Spiritual Discipline // INTERCESSION
By James Gerber
On Sunday Donia reminded us of how important it is that we allow the scriptures to inform us. She had this to say:
“How I handle the word of God matters. How I engage with it, how I allow it to inform my life or not matters. The same goes for you. You are accountable to God. How you handle the word of God matters. How you engage with it, how you allow it to inform your life or not matters. It’s as simple as that. God’s word is the revelation by which we know him. It’s how we discern his voice among the multitude of voices that surround us everyday. God’s word lives, God’s word cuts, God’s word exposes…but only if we consume it, only if we let it.”-Donia Hovet
Today we will let the scriptures inform how and what we pray for others. But first, a few thoughts…
We’ve all been there. In a prayer circle, racking our brains for what we will pray if called upon, or if it’s our turn. Of course, there are those stock prayers that we often hear:
“Lord, will you protect Suzie and put a hedge of protection around her.”
“God, will you bless Becky and her family financially.”
“God, will you bless the food to our bodies.” (To be honest, I’m not even totally sure that I know what that means.)
Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t bad prayers, but, the Lord invites us into praying prayers that are specific, powerful, and effective (see James 5:16). I could pray the prayers above forever and get by, but I think the Lord calls us into more than that.
Our “vocabulary” for prayer won’t expand until we begin to grow in our love for God’s word. Only then will we see God’s heart for us and others, because they are written all over the pages of scripture. Over time, His word will begin to be written on our hearts.
What are the types of prayers that are prayed in the scriptures for other people? What are the kind of prayers that we should be praying for other people?
Here are two prayers prayed by the Apostle Paul in the scriptures that we can glean from:
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit f of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.Ephesians 1:17-19
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.Philippians 1:9-11
- Ask yourself this: Have you ever prayed prayers like this for other people before?
- Spend time thinking of a few people to pray for and pray one of these prayers over then.
- As Donia suggested in her message on Sunday, commit to increasing the amount of scripture you take in this week. If it’s nothing, start with 5 minutes. If its 1-3x per week, increase it to 4-5x per week. If you already do that, begin to add a memory verse to your weekly scripture reading.