Friday, March 16, 2012

Intercessory Prayer

Last Sunday morning, Dr. Burris preached a message on prayer. I've been thinking about it this week as several of my pastor friends have expressed needs that they or their churches have. My thoughts have been more about our need to pray for one another and how we end up in the situations that we find ourselves in from time to time since Sunday's message.

I also feel compelled to mention just how cool it feels to bring a friend's name and need before the Mighty God of the universe.

I know that some of my readers may never give a thought to spiritual warfare. Some of you think of anything spiritual is an imagined concept of a weak mind. I happen to believe that spiritual warfare is a very real thing and is being fought out in battles all around us. Some of us are injured in the process and there are souls that are won and lost. Eternity hangs in the balance. Even many of my Christian friends rarely give a thought to the battle that rages in the spiritual realm. But it is real and we should intercede for those that are on the front lines of the conflict.

I am going to have to admit some ignorance. I really don't understand why God would listen to the request made by one like me. If He is sovereign (and I believe He is), then how is He influenced by the urging of a mere human? If He is omniscient (and I believe He is), then He already knows of my need or the needs of my friends before I ask.

And yet, Jesus tells us to pray.
In fact, Jesus leads by example and prays for his followers...then and now. Yeah, that's right. Jesus prayed for us! Somehow I'm guessing that the prayers of Jesus have a little bit more weight than my own petitions.

On the other hand, the Bible says that we are joint heirs with Him. Perhaps God hears our prayers as a parent  listens to the innocent petitions of his child.
(Memory interrupts here and I see a very young Hannah holding my face with both hands and looking directly into my eyes to make sure that she has my full attention.)
Maybe it's like that. Maybe we need to come to God with the innocence and urgency of a child with an important petition; important enough to hold His face in our hands and share our need (or the needs of our friends).

I also have to admit, that although I enjoy praying for my pastor friends, I am somewhat disturbed by their needs. In three different situations, Satan is working through members of their churches to destroy the work of the Holy Spirit through the men called to lead as pastors.

How is it that we can get so puffed up with ourselves that we would presume to overstep the biblical guidance to honor our pastors and respect those that have ordained to guide us? Can pastors make mistakes? Yes, they can. Going to them to discuss differences is way different than going around them to create division.

If you are a church member, I want to urge you to guard your pastor. Guard him with your prayers. Guard him with your voice. Speak up for him if he is being attacked. Defend him when called to defend him. Offer to go to him with a brother that feels the need to confront him on an issue.

The battle rages on.
Souls are the currency of a spiritual war.
Eternity hangs in the balance.

John <><

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very good post, John. We certainly do need to respect the role our pastors have been chosen for and fervently pray for them. Spiritual warfare is very real.