“That is the difference…”

“Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:30

Question for the day:  How do I become a true intercessor?

As well meaning Christians, I think we all pretty much are willing to pray for others when asked.  Isn’t that part of our dna, to ask for God’s blessings on others in need?  But I ask myself, “Am I faithful to follow through on these requests until I see circumstances change?” Or do I pray for a few days, and then let other issues take over my attention, leaving that first request forgotten by the wayside?

In his book, “The Circle Maker,” Reverend Mark Batterson explains the difference between praying for and praying through:

“praying through is grabbing hold of the horns of the altar and refusing to let go until God answers. Praying through is all about consistency.  Praying through is all about intensity.”

The first time I read this, it became very clear to me that I was no intercessor.  I know people like this, those that will pray you through any situation and won’t give up until it is resolved.  And what a blessing they are to the rest of us.  But I can’t say that I am this trustworthy.  So what is the difference between us?

This is where I am drawn back to the scripture from Romans.  Paul asks the believers to “join in his struggle.”  That is the difference.  True intercessory prayer is not simply praying for someone.  If I am understanding correctly, it means to come alongside and pray with that person; to take on his struggle as my own.  It means to go to God with the intensity as if the problem was mine.  And it is born out of heart supernaturally filled with love for the other person.  Let’s be honest, if I were the one with a failing marriage, declining health, or financial loss – wouldn’t I be on my knees every day asking the Lord for help? God is telling me that is the attitude I should have when I pray for others.

So what am I missing?  What elements of the intercessory spirit do I need to cultivate in my lifestyle to be a blessing to others around me?  I believe this is going to be a lifetime learning initiative for me…

Gracious Lord,

Praise be to the Son, who is the hope and light of the world.  Praise be to the Holy Spirit, who teaches me and leads me down the paths of righteousness.  

Lord, You have given me the most awesome privilege, that of coming to Your throne in all freedom.  Help me to take full advantage of that gift.  Give me the heart of an intercessor.  Give me the heart of one who will take on the responsibility of praying my friends through circumstances they cannot navigate on their own.

Fill me heart with Your precious Holy Spirit, that I may be wise, discerning, and compassionate in all matters.  Teach me to pray, my King, for Your will to be done in all things, and give me the faith to stay in dialogue with You until You are tired of hearing from me.  

Thank You, Lord, for always listening.

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen

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