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Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbor on our knees.
By intercessory prayer we can hold off Satan from other lives and give the Holy Ghost a chance with them. No wonder Jesus put such tremendous emphasis on prayer
The 100-Year Prayer Meeting
In 1722, Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf, troubled by the suffering of Christian exiles from Bohemia and Moravia, allowed them to establish a community on his estate in Germany. The center became known as Herrnhut, meaning “Under the Lord’s Watch.” It grew quickly, and so did its appreciation for the power of prayer.
On August 27, 1727, twenty-four men and twenty-four women covenanted to spend an hour each day in scheduled prayer, praying in sequence around the clock. Soon others joined the prayer chain. More signed on, then others still. Days passed, then months. Unceasing prayer rose to God twenty-four-hours a day as someone—at least one—was engaged in intercessory prayer each hour of every day. The intercessors met weekly for encouragement and to read letters and messages from their brothers in different places, giving them specific needs to pray about. A decade passed, the prayer chain continuing nonstop. Then another decade. It was a prayer meeting that lasted over one hundred years.
Undoubtedly this prayer chain helped birth Protestant missions. Six months into it, Zinzendorf, twenty-seven, suggested the possibility of attempting to reach others for Christ in the West Indies, Greenland, Turkey, and Lapland. Twenty-six Moravians stepped forward the next day to volunteer. The first missionaries, Leonard Dober and David Nitschmann, were commissioned during an unforgettable service on August 18, 1732, during which one hundred hymns were sung. The two men reached the West Indies in December of that year, beginning the “Golden Decade” of Moravian Missions, 1732–1742. During the first two years, twenty-two missionaries perished and two more were imprisoned, but others took their places. In all, seventy Moravian missionaries flowed from the six hundred inhabitants of Herrnhut, a feat unparalleled in missionary history.
By the time William Carey became the “Father of Modern Missions” over three hundred Moravian missionaries had already gone to the ends of the earth. And that’s not all. The Moravian fervor sparked the conversions of John and Charles Wesley and indirectly ignited the Great Awakening that swept through Europe and America, sweeping thousands into the kingdom. The prayer meeting lasted one hundred years. The results will last for eternity.
(Robert J. Morgan, On This Day (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997), August 27.)
Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbor on our knees.
INTERCESSION: PYRAMID PRAYER?
Philip Yancey in his book on prayer tells of a young American soldier in Iraq who learns that his wife back home has advanced cervical cancer. Doctors gave a bleak prognosis. In desperation, he sent an urgent email to his church with the request that everyone in turn forward his prayer request to every praying person they knew. The email said, "Pray and forward. It only takes a second to hit "forward." Please don’t delete this, your prayer can and perhaps will save her life. Please pray and ask everyone you know to pray for the HEALING of Cindy, removal of the cancer in her body so she may enjoy all that life has to offer, and continue to be the wonderful mother to our 5-year-old son."
Yancey goes on to ask, "Does prayer operate like a pyramid scheme -- the more people who pray, the more likely the answer? Does a sick woman with who happens to have praying friends stand a better chance for recovery than an equally deserving person who does not?"
[Source: Philip Yancey. "Prayer: Does It Make a Difference?" (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) p. 301. From a sermon by John Hamby, "Praying for Other’s: The Power of Intercessory Prayer" 6/29/2009]
Sermon Central Staff
THE CANE RIDGE REVIVAL
One of those great revivals of the American past took place in the late spring and early summer of 1801 at Cane Ridge in central Kentucky. A pastor named Barton Stone, who had been called to serve this little Methodist church by Daniel Boone, decided to call a four-day meeting for personal renewal and revival.
The members of the Cane Ridge church and most of the people around them were farmers and since the crops had been planted and they were waiting on the harvest at the end of the summer willingly laid down their plows for this meeting. At that May meeting there were many in that local church that begin to experience what was called "the fullness of the Spirit" or as later Methodist and holiness preachers would call it "perfect love." We can read accounts of what took place and understand it as they were receiving the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking with tongues.
Since the May meeting had gone so well, Barton Stone and his small church decided that they would host another meeting in August that would be just before the harvesting of their crops. The only difference this time was that this little church had now spent about 2 ½ months in revival and the word begin to leak out about what was taking place. As the word spread in the surrounding communities, people came from everywhere. So many came that the United States Army had to come in to help with managing the crowds. The U.S. Army did their own count and said there were 20,000 who came to this Cane Ridge revival meeting.
The little church could seat at its maximum capacity only about 250 people and so the overflow spilled out into several pastures and pulpits were put up so that people could hear the Word and then respond in the old-fashioned altars.
James Finley, who was converted and would later become a circuit-riding Methodist preacher, described the scene in his personal journal:
The noise was like the roar of Niagara. The vast sea of human beings seemed to be agitated as if by a storm. I counted seven ministers, all preaching at one time, some on stumps, some on wagons, and one was standing on a tree which had, in falling, lodged against another. . . Some of the people were singing, others praying, some crying for mercy in the most piteous accents, while others were shouting most vociferously. While witnessing these scenes, a peculiarly-strange sensation, such as I had never felt before, came over me. My heart beat tumultuously, my knees trembled, my lips quivered, and I felt as though I must fall to the ground. A strange supernatural power seemed to pervade the entire mass of mind collected there. . . I stepped up on to the log, where I could have a better view of the surging sea of humanity. At one time I saw at least five hundred swept down in a moment, as if a battery of a thousand guns had been opened upon them, and then immediately followed shrieks and shouts that rent the very heavens. (From James Boles, The Great Revival, 1787-1805.)
It was not too long after this that the entire American frontier blazed with revival. Peter Cartwright, another Methodist circuit-rider, came to the fore-front of the revival scene and God was pouring out His Spirit on those 'shoutin' Methodist and holiness preachers and people. It was during this time that the camp meetings began their ascent in the history of the American churches.
-All revivals have a price tag on them. They are not cheap nor do they come easy. They require great devotion and personal sacrifice.
* Revivals bring the Church back to prayer.
* Revivals return the Church to a hunger for the Word of God.
* Revivals jolt the Church from spiritual stagnation and deadness of heart.
* Revivals stimulate the Church to heart-felt, sincere worship.
* Revivals bring the Church to place of intercessory agony that is marked by tears and travail.
* Revivals cause commitment to holiness and separation from the world.
* Revivals fill the Church with passion and godly desire.
* Revivals fill the Church with a reformation of mind and heart.
(From a sermon by Philip Harrelson, The Battlefield of Prayer, 8/6/2010)
Sermon Central Staff
OVERCOMING EVIL WITH GOOD
Stuart Holden (1874-1934), the author of "Prevailing Intercessory Prayer", was in Egypt and met a sergeant in a Highland regiment. "How were you brought to Christ?" he asked this bright Christian.
The sergeant responded: "There was a private in the same company as myself who had been converted in Malta , and I gave him a terrible time. I remember one night in particular when it was very rainy and he came in wet and weary from sentry duty. Yet, as usual, he still got down on his knees before going to bed. My boots were covered in mud and I threw them both at him and hit him twice on the head. He kept kneeling and praying.
The next morning when I woke up I found my boots beautifully cleaned and polished at my bedside. This was his reply to me and it broke my heart. That day I was brought to repentance."
(From a sermon by Ken Pell, A Fruit-Full Marriage: Gentleness (Gentle Love), 9/4/2011)
Great Christian leaders have known the necessity of coming to repentance and spending some time in intercession for those in harm’s way.
President Abraham Lincoln, in a National Proclamation of Prayer and Repentance in 1863 wrote, “We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” (The Presidential Prayer Team Website)
He also wrote, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and all that is about me, seemed insufficient… One stormy night I tossed on my bed, unable to sleep as I thought of the terrible sufferings of our soldiers... I spent an hour in agonizing prayer.” (The Presidential Prayer Team Website)
Tomorrow is “Memorial Day,” a national holiday set aside to honor American Servicemen and women who gave their lives in our country’s defense. They allowed themselves to be in harm’s way.
The losses in World War 1 numbered 116, 500 brave sons, in World War ll a total of 405,400 and the number of boys lost in our bloodiest war, the Civil War far exceeded that.
The most moving story about the observance of remembering those who gave their lives in war is about a woman in the south who was putting some flowers on the grave of a soldier from the North. This young soldier lost his life in the Civil War. When the other southern ladies s...
On Top of Our Game! (09.27.05--Teach Me to Pray!--Psalm 122:6-7)
How many things are you passionate about in life? I remember many years ago during the Lombardi days and the good fortune of the Green Bay Packers. I was passionate about them.
Between 1961 and 1969 I can honestly say that I never, never missed watching or listening to a weekend Packer broadcast. It really didn’t matter where we were or what the inconvenience, I had to know what was going on with my beloved Packers. Then the unexpected happened. The Packers were playing that old familiar Thanksgiving Day game against, their arch nemesis, the Detroit Lions. We were invited to my grandmother’s house for the day. When we got there I discovered to my dismay that my grandmother’s TV set was not working. And the radio reception from her little upper flat was poor. That cold November Thursday I found myself sitting in my Dad’s 1959 Plymouth, bundled up, shivering, but listening to Ted Moore on the car radio. I needed to be a “part” of that game no matter the cost.
When it comes to prayer, how passionate should we be? Willing to sacrifice, even put ourselves into an uncomfortable situation, in order to stay on top of our “game?” Robert E. Lee was a man who knew how to stay on top of his game. And, when it came to prayer, no one was better. He wrote: “Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour, I humbly urge that we take time to pray--to really pray. Let there be prayer at sunup, at noonday, at sundown, at midnight--all through the day. Let us all pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for our churches. Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word ‘concern’ out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, fo...