Prayer, part 7
1st of July
I will continue to write about some of the intercessors that are mentioned in the Bible. I will start by mentioning one who isn’t so known. His name is Epaphras. He was one of the co-workers of Paul. We read in Col.4:12 “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. In the next verse we read that he had a great zeal for those in Colosse, Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. DO YOU HAVE A GREAT ZEAL OR PASSION FOR THOSE YOU PRAY FOR? If you do, you will never give up. You keep on till you have an answer. If you zealously pray, you pray with love and you are very activ in your prayers. I imagine a person laying on their knees or walking around, not a person who is half-asleep in his or her bed. What are the purpose for his prayers? He prayed in order for the people to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Epaphras had the heart of a father. He wanted each and everyone to enter into God’s perfect plan for their lives. Do you know that God has a spesific plan for your life? I can identify with Epaphras. I am a mother and I can fervently pray for my spiritual “children” and cry out: ” God, You see this person, he or she is slowly moving away from You. Draw that person back to Yourself. Let the Holy Spirit accompany them and work on them in order for them to stop and repent. You devil, release them. You shall have no more power over them. I command you in the name of Jesus. God, let the angels arrange a meeting between the person and some good Christians. Thank You God that You are their Father and You are watching over them. I release them into Your hands.” I have many other ways of praying, but this might be one. I will also use my prayer language a lot.
The apostle Paul is one of the most known and one of the best intercessors in the New Covenant. Many of his letters start like this: “We give thanks to God and our Lord Jesus Christ for you and mention you always in our prayers.” He also says: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Why is Paul thanking God for them? One of the reasons was their love and their faith. They had also given generously. He is also thankful for their faithfulness and their fellowship in the Gospel. I really think that we should do likewise. Do we thank God for our sisters and brothers in Christ? Do we thank God for the positive things that they are doing in and for Christ? Are we thanking our Father for their love or do we come with a long list of complaints? Maybe we ask God to change them in order for them to become more like us. Maybe we even take that task upon ourselves? That might not be the same as changing into the likeness of Christ. When we thank God for our sisters and brothers, I do think that we will look at them through other “glasses”. Paul says that he both prays and give thanks for them. WE SHALL THANK GOD FOR OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS IN THE FAITH AND THEN WE SHALL PRAY FOR THEM.
Paul, who is a man, talked about labour-pains. You can turn to Gal.4:19. There we read: “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” It can be quite painful to give birth and Paul compares that with the labour he has when he prays. I know what he talks about. When I am in spiritual labour, I can cry, groan, whisper and scream. It can almost be like a physical pain and I do not give up before the pain is over. ARE YOU WILLING TO DO THIS FOR OTHERS? I do not recommend to start this with non-believers present. You do not take just anybody with you into the delivery room. Sometimes this pain can come over many at the same time and they are together birthing forth the will of God. They are in One Spirit then. A mother is passionately giving birth to her own child. Our aim is to give birth to Christ in people, either for salvation or for Christ to be formed in us. He should increase and we should decrease. A natural birth is driven forth by labour pains, a spiritual birth is driven forth by the Holy Spirit. We have to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, our Helper.
Have you read the letter written to Timothy? It is a moving letter written by a spiritual father to his spiritual son. In the second letter we read that Paul always remember him in his prayers, both night and day. In 2.Tim.1:4 we read that Paul is longing to see him and he remember Timothy’s tears. Paul is so happy for the genuine faith that is in Timothy. He also reminds him of the gifts of the Spirit and encourage him to use them. Paul’s prayers for Timothy was driven by his love for him. WHEN WE PRAY FOR OTHERS, WE HAVE TO TUNE IN TO GOD’S HEART. LOVE IS THE DRIVING FORCE.
This is the last part that I write on praying for the time being. I most likely will come back to it since praying is such a vital part of the Christian life. At least it should be.
I will remind you of the fact that praying is to have communion with God. You have to know God and know the Word, the expression of His will. Without knowing His will, you cannot pray according to His will. You are not assured an answer to your prayers then. We read in John 15:7 “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” God answers our prayers when they are according to His will. I have given examples from the Bible.
I have written about praying in the spirit and with the mind, in other words in tongues and with words. Our prayers should come from our new-born spirit in both cases.
Praise and worship are mentioned under the topic of prayer. It is important to thank God and Jesus for everything they have done and do to-day. That will reduce our need for long demands even if no need is too big nor too small to come with before the Throne of Grace.
I have mentioned praying alone and in the big congregation. A big group can often mean a really brakethrough over places and nations.
In prayers we call on God and direct our attention against the devil. We pray to God and command the devil away from any area in our or other people’s lives. We do this in the name of Jesus. WE SHOULD BE WATCHMEN ON THE WALL.
I have also written about intercession. Jesus is an intercessor. You can read about that in John 17. He is interceding for you and me. Aren’t you glad?
I love to pray and I seldom experience praying as a burden and something heavy. It can be a piece of work. I mentioned labouring in birth-pain, but I keep remembering “the child” and then it is easier.
I hope that htese chapters have given you more knowledge and that they have inspired you to pray more. Our prayers make a difference in our own lives and in those of others. We are changing the world by our prayers.
ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO LEAD AND INSPIRE YOUR PRAYER-LIFE AND GIVE GOD TIME AND SPACE IN YOUR LIFE.
A BLESSED SUMMER TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!