***Please see special note at the end of this devotion!
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.
Righteous Father, You created me for a purpose, and my heart’s desire is to fulfill what You have called me to do. I struggle with being pulled in many directions because of all the needs around me, and can easily be caught up in busyness or distractions! Don’t let me be deluded by the comfortable, or satisfied with less than Your best! Draw my heart into the depths of the kingdom of now for the sake of the kingdom to come. May I bring You honor and glory in the midst of what You have entrusted to me!
–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.
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
***Special Note for upcoming devotions September 26 – November 4 (Mid-Term Election Day): Prayer is critical to any nation, especially a nation that proclaims a connection to God. The United States historically had claimed such a connection. But things have changed. We are living in days that most call post-Christian. The drift from our Judeo-Christian foundation is evident in almost every aspect of our society. That leads us back to prayer. It’s time to pray for America. For the next 40 days, Connection! will be focused upon praying for our nation leading up to Election Day, November 4. Each day’s devotion will be adapted from the book, Desperate for Change by David Butts. The book is not time sensitive, so these devotions can be prayed over and over again for America in this critical hour. Each devotion is based upon a passage of Scripture. The author states, “The Scriptures used here must be used carefully. Sometimes a promise was made particularly to Israel as a theocracy (a nation whose leader was God). Because of this, you cannot just pull any promise made to Israel and automatically apply it to the United States or any other nation. But many of these promises are based on spiritual principles that can be carefully applied to our nation. I have attempted to do so, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.”
Our prayer is that you will be blessed and our nation will experience spiritual awakening!
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Photo Credit: To Stand As Righteous Women
Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2014 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries.