Friday, January 15, 2016

The Necessity of Intercessory Prayer

Last month I spoke about the Apostle Paul concerning our need to have a group of people of which we can share our vital concerns to pray about. This accountability demonstrated throughout the scriptures is necessary in the body of Christ as we are not “islands to ourselves”. (Romans 14:7-8, Ask yourself how you are doing in that regard!) What about the results of having a group of people pray for specific concerns? I am sure that each of us could give a testimony of how the Lord answered prayers in a great way, however I would like to focus on Intercessory Prayer concerning specifically our evangelistic ‘missionary’ work as Christians. By ‘our’ I mean to say all Christians have a specific area of influence in which they can spread the gospel if willing to do so! Somehow I think that through the recent movie ‘War Room’ mainstream American Christianity has been reminded of the need of Intercessory Prayer. Over the past two months I have been reading a series of books by C. Peter Wagner on prayer, including: “Churches that Pray”, “Warfare Prayer”, and “Confronting the Powers”. Though I do not agree completely with the doctrine set forth in the books, I can gather from reading them the importance of intercessory prayer for the purpose of a people group coming to Christ. Take this verse for instance:

“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” - Psalm 2:8 KJV

When read in its entirety Psalm 2 can be seen as a prophetic Psalm concerning Christ. In this verse also appears to be a promise that could very well apply to our work as missionaries, namely the giving of heathen for an  inheritance through asking. What a promise! As was said in another article that I was reading about spiritual warfare concerning evangelism, “The only thing we can take into eternity with us is other people.” With Intercessory Prayer conducted in an organized manner, though many may not see the immediate results, the answers to prayers indeed are taking people into eternity. Here is an example:

The story of J.O. Frazier to the Lisu tribe of Southwestern China with China Inland Missions (Biography: Behind the Ranges, at the beginning of the last century begins with a man who labored for years with no results only to come to the point of suicidal despair. He at last in desperation wrote his mother to gather together a group of people to intercede by prayer on his behalf. She concurred. He described the result as the forces of darkness being lifted from the area as well as his own soul. He was then able to see lasting results as hundreds, then thousands came to Christ with the end result being that the Lisu tribe in Southwestern China became a missionary sending tribe.

Don’t like what is going on in the world? What missionaries are you as well as your church interceding on the behalf of? Don’t like what is going on in your community? What local ministries are you as well as your church interceding for in your city? Ask God to raise up a group of like-minded believers in your church to do intercession!

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