Be a Prayer Warrior
It was 1990 when I acknowledged my need for a relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ. At that time in my life, my world seemed very small and insignificant. At the very least, I think, I felt insignificant. I wondered, what was my purpose in life? There had to be something more to life than the walls that held me prisoner.
Songs like, “Rainy Days and Mondays Always get me Down”, played on my radio and I would sing along with Karen Carpenter. Surely I helped her write that song and many of her melancholic songs. The lyrics seemed to fuel my already warped outlook at life. Many days I penned my own ink blot onto the pages, writing poetry and songs every bit as depressing. In some unexplainable way those writings became the conduit which allowed that quiet inner voice to speak, even if no one else ever heard me. Now, some twenty-four years later, I am wondering who the prayer warrior was who interceded for me?
I can remember as a young child being lonely. One particular day, I was making a snow fort out of the deep snow drifts which piled high in our backyard. All those geography documentaries from public school, no doubt, activated my imagination as I made snow caves and pretended to be an Eskimo. I laid in the snow fort while the gusts of wind blew on the outside. It was my cozy, quiet place. I would talk to God. Often, I had experiences like this. It was not until years later when I was adult that I realized, I needed to have that kind of communication with God again, but through His Son Christ Jesus.
Like I said, it has been twenty-four years of following Christ, praying, and seeking Him at every turn. Has my life been without troubles or trials since? Absolutely not. There have been many devastating moments. Of course Christians have trials and testings. Some trials may be more difficult to bear than others. There are many examples in the Bible of God’s faithful who struggled. Just read the Book of Psalms. I’m sure everyone can relate to many of David’s heartfelt words. We also have to understand that there is also an evil at work against us. He has a variety of names such as Satan, Lucifer, Father of Lies, Beelzebub, Devil and others.
Back to the question. Who was interceding for me? While I’m sure my mother prayed for me all the time. We had our goodnight prayers when I was a child. There was someone else praying (interceding) on my behalf. Other people may be praying for you or me. Maybe my grandmother prayed for me or your grandfather prayed for you? So many times we go to bed and we don’t recognize the ways God has protected us in a certain instance. That protection could have been because someone was praying for you. It is called Intercessory prayer. A derivative of the word, to intercede (prayer of intercession). This happens when someone steps in on your behalf. It is a selfless act. We don’t do this for ourselves. It is for somebody else. As Christians it is our duty and responsibility to do this for others.
The scriptures speak about prayer.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16 ESV)
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31, 32 ESV)
Do we ever give anyone else credit, even God. Jesus prays for each one of us. We are supposed to do what Jesus did and does. There is a purpose in praying. We pray for others, when they don’t even know what to pray. If we don’t pray for others and only pray for our own needs what does that say about us? Not intentionally, but I think many times I’ve treated God like a genie. Give me this. I want that. Bless me Lord I pray. Help me to be thankful Lord for what I have today. Actually, I heard a song with those lyrics many years ago and it did help to change the way I pray. Most of the time. I realized that often my prayers were selfish. I must confess to God, at times I can find myself back in that selfish mode of praying. We are called to pray for others. Are we selfish in our jobs, relationships, or whatever we do? We can make excuses, but it is selfishness not to pray for others. When we stop in the middle of our day and pray for somebody else, it is then where God moves in our lives and in the lives of those we pray for.
Look at Job. (Old Testament book of Job in the Bible) “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. (Job 1:6-12 ESV)
Satan asked God if he could sift Job. God allowed Satan the freedom and he took away Job’s children, his health, wealth and afflicted him. Job’s wife also spoke evil to Job.
“Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”But he said to her, “you speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:9, 10 ESV)
Job’s three friend’s who brought him comfort in the beginning, over time, even they began to accuse Job. What did Job do in response? He prayed (interceded to God) on his friends behalf. His prayer changed everything.
Job cries to God
“My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God, that he would argue the case of a man with God, as a son of man does with his neighbour.” (Job 16:20, 21 ESV)
God rebukes Jobs friends
Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” (Job 42:8 ESV)
The Lord Restores Jobs fortunes
“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. “And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10 ESV)
God said, “this man is selfless” and God restored Job’s fortunes. If you are going through something, pray for somebody else. Stop worrying about yourself and pray for your friends. God will bless you and give you double for your trouble. If you plan on praying for somebody else, make sure you have your righteousness together. Make sure your heart has been cleansed with repentance. Christ gives us His righteousness when we seek His kingdom and righteousness. The prayers of a righteous person avails much. If your heart is not right with God, he will not hear your prayers. Get your heart right with God.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ESV)
Satan is still at work today seeking to destroy followers of Christ Jesus.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. (Matthew 10:16-19 ESV)
The devil will dangle a carrot in front of you. Satan’s temptations can come disguised in a box of chocolates. Satan wants to get you away from God. He will exploit your weakness. He plays on that weakness. Sin will cause you to fall. If you are walking close with God, Satan wants to bring you down. If you are not doing anything for God, Satan will not bother you.Though your fellowship with God may be disturbed, it can be restored.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26, 27 ESV)
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbour.” (Galatians 6:1-4 ESV)
Holy Spirit Intercedes and Jesus is interceding for you and me that none of us will fall. Jesus told Peter that when he received forgiveness, he was to stop and help the brothers in Christ. He is asking us to do the same thing. Help someone else. Pray for one another and carry each other’s burdens. Amen.
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Hope For Today