Wednesday, September 24, 2014


    The kids and i have been doing a study called, Love to Pray by Alvin Vandergriend in the mornings lately. It's a 40 day devotional that we've done before (i had scrawled the date of the last time we did it on the front cover - January 2006). In it, i had made notes and prayer requests - praying for baby cousins who were on the way tucked in their mother's wombs, prayers for our daddy to find a job as his was in flux as this was right before we ended up moving to Calgary... It has been an interesting trip down memory lane, but more importantly - it has been another invitation (He is constantly inviting...) to walk, run or even crawl deeper into my prayer journey. 

    The author  made a distinction in this book between petition (praying for ourselves) and intercession (praying for others). As we've read different passages and as we've studied - but ultimately as we've taken the time each morning to put into practice what we're learning and to actually pray... i feel like i've been stretched by this invitation to put my love into action through prayer.

    Sometimes praying feels like walking a tightrope. i want to pray only the things that are in the will of God, i want to pray authentically... i want to bring Him my hurt, my worry, my heart, my adoration and my joy. i want to pray for others for the areas in their lives that are broken. A word i used that maybe i just made up is, `pre-redeemed`... "What does pre-Christmas mean?" i asked my little ones, "We can only use the word, 'pre-Christmas' because Christmas is coming." i want to have the confidence to use the word, 'pre-redeemed' in the same way - redemption of all the the enemy has stolen is coming, beauty from ashes. i might be living in the 'pre' - but that little word only indicates what is coming, and i can't wait.

    Today was beautiful in it's practical applicability. First the question of nagging doubt was tenderly addressed. Do my prayers make any difference at all? If i believe the Bible... if i take God at His word... then i have to believe that through His Great Love for us, God does allow our prayers to make a difference to the history of nations, our family, our communities, our churches... i believe it. i think that belief  is no small thing when God is looks for and calls intercessors. If we don't believe that our prayers matter, or that they've had any consequence at all... prayer won't be precious to us, and i think over time we'd probably cease to make time for it at all because what is relationship with a God who remains disengaged from our lives, from our trials and from our pain? Thankfully this isn't how God truly is... He is engaged, He sees, He hears and He takes action on our behalf. He loves us, and is deeply interested in having a relationship with us. He is worthy of our love.

    Still, prayer is sometimes hard (like anything worth learning or doing). We run out of things to say, we wonder if maybe we're praying for healing when God is going to use sickness. We wonder if our present suffering is possibly not worth mentioning... we pray alone and our mind drifts and we might feel like we're talking to ourselves. Prayer is something we can grow in, we can learn about, we can get better at. It's not just an intangible feeling, "Sending you good vibes!" It's an intentional conversation with the One in control.

    I love the distinction between petition and intercession - and i don't remember making it before in my own mind. Honestly? i think we are in desperate need of both - but sometimes i find i need to focus outside of my own self, and God has used intercession to show me His Great Love for those around me, and in those times i think it has helped me catch just a glimpse of the bigger picture. The devotional i mentioned gave us a small tool to try this morning using the word, BLESS to help us to pray for those around us. The B stood for body needs. We prayed for those who are struggling with their physical body - for strength and healing for sickness, brokenness and disease. We prayed by name for people with needs in their physical body and blessed them. L stood for labour - it was easy to remember to pray for our pastor, for our church leadership and for their families, but we also prayed for Cairo, out getting training for her vocation and for Neil who works for our family. We all labour, but using this little tool brought specific people to mind... and we prayed for them by name. The E was for emotional - there are so many with inner hurts that God wants to heal - the pre-redeemed. We prayed for them. The first S stood for social - (relational) needs. We prayed for families for restoration of brokenness and for these relationships that currently bring pain to begin instead to bring joy and hope and strength to their members. We prayed for families to receive blessing, and also for them to bring glory to God. The last S was for spiritual - for people who need Jesus. We prayed for our friends by name but also for our little community, our neighbours and the world.

    And i don't know if it's because Elmer slept in and we had the time and the atmosphere to just *be* before God, to be reminded by Him of the people He loves, to intercede for them and "stand in the gap" between, 'pre-redeemed' and 'redeemed', but even hours later... i'm unable to shake the idea that our prayers from this morning were heard and that their impact will be multi-faceted and generational, because that? That is the kind of God that i serve - and He wastes nothing.

  1. the action of intervening on behalf of another.
    "through the intercession of friends, I was able to obtain her a sinecure"
    synonyms:mediation, intermediation, arbitrationconciliationnegotiationMore
    • the action of saying a prayer on behalf of another person.
      "prayers of intercession"

* Ezekiel 22: 30-31
* Luke 11: 5-8
* Philippians 4: 6-7
* 1 John 5: 14-15
* Hebrews 4:16
* Luke 18: 1
* John 16:24
* 1 John 3:21-22
* Mark 11:22-24
* Psalm 66:18-19
* Hebrews 4:16
* Exodus 17: 9, 11
* Romans 8: 26-27
* 1 Timothy 2:1-4
* 1 Thessalonians 5:17
* John 10:27
* Ephesians 6:18
* Matthew 6:9-13
* Ephesians 3: 14-19
* Colossians 1:9-12
* Ephesians 1:17-19
* 1 Chronicles 4:10
* Mark 1:35
* Luke 5:16
* Luke 6:12
* Romans 1: 9-10
* James 5:16
* Luke 22: 31-32
* Revelation 8: 3-5

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