerning prayer.  Let us ask Him every day for guidance from his Holy Spirit, that He will place upon our hearts a burden to pray and that he will make known to us His will so that we can pray for it to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In light of the enormous responsibility we have been entrusted with by God our Father, let us be sensitive to ALL THINGS as Paul instructed the church in Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

We approach the throne of God with praise and thanksgiving for Who He is and all he has done and will do.  This proclamation announces to all the heavens that there is one God who is worthy of praise and worship. This act shows all the heavens the rightful place God holds, and it puts Satan in his rightful place as well. We confess our sins with a repentant heart and mind and ask for forgiveness, as this puts us in our rightful place before God as his children and it shames our accusing enemy Satan, who accuses us day and night before our Father in heaven.  The blood of Jesus covers us and answers our enemy Satan.  We announce that we are covered by the blood of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus.  We get to work, interceding for all children of God, and all people everywhere, all political authorities, those who labor in the Gospel, we ask for more laborers to be sent into the fields of the world, we pray for all who are in adversity, for believers who have fallen into sin and for one another. (Ephesians 6:18, 1 Timothy 2:1, Ephesians 6:19-20, Colossians 4:3, Matthew 9:38, Hebrews 13:3, Galatians 6:1, James 5:16).  Then we petition God for our own needs, whatever burdens our heart, as we know he cares deeply for us and delights in the details of our lives.  We ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit in all things.

Know the truth about life in Christ Jesus and be set free.  Are you troubled about the condition of your country, the world, your leaders, your peers and friends, your family?  Does it hurt your heart to watch or hear the news?  Does the wickedness in the world discourage you?  Do the conditions of your own life and world discourage you?  Have you looked on, wondering why God doesn’t rise up and squash evil and wickedness in the land?  Align your will with the will of God and pray. You have no greater responsibility than this.

Our silence enables Satan and his kingdom to thrive and expand.  If he could cut our tongues from our mouths to prevent our prayers, he would.  But it’s just as well if he can silence us through other means, such as distraction, shame, guilt, feelings of unworthiness, discouragement, pride, ignorance or the lie that God will do what He wants anyway, so we need not pray. 

As ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, we fail God miserably and shamefully when we are silent.  Let it not be so. Let us demonstrate our faith by praying.

“And the Lord saw it…and wondered that there was no intercessor…” (Isaiah 59:15,16)

“…Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.” (1 Samuel 12:23)

The majority of the content of this post is from Watchman Nee’s “Let Us Pray” and from “The 2959 plan”.

This powerful list of 10 ways to pray for our persecuted family in Christ is from the Voice of the Martyrs Ministry.

1) Pray that the persecuted believers will sense God’s presence (Hebrews 13:5)

2) Pray that they will feel connected to the greater Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:20, 26)

3) Pray that they will experience God’s comfort when their family members are killed, injured or imprisoned for their witness (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

4) Pray that they will have more opportunities to share the Gospel (Colossians 4:3)

5) Pray for their boldness to make Christ known (Philippians 1:14)

6) Pray that they will forgive and love their persecutors (Matthew 5:44)

7) Pray that their ministries activities will remain undetected by authorities or others who wish to silence them (Acts 9:25)

8) Pray that they will rejoice in suffering (Acts 5:41)

9) Pray that they will be refreshed through God’s Word and grow in their faith (Ephesians 6:17)

10) Pray that they will be strengthened through the prayers of fellow believers (Jude 20-25)

 

VOM has made a banner available with this list here:  https://secure.persecution.com/p-5821-10-ways-to-pray-fabric-banner-4×6.aspx.

VOM

“And the Lord saw it…and wondered that there was no intercessor…” Isaiah 59:15, 16

“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. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” 1 Timothy 2: 1-4

“Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.” 1 Samuel 12:23

To intercede is to speak up or act on someone’s behalf.  In a world where the rules are often ‘every man for himself’ and ‘survival of the fittest’, the eyes of God are ever searching for those who are interceding for others. Isaiah 59 would indicate that, while the world spirals into utter darkness, wickedness, and death, intercession by the children of God is nonexistent. Let it not be so.  Honor God’s great name by bringing requests in faith to Him on behalf of others.

In a world laden with troubles, we must intercede for our loved ones and people in our lives, brothers and sisters in Christ, our spiritual leaders, those in political authority, those who labor for the gospel, those who are suffering, those facing persecution and adversity, for believers who have fallen into sin, for the lost, for the sick, for the weak and helpless and anyone else God places on our heart.

Our intercession is the workhorse of our faith and the weapon we use to fight for and defend others.  Jesus Christ himself never rests because He is interceding for us (Hebrews 7:25).  The Holy Spirit of God is always at work, interceding for us (Romans 8:26).  They’ve set a clear example.