How do you pray and intercede for others? My brother during our prayer meeting a few weeks ago shared these words that was like a refreshing reminder that
“…the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” -James 5:16
A few weeks ago when I had the opportunity to lead a prayer meeting, I learned a lesson about prayer that was a great reminder on my own personal way of praying. As I was sharing and going through the list of prayer requests, I was humbled during a brother’s prayer as he asked God to move his heart in prayer… and to not see the prayers as just a list of things to be checked off. Now I know the brother was not trying to address me or point fingers, but it was in his sincerity that I was greatly floored by this request. Why? It is simply because in that prayer, I realized that lately, I had been approaching prayers as though I am going through a list. Partially due to the overwhelming number of people that were asking me to pray, but also due to my own forgetfulness; my prayers became life-less, monotonous!
It changed the very way I started praying. I believe that it is important to keep a list, but it was not trying to go down a list as though I was checking each request off as though I paid my holy prayer dues checklist, but it was having the liberating feeling of being able to follow-up in prayer at all times. It is about praying as though I am sitting beside the person and going through the struggles in their life with them. It isn’t praying as though I am Jesus (I AM NOT!) but praying as a fellow broken sinner that deeply needs Jesus Messiah, and praying for King Jesus to be revealed in their hearts. It is coming alongside our brothers/sisters in their brokenness in much fear and trembling… pouring our hearts out for them. For the ill, I have started to picture as though I am sitting there beside them holding their hands, and loving them in such a deeply personal time that I can’t help but tears start coming to eyes. It is praying as though I deeply love and care for them…as though I would pray for my own family member that may be dying or ill. It is praying for those struggling through difficult times as though I am sitting there on the couch with them crying with them as they go through those dark and lonely moments … questioning their faith in the midst of great suffering/job loss/self-worth/heart-break. Haven’t we wished we had people beside us in those times?
Realize and recognize that those you pray for are not just words on a paper or names … but these are fellow human beings… people with souls, lives, hearts, emotions and they need God’s love! Jesus died for them as well as for you and I. We are not called to be psycho-therapists, counselors, psychologists… we are called to point them to Jesus who can satisfy their hunger and thirst… Jesus is that
“…bread of life; whoever comes to [Him] shall not hunger, and whoever believes in [Him] shall never thirst.” -John 6:35
Let us pray with all humility, great love and compassion … and let us consider to pray for God’s work to be done in their lives rather than our work. Let us rejoice and praise the Lord in their moments of joy and happiness. Let us cry and mourn with them as they come before the Lord in their brokenness. Let us love them simply as Jesus loved them.