Intercessory Prayer

“Be alert and always keep on praying” Ephesians 6:18b.

What is intercessory prayer? Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes it as

“(a) way of loving others when God’s Spirit moves within us causing us to want to pray for others and giving us thoughts (ways) to do it.

I had an opportunity to experience intercessory prayer in the life of one of my neighbors. Vera, my neighbor, was dying of cancer. I visited her often, bringing books and baking. I wanted to be an encouragement to her and the family. I also prayed for her salvation. There was nothing in their lifestyle that indicated they were Christians.

Because I knew she was dying, I was especially concerned about Vera’s eternal destiny. I asked my Bible study group to pray for her and also to pray that I would be able to share the gospel with her. There were times when I was determined to share the gospel with her, but then her husband would hover so close – I felt like he was afraid I would get “religious.” I prayed for an open door.

One night I awoke with great concern for Vera. I got on my knees beside the bed and interceded for her. The next morning I knew that I had to visit her again. Vera was in the hospital. This particular morning she was alone and very weak. It was difficult understanding what she was saying.

I asked her if I could read the Bible to her and she nodded “yes.” I read Psalm 23 and asked her lovingly if she was ready to meet God. Then she told me that the night before – when the Lord woke me up to intercede for her – the devil and God had been in the hospital room. She said that there was a fight for her soul and that Jesus had won.

When Vera told me that, I knew why the Lord had prompted me to pray for her. God cared about Vera enough to wake me up and to put an urgency in my heart to pray for her. He gave me the obedience to get out of bed and pray. That’s intercession – praying for others.

Are you alert and listening to God’s still small voice when He prompts you to pray for someone?

Father God, give us ears to hear Your promptings to intercede and the will to obey. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   How to Pray

•   What Should Be Included in Prayer?

•  Salvation Explained

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