The Mystery of Prayer

“I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19).

He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. (2 Corinthians 1:10-11)

Prayer is a mystery. We know God is sovereign and in control, yet we are told to pray. Why? Does God need our prayers? Apparently, for whatever reason, God has restricted Himself with the stipulation that He will use humans to help further His kingdom through prayer. He responds to prayer. But . . . He also initiates the prayer. It is an endless cycle. God puts in your heart the need to pray. You pray. God responds.

Father God, thank You that You have ordained that we could have a part in Your kingdom work through prayer. Thank You for that awesome privilege. Please use me to further Your kingdom. Nudge me, prod me, compel me to pray for specific people who need Your hand of protection or guidance. Lord Jesus, I lift up ____________________ to You now. You have laid her (or him) on my heart. Show me what to pray for her. (pause) She seems to be going through the wringer right now. Send angels around her and her family to protect them. Give them the encouragement and strength they need to endure this battle. Bring relief to their situation. Show Yourself mighty in their midst! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

–Taken from Praying like Paul (Learning to Pray the Kingdom for Those You Love) by Jonathan Graf (Click on the title for more information on this resource).

Prayer Points
Praise God for his compelling love (2 Cor. 5:14). Give thanks for that love that holds us as in a vice, never letting go (Jer. 31:3). Confess those times when you fight against God’s love, wanting to go your own way or seek glory for yourself instead of for him. Commit yourself to being comfortable in that “love grip” of God so that you willingly live for him, serving him gladly (Prov. 3:3-6). Ask God to give you a greater appreciation of his eternal blessings and to be glad with the joy of his presence (Ps. 21:6).

Pray that God’s compelling love may keep believers from fear and lead them on in the daily work of ministry “in Jerusalem, and Judea . . . and to the ends of the earth” (Joel 2:21-27; Acts 1:8).

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend  (Click on the blue title for more information about this resource).