Life of intercessory prayer and faith

IntercessoryPrayer

When I worship, I think of my opening lines. Most of the time I call out to my Heavenly Father, following very much in the footsteps of how Jesus taught us to pray and how He lead in prayer Himself.

But David had some good opening lines too. I like this one in particular and am thinking about using it from time to time.

You are my king and my God;
    you give[b] victory to your people. – Psalm 44:4 GNT

I know about His power and His grace and I love the fact that He is my King. Who is mighty like God, who else do I worship and turn to for help? By virtue of His office, He comes and fights my battles for me. I think David captures an intercessory prayer here but he illustrates that such a prayer can only be prayed by someone who is sure of their personal interest in God and that God is their God before they can pray for the rest of the tired and tried family of the faithful.

It is the same point that David’s son Solomon was trying to make, challenging us to know God and be known by Him.

My lover is mine, and I am his;
    he feeds his flock among the lilies. – Song of Solomon 6:3 GNT

Is this not the love of Christ shown in His life and death and revealed to you and I by the power of the Holy Spirit? Isn’t this the same kind of love that draws me out of myself, my cold and selfish nature, unworthy and unfaithful, and makes me think about God in the first place? Is it not true that we know He loves us much more than we love Him at first. His love is certain – the cross is evidence enough. Are we not afraid that we count on our excited feelings and that it could be a fleeting emotion? However, as life goes on, and by His grace I keep persevering in a life of prayer and faith, I sense a response of earnest love coming from me and it gives birth to hope. When I think of His eye being on me and that He knows my heart, I am in awe of Him and am filled with hope and peace. That is my prayer and I joy as He finds these places where He feeds me and fills me.

The preface of the Lord’s Prayer (contained in these words, Our Father which art in heaven), teaches us, when we pray, to draw near to God with confidence of his fatherly goodness, and our interest therein; with reverence, and all other childlike dispositions, heavenly affections, and due apprehensions of his sovereign power, majesty, and gracious condescension: as also, to pray with and for others. – Westminster Larger Catechism

 

 

Praying the final step or the glue

praying the final step or the glue

Many times I find myself in situations where I wish there was a pillar of cloud rising up and moving out and then stopping and settling down where I need to be. Same as the pillar of fire at night.

The Israelites moved their camp to another place only when the cloud lifted from the Tent. As long as the cloud stayed there, they did not move their camp.During all their wanderings they could see the cloud of the Lord‘s presence over the Tent during the day and a fire burning above it during the night. – Exodus 40:36-38 GNT

In many ways His Spirit leads me today. Yet, in the midst of making life impacting decisions I find myself praying and listening and I ask for pillar of cloud and fire to rise up so I can be sure of where I am going.

What makes this bearable is that I know God wants me to go in the right direction – make wise decisions. He does not hide His will from me. I believe that is why He enjoys when I spend time talking to Him about things that matter to me. His Holy Spirit will lead my thoughts, will guide my desires and I will make the right decision at the end.

What a confidence for me to have when I pray. God leading and guiding as I pray and follow Him.

I should enjoy prayer more. It is necessary and I believe essential to my everyday life and not just when I need to make that amazing, life-changing decision. It is hard to wait sometimes. Sometimes I go do my thing and then ask the Lord to walk with me. Most of the time I want to pray first, asking God for wisdom and understanding before I more forward.

We may make our plans, but God has the last word.[a]

You may think everything you do is right, but the Lord judges your motives.

Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out. – Proverbs 16:1-3 GNT

I want prayer not to be my final step but rather the glue that holds the whole plan together. When I do I may find myself experiencing the power of His resurrection and I may find myself sharing in His sufferings.

All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death. Philippians 3:10 GNT

Where He leads me I know that this prayer of Paul’s will end up being mine as well – koinōnia 

“The fourth rule is that, thus cast down and overcome by true humility, we should be nonetheless encouraged to pray by a sure hope that our prayer will be answered. These are indeed things apparently contrary: to join the firm assurance of God’s favor to a sense of his just vengeance; yet, on the ground that God’s goodness alone raises up those oppressed by their own evil deeds, they very well agree together. For, in accordance with our previous teaching that repentance and faith are companions joined together by an indissoluble bond, although one of these terrifies us while the other gladdens us, so also these two ought to be present together in prayers. And David briefly expresses this agreement when he says: “I through the abundance of thy goodness will enter thy house, I will worship toward the temple of thy holiness with fear” [Ps. 5:7]. – Calvin