“Pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
It has become common to hear people criticize people who respond to tragedies like hurricanes or fires with the promise “I am praying for you!” The critics accuse the person of doing nothing if all they do is pray.
I suppose we should be patient with people who obviously do not value prayer as having anything to do with reality. We may even learn from them that prayer is best in private with God and should not simply be a post on facebook for others to see. Jesus warned us about public prayers!
Even so, I know how important intercession has become for me. Whether someone is interceding for me or I am interceding for them I have literally felt deeply the impact of their prayers.
I have been touched by the intercession of others across great distances and I have touched others across great distances by intercession. Intercession truly works for the good of all involved.
So, I believe in intercession.
When we intercede we are most likely to sense what is the most important things that are at stake in another’s crisis. As we intercede we see God’s point of view and we see the hurting person as God sees them. In the process we also understand what we can do in a practical way in order to help. People who truly intercede are happy to act once they see clearly how to act.
When I intercede I am involving myself personally in another’s spiritual life. As I become involved through intercession, I feel a growing responsibility to act on their behalf in practical ways as well.
Living here in Brazil we are so far away from all of our family members in the USA. I have found that intercession closes the distance and informs me what my next step of love should be toward each family member.
On many occasions over the years I have felt a lift in my spirit coming from somewhere other than my own mind, emotions and will. After feeling this lift in courage, faith, joy or hope, I have often received this question from someone who loves us and prays for us: “On such and such date and at a certain time did you go through a really difficult experience? I felt an urge to intercede for you that day and at that time.” When I check the date and the time and it matches the date and time my spirit lifted I have been reduced to tears seeing that at that moment I was facing something I felt I could not face alone.
If you intercede for people you love, do not stop. There are things going on in all of our lives we should not face alone.
It would also be good to intercede for the critics. They, too, need a lift in spirit that comes from someone who intercedes for them.