This month's A Word from the Lord newspaper column...
Prayer is an incredible gift from God to those who desire His Presence in their lives. Prayer is the way God has given us to commune and have fellowship with Him. Prayer is the method to invite God into one’s concerns and needs in life.
Imagine for a moment that a friend offers you a vacation (free of charge) to the destination of your choice and the length of time you wanted to be there. However, there is one catch --- you have to ask. Would you ask? I know… enough of us have seen the scams offering a free cruise or a weekend in the Bahamas. But what if this was a real thing, no strings attached. Just ask. Would you ask?
Many people are not willing to ask God for help, for His blessing, for His guidance, for His wisdom, for His healing, for His peace, for His forgiveness, for love. For whatever reason, they just are not willing to come to Him and ask. James 4:2 says - “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” Jesus encouraged His followers to ask of the Lord: “I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (NIV) And yet, many of us will not ask the Lord.
Intercessory Prayer is asking of God on behalf of others. It is a bringing of their needs to Him and asking God for help. It is bringing their concerns and issues into the Presence of the Lord, and asking on their behalf. It can be as simple as asking for a solution to a problem or as serious as the salvation of someone’s soul.
Intercessory Prayer moves the Hand of God; it is incredibly powerful. John Chrysotrum wrote hundreds of years ago about the power on intercessory prayer: “The potency of prayer has subdued the strength of fire; it has bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky un-obscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings.”
Start to work on your prayer-life. Learn how to turn to the Lord and accomplish His Will through intercessory prayer. If you have trouble praying for your own needs, then start by praying for someone else’s needs. Keep a simple list and track the answers you receive. You will be amazed!