â€œI pray for them. I donâ€™t pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.â€ John 17:9 (WEB)
IÂ have had two conversations recently that has given me some new perspective to intercessory prayer.
Bringing someone to the Lord in prayer is intercessory prayer. To be honest, I always thought that intercessory prayer was about me pointing out something that God had overlooked in someone and then attempt to talk Him into my idea! Crazy,huh?
Reading through John 17 I am struck by the love and compassion of Jesus. THAT is intercessory prayer! It is allowing God to give me His vision for that person. It is allowing God to change my heart for His heart and pray for the person in Jesus’ love. Bringing someone into God’s presence changes my attitude toward them. It will affect my relationship with them. I am changed into seeing that person as God sees them. I also learn how God sees me. I see the unique gifts and unique flaws that ultimately create the tapestry that is in God’s image.
There are principles of God that I know to be true as I pray. I know that God desires a living, growing, intimate relationship with each of His children. I know that He wants His children to be spiritually strong to resist temptation and not be lead into evil. God wants His children to reach out to others and serve them.
Praying for others also gives me a glimpse into how God must feel as He looks at us and wants so much ‘good’ for us and yet does not impose His will into our lives. Our God who could chooses instead to honor our freedom to choose. And as I pray I see changes that may need to happen. But as most parents realize their limitations in coercing a child into a path, so in prayer I learn to pray and let go, trusting the Holy Spirit to lead the person in God’s perfect path.
Ever intercessory prayer begins with God who was there in the situation before I even knew there was a situation! Every intercessory prayer ends with God who never tires or grows weary (Isaiah 40:28-31) and will see the person and/or situation until the end. As my husband, Henry, says:
â€œGod answers our prayers better than we pray them!â€
God will answer in His time and in His perfect way. It is a joy to pray no matter what the circumstances when I pray in the assurance of God’s love and mercy.
â€œI am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God.
Who is like me? Who will call, and will declare it, and set it in order for me, since I established the ancient people?
Let them declare the things that are coming, and that will happen.
- Donâ€™t fear, neither be afraid.
- Havenâ€™t I declared it to you long ago, and shown it?
- You are my witnesses. Is there a God besides me?
- Indeed, there is not. I donâ€™t know any other Rock.â€ Â Â Â Isaiah 44:6-8 (WEB)
- As we come to the Lord in prayer, may we always have our feet on the Rock and cry out to our God, who is the First and the Last. Amen.