The Power of Intercessory Prayer

Intercession 3

Check Your Contacts

Every couple of years, usually when I upgrade my smartphone, I perform a thorough cleaning of my contact list, mostly removing outdated contacts (past year’s teachers, duplicate information, etc.). Between those times of major renovation, I periodically go through the list to make updates to photos and other information.

Recently when making updates, I paused as I realized the unusual number of people no longer an active part of my life. Some moved away, and we simply grew apart as a result. Others, the circumstances that disrupt life just sent us in different directions.

A part of me will always be sad, I think, about faded relationships. While bridges aren’t burned, things will never return to the way they were either. Impossible, really, when the people involved change along with their priorities and focuses. If I dwell on these feelings, I get stuck in the past focusing on regrets instead of remembering the positives.

Relationships as Opportunities for Prayer

As I went through my list this time, I also began seeing the relationships represented more as opportunities than just a list of people I know. I’m seeing it more as a prayer list, which allows me to still be a part of each person’s life even when connection fades. I’m finding tremendous peace in this because no matter what happens in my life or theirs, a prayer connection can always exist.

More specifically, there will always be intercession (prayer to God on behalf of another), and this can actually be the maintenance plan for every relationship we have, regardless of its current state of elasticity. Oswald Chambers said we should

Intercession 1

This means that the focus goes to God, not to the individuals involved. It means we look to Him to work in each individual’s life, and that we rely on His work, not our own, in their lives. In this sense, prayer exists as the way we can be the most helpful to the people we know regardless of the status of the relationship.

Does this undertaking of intercessory prayer seem overwhelming to you? It does to me. In fact, I feel the heaviness of my inability to follow through in an effective way. Fortunately, I don’t have to rely on my own ability in praying for others.

Intercession 2

Paul doesn’t say to pray perfectly, and he doesn’t say to do it eloquently or only when I know the situation. With the help of the Holy Spirit, as best as I am able to do so, I am to pray for others in whatever way comes to mind. In other words, be obedient and let God do his thing.

DISCUSSION: How does intercession live and breathe in your life? What Scriptures come to mind as guides for how we can pray for others?


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8 Replies to “The Power of Intercessory Prayer”

  1. i do an inventory from time to time also kari. i was thinking the other day about my blog-about how many used to comment and are no longer around. I have a whole new set of people now. I read some of the same I used to read but I also have many new ones. Moving forward is so essential. I also will sometimes breathe silent prayers for folks on my blog list, especially if I know they are facing a tough situation.
    My recent post Fudged

    1. Your blog list is a great application of this for sure. (I've heard that blog commenting in general is way down from what it used to be… so goes trends, I guess.) For me, it's more of an exercise in focusing on God rather than dwelling on what happened with the relationships. One is productive and one can lead down a depressing path.

  2. This is a wonderful idea, Kari. I have been in the same boat – lamenting how relationships seem to fade away. In fact, just yesterday I was pondering how in recent years many friends or acquaintances have departed my life and how my current friendships look very different than they did just 5-10 years ago. Sometimes, I will occasionally reach out to old friends via random texts or social media messages because I still want to maintain some sort of long-term friendship. However, prayer takes the relationship to another level. What a great use of our phone and social media contacts.
    My recent post The Pain is Not the End of the Story

    1. I'm hoping this approach transforms relationships for me, old and new. I'm also seeing newest relationships as just not having what friendships used to have. Not really sure what to make of that realization yet. Committing these thoughts as well as the individuals on my list to prayer more.

  3. I too have come to realize that though relationships change, such as due to my new lifestyle as a truckers wife, I can continue to pray for people. I do use my phone list, but also have a note page where I list people who I want to remember to pray for.
    This is something we can all do. The prayers don't have to be complicated, but simply lifting up someone to God and asking Him to provide what they need is am amazing act of love.
    My phone and computer have so many names I need to delete. thanks for the reminder.

  4. I think it is an honor to pray for others and also I know it is an encouragement to me when I know someone is praying for me.
    A good way to remain in someones life.

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