Thoughts on intercessory prayer

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Thoughts on intercessory prayer

Postby garfield » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:36 pm

WHO is involved in intercessory prayer? There are three entities involved in this form of worship. The first is God Himself and all of His majesty. He provides us with our lives so that we can hear Him and what he wishes for us to do. The Father has given us Christ Jesus so that through Him we can approach the Throne. He has also given us the Holy Spirit to direct our hearts and minds to those items for which He wishes us to pray. The second entity is the individual or individuals that are of concern to God. They are in need of His aid. This could be for healing, direction or any of the manifold desires of God. The third entity is those who are heeding the Lord’s voice and fulfilling the role of God’s ministers and being the intermediaries for them. In the following well-know passages, all three entities are shown:

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, even as also with you; and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and evil men; for not all have faith. (2 Timothy 3:1-2)

WHERE does intercessory prayer take place? Just as the above statement noted that there are three entities involved in this form of prayer, there are three places that are involved. The first place is in the heart of the believer called to this ministry to the Lord. This is where the believer must first realize the direction of the Lord in the prayers to be given. This is also where from which the prayer of faith is spoken. Being that we are within earthen vessels at this time, we exist in this temporal realm of the natural senses. The third place that intercessory prayer takes place is in the heavenly places. Consider the following scriptures:

Verily I say to you, Whatever things ye may bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever things ye may loose on the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens. (Matthew 18:18 )

WHEN does intercessory prayer take place? Intercessory prayer takes place when the believer or believers have heard God’s heart and speak forth those words He desires. Their declaration, in faith, is what the Holy Spirit needs to perform his ministry. There must be an agreement between the individuals and the Lord in all matters concerning the prayer. The Father has bound Himself to His promises. He will perform whatever is to be done – healing, redemption, growth and even separation, if he so desires.

Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 )

Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:19-20)

WHY is there intercessory prayer? Intercessory prayer exists for several reasons. One of the reasons is that when we are interceding on the behalf of our brethren, we are strengthening our ranks against the onslaught of the Devil and non-believers. A second reason for this type of prayer is that we will find out the divine will of the Father for those in the Body of Christ. A third reason is that are commanded by the scriptures to pray for all those in authority over us – whether it is our spiritual overseers or our nation’s various governments.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt you then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil. Therefore you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. (Romans 13:1-7)

HOW do we perform intercessory prayer? Performing intercessory prayer is not as difficult as it seems. First, we must be sure that we are of a clear heart and not under our own agendas. God does not desire us to be double-minded in our approach to His throne. We will not be able to hear him correctly. Secondly, we must believe that He will speak to us – either personally or through the elders in our midst. He may choose from many different ways: visions, dreams, the five-fold ministry in our midst and the scriptures. We must pray the way he desires. We must believe it will be – and then it will happen.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally, and reproaches not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8 )

(From a sermon I gave several months ago...)

Garfield

(Nathan Powers correctd some of the closing parenthesies that were being interpreted as smilies)
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Postby natman » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:53 am

Very good sermon Garfield.

There is one caviat I would like to address. You said, "Their declaration, in faith, is what the Holy Spirit needs to perform his ministry." Although we are instructed and even commanded to pray for our fellow saints, our prayers, or lack thereof do not inhibit the Holy Spirit from performing His ministry. In fact, I can remember a study into the fact that, often, our prayers are answered even long BEFORE we even know we would ever pray them.

Isaiah 65:24, "It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear."

When we pray, we need to remember that we are not to attempt to change the soveriegn will of God, but rather to bring ourselves in line with His will, and to hopefully become aware through the counsel of the Holy Spirit how God's answer will ultimately bring glory to Himself. As such, we align ourselves with Romans 8:28, which states "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Postby Strandloper » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:26 pm

Amen to that, Nathan.
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Thank you...

Postby garfield » Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:19 pm

Thank you for the additions to the shortened sermon. I will incorporate them the next time I use it. I remember what a pastor shared with me when I took my position. There are three sermons. The first is the one you have all written up by Saturday night. The second is the one you give to the flock on Sunday morning. And the best one is the one you think you should have given on your way home from the pulpit. Now I know that there is four. The fourth is the one that your brethren annotate for you afterward. The fourth is definitely the best.

Thanks again,

Garfield
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