As Above, So Below – What I’m Learning about Intercessory Prayer
Becky helps us to understand intercessory prayer and how to be an intercessor.
I wonder what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘intercessor’?
I always imagined an older lady, sitting in a chair, praying fervently for hours at a time. I wanted that, but if I’m being completely honest, it sounded a bit boring! Maybe I’d get to it once I’d retired, and I didn’t have so many things to tick off my To Do List.
But then in my twenties I met a lady, who actually was considerably older than me, and who had a reputation for being an intercessor. She was known for faithfully praying for people and situations. I remember her saying to me once, “When people ask me to pray for them, I think they imagine I pray for hours, but I just tell God about the need and then wait for Him to act.”
This totally changed the way I started to see praying for other people.
On earth as it is in heaven
In the same way, the disciples had seen something different in the way Jesus prayed to His Father, compared to how they had prayed all their lives as those born to Jewish parents in ancient Israel.
“Teach us to pray,” they say (Luke 11:1). We want what you’ve got! And so, Jesus opens up His inner world to them:
“This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
This ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ kind of praying is simply intercessory prayer…to come between, to pray for someone else.
It seems to me that those who have discovered the joy of intercessory prayer, pray in this ‘bring heaven to earth’ kind of way; and do so boldly, specifically, and undeterred. I wonder if sometimes we pray such safe prayers that are so passive and vague, we’d never be able to tell if God responded to them or not!
Are there times when even we don’t really know what we’re asking for? Maybe Jesus is asking us the question he asked blind Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51) In other words: be specific!
Can I give you a challenge today? Just start by asking. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Or as The Message version puts it: ‘Set the world right; do what’s best – as above, so below.’
Ask that God’s kingdom will come wherever you see it is absent…anywhere and everywhere you know God’s love, peace, freedom, or justice is lacking. When you ask, be brief and be specific.
“Resist the urge to cover for God or make it easy on Him. He can handle your requests. Just ask.” (Tyler Staton)
Thank you Becky
You may like to listen to the talk by Tom & Jen on praying on all occasions: Weapons of the Spirit