We know how to pray in accord with God’s will because we have the mind of Christ. As we grow mature in the faith, are filled with the knowledge of God’s will (Colossians 1:9), and the eyes of our hearts are enlightened (Ephesians 1:16), we develop the ability to think like Christ. When Christ lives in us to the point where we think His thoughts, feel His emotions, will His will, and embrace His kingdom vision, then we will be able to pray with the mind of Christ. We will pray what Christ would pray were He in our place, and we will be praying in Jesus’ name.
The trouble with so much of our intercession is that we don’t take the time to think about what God’s will might be before we ask. We don’t listen very well. We just rush into His presence with wants and wishes and requests. We are so busy talking to God that we don’t have time to hear from God. If we don’t bother to hear God first, we shouldn’t be surprised if our prayers misfire. Stop and listen before you pray. Give the Holy Spirit the time and space to teach you how to pray in behalf of others.
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me Your mind and for nurturing my spirit to intercede as You would. Give me the patience and desire to listen so that my prayers are aligned with Your purposes. Holy Spirit, teach my heart to hear Your voice in order to pray for others as You would.
–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
As you come to the end of the year, lift your voice in praise to the one who is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. Thank him for the tender talks you have had with him over the past year. Confess those times when you foolishly doubted the power of prayer. Commit yourself to maintaining a daily prayer time in the coming year. Ask God to keep you accountable to him.
Pray for God’s kingdom to come in the coming year. Ask that believers throughout the earth will be bold witnesses for Christ so that all people everywhere might have the opportunity to hear the gospel.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.