One of the first things people do when they receive some not-so-great news or are going through a challenging time is to ask people for prayer. While none of us truly knows another’s heart, we DO notice that even unchurched and sometimes obviously “bad to the bone” folks will seek prayers, either directly asking someone or putting their requests on social media.
My personal opinion on this?
We are all creations of God, and we are wired to connect to Him, whether we realize it or not.
And through Him, we are all connected, brothers and sisters in this great big living tapestry of life.
And when we ask others to pray, there’s a power there, especially–I believe–in people who truly stay close to the Vine (see John 15).
I just completed what I think is THE best Bible study I have ever done (and I’ve done MANY over the years). “When You Pray” is a lovely and very homework intensive Bible study on six different types of prayers: The Lord’s Prayer, prayers of petition and thanksgiving, prayers of adoration, prayers of lament, prayers of intercession, and prayers that unify. Each chapter is written by a well-known female Bible study author, and wow… just wow. Again, it’s the best study I’ve done.
Intercessory prayers are those prayers we do on the behalf others. Some of my own daily intercessory prayers include prayers for the well-being and provision of my family, the needs of friends, and for our leaders. If people would stop complaining–especially those who profess to be Christians–about leaders and start PRAYING for them perhaps we would, indeed, see mountains move.
One of the many “driven home” points of the chapter on intercessory prayer is how Jesus prayed for others. In the 22nd chapter of Luke’s gospel, we see the Lord praying for Simon Peter, that the latter’s faith would not fail and that he would strengthen his brothers in the faith. In the 17th chapter of John’s gospel, we read where Jesus prayed for believers and those who would come to believe, that they would all be one (and wouldn’t that be wonderful?).
Many studies by health and medical associations have been conducted on the topic of intercessory prayer. Search some out for yourself. Here’s an interesting one published by the National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6027017/
Prayer is communication with God, and it should be as intimate as possible. There’ve been times I’ve actually cursed during my prayers regarding certain people or things, then I follow it with something such as, “Lord, you know my heart, so give me grace for saying that!” Then I turn myself around and pray for that person (and my own heart, too!).
There is power in praying for others.
Consider coming before the Lord each day, praying for your family and loved ones, your marriage or relationship, your work, your finances, your leaders. There’s little value in complaining, but there’s great power in prayer.
Let’s drop to our knees or get in our prayer circles and be mountain movers!
Amy Walton is a multi-certified coach, Holy Yoga instructor, RYT-200, author, and speaker who believes in the power of intercessory prayer. She’s a work in progress who seeks to be a mountain mover Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.