Christianity 201

October 21, 2011

Interceding Specifically

This week I returned for a few more chapters of Penetrating the Darkness a book on intercession by Dr. Jack Hayford, who for years was lead pastor at Church on The Way in Van Nuys, California.

In chapter four, Jack indicates that intercession involves three elements:

  • praying for somebody else; praying on behalf of
  • reliance on the Holy Spirit for guidance and help to pray beyond the intercessor’s knowledge or understanding
  • a challenge to our helplessness to deal with the larger issues of life

Later in the chapter, he teaches three easy-to-remember terms:

  • intersection
  • intervention
  • interception

I might come back to those at another time, and I do want to challenge you to get a copy of this book for your own, especially those of you who have a prayer and intercession ministry.   One couple in Jack’s church was Michael and Stormie Omartian and if you’ve read Stormie’s The Power of a Praying… series of books, this makes an excellent companion. 

…This morning at 5:00 AM, I woke up and felt led to pray for a man we know who has been estranged from his wife for nearly a decade.  As I thought about their situation, I felt led to pray very specifically for a number of things that need to happen.  I prayed that:

  • God would soften her heart
  • she would feel led to reopen communication
  • there would not be a barrier created by pride; that she would be humble
  • that she would be truthful with people to whom she may have painted a one-sided picture of their situation
  • that she would repent of wrongdoing on her part
  • that she would seek reconciliation and restoration of the relationship
  • that the decision she makes would stick over the long-term

I also prayed for him, that:

  • he would be open to receive her forgiveness and accept it at face value, in expectancy of reconciliation over the long-term
  • he would do his best to be the kind of person she needs
  • God would heal the wounds and scars that the last few years have created

Usually, I have great creative and spiritual clarity at that hour, but when I go to the keyboard many hours later, I have forgotten everything.  (I even considered finding a pen at 5:00 AM and making notes; I say that with apologies for those of you who are up at that hour anyway; I’m not!)  However, this time, I have recorded here point-for-point what came to me earlier in the day.

I think it’s important — it’s necessary — to pray specifically like this, and there are probably other aspects of this I could add to the example, but I want to preserve the anonymity of the people involved.

My point today is simply that to pray only, “God, bless__________;” is inadequate and even to pray, “God, bless ____________ and __________ and bring them back together;” is to miss the many barriers that often need to come down before something like that can happen.

Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit,  and I will also pray in words I understand.  ~ I Cor. 14:15 NLT

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.  ~I Tim 2: 1-3 The Message

 

Postscript: Feel free to join us in praying for our friend and his wife.

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