Intercession

It is quite common for us to hear prayer requests like, “Pray for my boss, my co-worker, my friend’s brother, etc.”  I wonder how many of us really bother to pray for someone we don’t know or have no real passion towards. I can see you praying passionately for someone at your place of work.  But do you pray passionately for someone at someone else’s place of work?

Most of us do not pray for a friend’s friend, but we ask others to pray for our friends.  It is good to pray for an extended circle of people, but we need to watch our hearts and ask what that prayer request means. 

I will pray for your friend whom I don’t know. But prayer is real ministry, real spiritual and emotional energy which I cannot exhaust myself willy-nilly. I will ask if I can minister to your friend more fully. To visit, speak with, meet the family members, and engage more fully so that my prayer can be more meaningful, and when the prayer is answered, the recipient of the blessing will glorify God.

When I agree to take on a prayer request, I am agreeing to serve a person.  It is a serious commitment, and I need to engage more fully with the person for whom I am praying.  As much as some of us treat God as a Santa Claus, they look at pastors as Santa’s Helpers.  That is a role I find hard to fill. 

Prayer is powerful and serious business.  The prayer for the one who needs it, is an exercise to bring someone alongside to prayer the prayer of faith and thereby grow.  It is also a prayer to faith for one who is not in fellowship with God. I may ask in different words, but I would ask the recipient, “When God answers your prayer, what will be your part?”  A prayer request must bring the blessed individual closer to God. Agreeing to a prayer request is not agreeing to pass on a message to Santa.

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