Spiritual Discipline // INTERCESSION
By Isaac Hovet
Paul says to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 4:17). That is a tall order. I tend to think that Paul meant that each and every moment of our lives is lived in communion with the living God and therefore we can have an ongoing conversation with Him. So, praying is like breathing. We breathe in the air he has provided and exhale out our thanksgiving, our praise and our needs.
Lately we have been learning that Jesus himself was led by the Holy Spirit. (Matt 4). And, then as we evaluate his life, we see Jesus praying as naturally and easily as breathing.
Mike Breen writes:
“PRAYER was as fundamental an element in the life of Jesus as breathing. He inhaled his Father’s presence so he could exhale his Father’s will.”
Fundamentally, this is what being a Pentecostal Christian is all about: staying united, connected and joined to Jesus so that we bear Jesus-like fruit in our lives.
This quarter we are focusing on interceding—which is a form of prayer. In intercession, we are “standing in the gap” for another person. We are becoming a bridge for people. We are pleading to God for a move on behalf of someone else.
Today, read (out loud) Paul’s great intercessory prayer. This is recorded in the book of Ephesians. Replace the pronouns (you, your, us, we) with the name of the person you are praying for.
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.Ephesians 3:14–21 (NLT)