“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (John 14:13).
Co-laboring with God—we pray, He acts—is the only really effective way that we can do the works of God. It’s an effective way to work because the enthroned Son of God is the major player in this partnership. He is at the right hand of the Father and is in charge of all earthly operations. He is almighty, all wise, and pure love. Because He is almighty there is nothing He cannot do in answer to prayer. Because He is all wise He never makes a mistake in answering our prayers. Because He is pure love His answers will always reflect that love. He wants us to ask so that He can act in His might, in accord with His wisdom, and out of love in response to our asking. Our intercessory prayers trigger His powerful, wise, and loving way of working to build His church.
In Jesus’ words to His disciples we see how and why intercessory prayer is so critically important. To His disciples, feeling inadequate to carry on without him, Jesus did not say, “You can do it. I have trained you. Just hang in there and work hard.” Hard work is not the key to effective ministry. Neither did Jesus say, “Don’t worry. I will be on the throne of the universe. I know what needs to happen. I will see that what needs to get done will get done, because I am God.” Jesus didn’t promise that He would make things happen while they, prayerlessly, sat around and waited for Him to act. Instead Jesus committed Himself to action in response to their prayers so that they could minister effectively.
Jesus. He brought their working and His working together, and He connected them by prayer. He made prayer the key to effective ministry. Without prayer they would be helpless. With prayer they would be effective, because He would be working with them.
Powerful, wise, and loving God, may I yield myself to all that You are, and to all You desire to do. I often have my own agenda, and try to talk You into doing what I think is best. Prayer is the key to unlocking Your heart. I know that I need to be a better listener, so that my intercession can be informed by Your Spirit! Teach me how to work with You so that Your purposes are accomplished in lives, nations and circumstances!
–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend.
Read Ps. 47:5-8 and praise with joy your God, who has ascended amid the sound of trumpets. Thank him for being the King of all the earth, for reigning over the nations. Confess that you often do not think of God in such lofty terms. Commit yourself to praising God wholeheartedly today. Ask God to reveal himself to you as you praise him.
Ask God to be in the midst of his people in every time zone as they bring a worldwide symphony of praise. Pray for an anointing of the Holy Spirit in every place of worship.
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