Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Lost Art of Intercession

Intercession is defined as “the act of interceding; a prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another”.  Many of us when we pray, we pray for ourselves but we also pray for others.  We pray for others to be healed, to be saved, and to be restored. However, even in the midst of all this, we still experience so much devastation around us. People are still dying. People are still taking their lives. People still refuse to fully surrender their lives to God. It makes me think, are we praying as fervently as we used to or have we lost the art of intercession? Have we become so caught up in praying for ourselves that we forget to pray for the needs of others? I know that I have been guilty of this plenty of times. I will spend like 15 minutes asking God about things concerning my life and my family and like five minutes on everyone else.  However, recently I have been feeling the need to pray more zealously for others and I’m not just talking about those here in my home, church, and neighborhood. I’m talking about praying for people all over the world. I even felt the need to pray for celebrities. I don’t even know these people and they surely don’t know me but I just feel the need to cover them in prayer daily. 
In the Bible, I have noticed that anytime something would go wrong or the people would sin against God, there was always that one person who would go to God pleading for mercy on their behalf. We can see that in the story of Moses (the book of Exodus), Hezekiah,(2 Kings) Ezra, Nehemiah, etc.  They would be so devastated by what was going on around them that it would cause them to pray on the people’s behalf. They didn’t just say a two second prayer. Instead, the bible says they would weep, mourn, and fast (Nehemiah 1:4-11).  After all that has been going on in our world as of lately, I feel this continual need to intercede on behalf of our country/world.  We may not see it now, but our prayers are being heard. How many times have we seen sick people healed instantly after the church gathered in prayer? Or how about when your family member gets baptized after many years of running from the gift of grace that patiently awaited them?  Prayers work. No one can ever try to tell me differently. The Bible even says that the prayers of the righteous availeth much (James 5:16).  I like how the New American Bible Standard version puts it, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much”.  We can accomplish so much if we would restore the art of intercession. I pray that we would all feel the need to pray for others because Lord knows our world needs it.