Many of Jesus’ teachings were also on intercession. When the disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He gave them what we now call the Lord’s Prayer. What’s important for us to understand here is that all the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer are intercessory.
The first three concern the great issues on God’s heart: His glory, His kingdom, and His will. The next three are of paramount importance to our lives: His provision, His pardon, and His protection from the evil one. The “our” and “us” that run through the prayer are a constant reminder that when we pray these we are praying for ourselves and for others.
Jesus also knew that intercession would be a key factor in fulfilling God’s kingdom plan. For starters, He had to claim the promise made to Him in Psalm 2:8: “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” His disciples would also have to become intercessors. In the middle of a teaching tour Jesus, concerned for spiritual harvests, challenged His disciples to “ask the Lord of harvest . . . to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37–38). When the disciples were afraid they couldn’t do the work of ministry without Him, Jesus convinced them that they could do great things because they had prayer. He said, “I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name. . . .” (John 14:12–14). And, in the last evening before His arrest, Jesus urged them no less than six times to ask and receive. There is no doubt that Jesus intended intercession to be a major factor in the lives and ministries of His disciples.
–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend. This brand new resource will be available in the Fall at the PrayerShop Bookstore.
Lord of the Harvest, You promised the nations to Jesus as His inheritance, and that all the ends of the earth would be His possession, so I am crying out to You to fulfill this promise in my day! As Your disciple, I ask You, in the Name of Jesus, to send out workers into the harvest field, and I am yielded if You choose to send me to be the answer to this prayer. May I be a willing servant for the sake of Your kingdom!
Praise God, the source of light and Light. Be thankful for the times you’ve felt the Lord’s face shining on you (Ps. 80:3). Confess that you sometimes turn your face from God’s. Commit yourself to seeking God’s leading. Ask him for confirmation of new directions.
Petition God to channel peace and clarity through you to family and friends who flounder. Commit yourself to staying close to God, so your life models his leading.
“Many pray with their lips for that for which their hearts have no desire.” —Jonathan Edwards
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on the blue title for more information about this resource).