“I pray for you constantly.”
~ Ephesians 1:16b (NLT)
Intercessory prayer is simply the act of praying for other people. For a Christian, it is a powerful spiritual gift to perform for others. In 1 Timothy believers are advised to pray, and to make intercession for “all people”.
Henry G. Bosch presented an example of the power of intercessory prayer when he related a story about an “outstanding incident” that happened in April, 1912 when the Titanic sank in the Atlantic. Over fifteen hundred people died.
The story went like this: A Colonel Gracie was a passenger. Colonel Gracie “helped launch a few life boats” with “women and children” aboard. By then he had “resigned himself” to dying. As the Titanic was sinking “beneath the waves he was sucked down in the great whirlpool of water, and he thought he had breathed his last” breath. He called on God for help and “he tried desperately to swim to the surface”.
In the meantime, in America, his wife was awakened in the night and was filled with “great concern” for her husband as she sensed he was in great danger although she had no way of knowing his situation. “Believing that she had been awakened for a purpose”, she began praying asking the Lord for her “husband's safe return”. She prayed for “several hours” and at “5 o'clock” in the morning she felt a great “peace” and was able to rest.
In the meantime, “out in the Atlantic, Colonel Gracie had bobbed to the surface near a capsized boat. Comparing notes later, he and his wife found that while she was agonizing in prayer, he had been clinging desperately to this overturned craft”. At about 5 o'clock “a lifeboat came alongside and rescued him”.
Max Lucado stated: “You are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others”. Jesus is the perfect example for God's people to follow by praying powerful intercessory prayer for loved ones, and for others who you may only know by name. For example: Jesus prayed for the lost, the disciples, future believers, and He interceded for all types of circumstances. In the Book of John, nearing the time of His crucifixion, Jesus stated: “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me because of their testimony.”. He prayed for everyone who was currently following Him, plus people in the future, and as a Christian, that includes you.
God's people have been given the pleasure to prayerfully intercede for others. They have been given the honor of being able to call upon God at any time, even when awakened in the night, as the wife of Colonel Gracie was.
Intercessory prayer is a powerful gift that you as a believer may present to others. There is nothing that takes the place of it. In James, it states: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”, and God hears every one.
Lord God, thank You for the privilege of praying for others. Help us to be more aware of this gift from You. Amen.
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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, NLT® copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Devotion shared by Ann Brock Ludington.
Intercessory prayer is simply the act of praying for other people.