Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us at the next Sunday worship service:
In-Person
9:00am & 10:45am,
Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

THE POWER OF INTERCESSION

“Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” – John 17:18-21

Amid His greatest trial, Jesus prayed fervently. What would you have prayed about when facing torture and death? It’s fascinating to see what was on Jesus’ mind as He prayed, not only for Himself (Luke 22:41-42), but for His disciples and us, as evidenced by the John 17 passage above. Jesus did not just focus inward. He prayed for the disciples—and us—out of love and deep concern.

We, too, should pray for others, including those we know who are far from the heart of God. Intercessory prayer is prayer for others. Scripture tells us that when we say intercession prayers, we build bridges between God and those we pray for. In 1 Timothy 2:1–2, Paul writes: “ 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. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”

Intercession enhances our spiritual growth. We cannot pray for the Lord to strengthen others without strengthening ourselves, and we cannot ask God to soften someone else’s heart without softening our own. We grow closer and closer to God each time we pray for someone else.

By definition, intercessory prayer means focusing on others rather than ourselves. Jesus focused on others throughout His ministry. Seeing how God intervenes in the lives of those we have prayed for gives us the chance to thank and praise Him for all His goodness.

Millions in the world do not know God. The lost people should be our priority in intercessory prayer. We should pray for those who ask us to pray and for our “enemies” like Jesus instructs us in Matthew 5:44. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “In intercessory prayer, the face that may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed into the face of one for whom Christ died, the face of a pardoned sinner.”

The Lord urges us to pray because He knows its power. He knows what prayer can do, not only for the ones we have prayed but also for us. We need to pray not to impress God but because it increases our faith. Intercession helps us see the needs of others with spiritual eyes and lift our voices on behalf of others.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does intercessory prayer mean to you? 
  2. Do you pray for other people? Do these prayers work? What do you do when a prayer is unanswered (as you thought it would be)?
  3. What lost friend or relative can you intercede for today? 

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