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Monday, March 3, 2014

Intercessory Prayer Is Hard Work

The hardest work I do is intercessory prayer. I’m not talking about prayer requests like those I keep on my iPhone prayer app. That list is long and I pray for the list daily during my morning time with God. I rejoice in answered prayer and move it to “answered” in the app. I’m talking about being a true intercessor. I enter these situation emotionally and spiritually, walk their road metaphorically, plead and even wrestle with God, celebrate when God says yes, and weep and struggle to accept it and even rejoice in it when God says no. It shouldn’t surprise me that intercessory prayer is hard. After all, didn’t the Biblical Jacob end up with an injured hip socket? Jesus sweated blood and poor David cried before God on behalf of his dying son, only to receive a no to that prayer. Serious prayer isn’t for wimps. In the last week, friends have suffered great loss and/or are facing serious health concerns. In this day of instant information, I can text prayers, encouragement, and scripture and receive updates, which meals I ride the roller coaster even more. Unbelievably, it is easier for me to minister to people physically because it deceptively feels like I’m more in control of the outcome. As an intercessor, I’m required to fully trust God on someone’s behalf. I must rejoice in the situation even if my human side wants to surrender to the relief of despair. I must guard my thoughts to think on what is lovely and admirable in the person and situation. When I pray at that level for someone, I fall in love with them for a lifetime even if I’ve never met them. Fortunately, I have people willing to prayerfully cover the situation and care for me when I enter this season of prayer. I must pray Jesus’ prayer, not my will but yours be done while having faith that God answers prayers and can bring good out of anything. Yes, intercessory prayer is hard but it is also a privilege to be trusted as an intercessor.  

Bible Study

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Phil 4:4-9

Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome. Genesis 32:28

Then David got up from the ground. (this is after his beloved son died) After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 2 Sam 12:20

Being an Intercessor

  • Rejoice in the Lord
  • Refuse to be anxious
  • Offer God your prayers and petitions with thanksgiving
  • Be willing to struggle with God and allow the pain of that
  • Only allow yourself to think about what is “lovely, pure…” about the person and/or situation
  • Enlist others to join you in prayers and personal support
  • When you receive your answer, regardless of the outcome, worship and return to normal life.
  • Enjoy the peace of God which transcends all understanding.

Evangelism Tips

Make Evangelism a Family Affair
When children share faith alongside their parents, they know that the faith of their parents is real. When they see the Holy Spirit enter a life, their faith in the power of the Holy Spirit grows. Statistics prove that a child seeing their parents share and live out their faith with others is the single biggest thing parents can do to assure that their children will raise their grandchildren in faith and church. The tip this week is to do it. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving specific tips on how to evangelize as a family.

Evangelize America

Princess Abgaile (yes - my granddaughter) Shared the Gospel With Over 200 Children and their Parents

 Donate to Help Us Share Jesus With America

In South Carolina, Bob and I had the privilege of leading our server to Jesus. Sweet Jasmine believed in Jesus and knew she was sinner. She was terrified she wasn’t “good enough” to go to heaven. We shared the only way to heaven and she joyfully asked Jesus to be her Savior. On Saturday, I had so much fun at North Jacksonville Baptist Church. It was their annual Pirate and Princess Party and I was asked to share with over 200 parents and children how to evangelize as a family. You didn’t have to ask me twice. It was a thrill when the parents and children truly listened. I’ve been busily planning evangelism trips to the Bonaroo Music and Arts Festival and Freedom Fest in DC. They will be here before we know it. I invite you to join us. Email me, Cheryle

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