October 6th, 2019
Yesterday morning I was getting ready to go have breakfast with a brother in the Lord, when I received a text from him, indicating he was under the weather, and would have to cancel breakfast.
After responding, I began to pray for this brother and as I was, I was reminded, just how important prayer for others are, not only for them, but for us as well.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
James 5:16 (NLT)
James points to this in the fifth chapter, “pray for each other so that you may be healed.” If you have never noticed, this statement sounds a bit outside what we would assume the purpose of intercessory prayer would be about. Pray for each other, so that ‘you’ may be healed.
Not what you might imagine, is it? We pray on behalf of others so that they will overcome challenges and what we perceive are problems.
The contrast of what we believe to be problems and what God sees, is vastly different. God sees these issues as a vehicle to demonstrate both His power and His glory.
I did a quick search in reference to praying for each other. This was by no means exhaustive, but just a causal search of the new testament alone returned over 95 references tide to intersensory prayer.
This is not lost in the old testament either, there are numerous references there as well but not nearly to the extent that they are found in the new testament.
I don’t have any solid theories as to why this is the case. I can toss out my own speculation, subject to correction by God’s Word if I find contradictory references.
I believe this is a result of God’s Spirit living in the believer.
Now, without a doubt there were those in the old testament who knew how to pray. Many had extremely effective prayer lives. With few exceptions, you can look at the prophets of God and find them praying and having amazing things revealed and performed by the Lord.
But with the Holy Spirit indwelling in the believer under the New Covenant, power was vested in the believer that was vastly more accessible, as a result of God living in them.
Just as when we ignore the Holy Spirit, we suppress His ‘inner-action’ in our lives, prayer and God’s Word engages the Holy Spirit, and brings us to a greater and greater sensitivity to His direction and guidance.
James underscored the healing power of intercessory prayer, so we know that it is good for us, if we didn’t already realize this. Understand that healing power is a byproduct of the intercessory prayer and therefore the focus of our prayer is where the real power is being applied.
If anyone tells you that there isn’t power in prayer, they simply aren’t reading the scriptures and the importance placed on prayer, especially the prayer of intercession.
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.
1 Timothy 2:1 (NLT)
There is a linkage between faith and prayers success.
Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
Matthew 21:21-22 (NLT)
The ‘name it and claim it’ crowd might try to use this passage in Matthew as an excuse to claim that we can have anything we want just so long as we believe that we can have it. That’s not what Jesus is saying here. They want to eliminate the phrase in-between the beginning and end, or they want to soften it up.
The faith component is what Jesus is talking about.
This faith isn’t faith in your prayer being resolved positively the way you envision it. This faith is faith in Jesus.
“I tell you the truth”, Jesus says. The faith that Jesus is talking about here isn’t faith in OUR ability to facilitate prayers power in the direction of our choosing. It is faith in God’s ability to fulfill the essence of the prayer and that faith is directly tide to our being submissive to the will of God.
If we are fully submitted to God, then what we pray for will be in alignment with God’s will through the Holy Spirit.
It is the exact same faith as what facilitated our salvation by His Grace. It is faith in Jesus and what Jesus has done and is committed to doing. If we have any doubt in that, we are wasting our breath praying.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)
Prayer is critical. And intercessory prayer is “Critical Prayer”.
In His Grace!