I’ve often wondered how intercessory prayer works. Not that I have regular prayer figured out, but I have no doubt in its power to transform. But, praying for others, now that raises many questions for me.
I do believe in intercessory prayer, praying for others is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to them, and ourselves. Someone once said that it was like ‘giving God the permission to do what he so longs to do for us.’
I guess that I’ve always been concerned about those who have no one to pray for them….
Anyway, intercessory prayer, as with many things faith-connected, will remain a mystery to me. How does it work? Don’t know. Does it work? Absolutely. Consider this…..
(Lk 5:17-20) A paralyzed man is brought to Jesus by his friends for healing, I am sure. They can’t get close to Jesus because of the crowds and so they go up on the roof and cut a hole through the tiles and lower him down to where Jesus is standing. What is the next line? “Seeing their faith Jesus said, ‘my friend, your sins are forgiven you’.” Whose faith???? The faith of the man’s friends. No where do we read that this man said a thing. Perhaps he asked to be brought to Jesus, but if his friends didn’t lower him through the hole in the roof, he would not have gotten close enough to Jesus. Seeing their faith – Obviously these friends had enough faith and love to take the time and effort it did to bring this man to Jesus.
This is a beautiful example, for me, of the power of intercessory prayer. It was the faith of this man’s friends that brought healing to him. When others bring us to God, through their prayers and petitions, that prayer is so very powerful…..powerful enough to heal us. Your prayer for others works miracles.
And so, we must pray for our friends and, ask them to pray for us….and don’t forget, in our prayers, to pray for those who have no one to pray for them. Let us bring them to Jesus and listen for his response…..because of your faith….
We have a Circle Prayer service once a month – maybe six or eight come and with them come all the people they have been asked to pray for and all those who have no-one. Sometimes the church seems full where just six or eight are gathered. A communion of saints? An awareness that nothing is impossible to God? Knowing that Grace is not to be kept for ourselves and grows in the giving?
I very much like your idea of praying for those who have no one praying for them, even though, who knows, maybe angels pray for them, or monastics… or prayers that overflow from someone and thus go and help others…
When I do intercessory prayers, I like to pray for Godde’s intentions. How can I know what my relatives and friends need? Godde does know… Hence her intentions.
A lovely post, Andie. Once again ♥
I love the whole idea of intercessory prayer. I know it works and have seen it in action. I also love the part in Job where it talks about Job praying for his friends……..”My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” Job 42:8
Thank you, this encourages me to keep praying! Lori
We, in our community, are learning this valuable lesson as we pray earnestly for God’s touch on the lives of hurting people. We see God’s hand at work and are learning to trust Him when we don’t see anything happening.
Thank you for this post Andie. It encourages me to continue to pray for those I love as well as for others.
I really enjoyed this post. I have the privilage of incessory prayer where the Holy Spirit meets me and another prayer partner big time. Blessings.
The most powerful example of intercessory prayer I’ve experienced is when I said a rosary for a student who was giving me a very hard time. She was rude and sarcastic and her attitude was affecting the whole class. The morning after I prayed for her she knocked on my door and in an entirely different voice she asked if she could sit down and talk to me. She proceeded to tell me that she was sorry for how she had been behaving and that she was going to change… I’ve pray regularly for my students now! http://www.allisonwelch.com/myfirstyear/2010/11/the-power-of-prayer.html
Allison’s comment is such a powerful illustration of answered prayer …
Your thoughts are good to keep in mind!
Great post Andie that sparks in many directions. Just random things here- apologies if disjointed and certainly no answers :-))
On a grand scale many are keen to point out that all our prayers for world peace and prevention of world hunger etc etc don’t seem to have much effect – there are no easy answers i can give them.
Proof of sainthood often involves a person saying they were cured by intercessory prayer and yet prayer often does not seem to work or people say in a cliche (with a grain of truth?) that they are answered but not in the way we expect. Scientific studies have attempted to provide evidence or refutation of power of prayer /placebo effect etc etc.no conclusive evidence yet.
I know I like it when people tell me they will pray for me but I don’t expect it to work which reflects my lack of faith I suppose and yet my first instinct to anything is to pray for both myself and others and yes even my enemies! Is this just conditioning ?
A while back a nurse was disciplined for telling a patient who was an atheist that she would pray for her – was the nurse insensitive/out of order or not ?
Enclosed contemplative orders pray for all of us and we don’t even know it and yet I think they are wonderful and not appreciated enough.
I have ambivalent feelings to prayer- often when there are disasters we organise ourselves into vast mass prayer gatherings – something important here or just a crutch / illusory feel good factor ? i don’t know !!
I am always reminded of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane and the outcome was not what he wanted !!
I am a hopeless pathetic prayer and yet I cannot imagine not praying- and outcome ???? i don’t know but I hope I will find out one day when I can ask God directly.
Missing you, Andie ♥