Summary: Intercessory prayer brings power into the lives of those person/s we take time to pray for. Do you take time to pray "really pray" for those you know?? This message is to encourage prayer for those who stand in need of it most.
The Christians Prayer
Intro: Every Christian prays at some time or another in the course of their life, but this prayer for which Paul refers is not a bed time prayer, neither is it a meal time prayer of gratitude but a prayer for spiritual power that will enable the recipient to grow towards maturity in Christ. Each of us as children of God are commanded to prayer for one another, any many do but not according to the biblical standard.
I. Intercessory Prayer is outward in direction
Note: Reader, all throughout scripture we are commanded to pray for our brethren, but many of us pray only with selfish motives: inward desires, pleasurable items and the like, but our prayer is to be intently directed towards the need of spiritual power. Why spiritual power? Satan’s at work in the vastness of his domain and we are his enemy and he constantly comes against us; therefore we must be prepared for battle. It could be said that intercessory prayer is the battle cry of the soul.
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
II. Intercessory Prayers motivation is from the heart
1. Love for others
Any man with sense will pray for his/her own needs, but it takes a deep-rooted commitment of love to offer up intercessory prayers on the behalf of others.
2. A discipline of the soul
As stated in the introduction, anyone can pray a bedtime or mealtime prayer: But dear friend, it takes someone with love and commitment to offer real prayer.
A. Commitment is a discipline
B. Thoughtfulness for others needs is a discipline
3. The duty of each believer (The Christian duty)
III. Intercessory prayers purpose
1. For the saint of God to be fully equipped
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
A. Pray for the knowledge of God’s will to be revealed
B. Pray for the ability to “Walk worthy of the Lord”
C. Pray for the increasing knowledge of God
D. Pray for spiritual strength in the inner man
a. Which produces patience, longsuffering, and joyfulness
2. To be active in battle with the enemy
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Note: As Paul starts this letter with a focus on prayer for the saints he concludes with the purpose of this prayer: spiritual warfare. Now, many followers of Christ play down this issue, some even refuse to admit that Satan is real, but all one has to do is kneel down to pray and the very forces of hell will come against you, clouding your mind and impairing the judgment, therefore Christ comes to the aid through the Holy Spirit and helps us pray in times of despair.
IV. Intercessory Prayers revelation
Note: The revelation of prayer is the answer to them; everyone loves to see God work and move with power, prayers of the heart becoming a reality.
5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
1. Some may have prayed for his release
2. Others that he would preserver the imprisonment
3. Still others that he would preach to those that held him captive
Whatever the specific prayers may have been, God showed up because prayers went up and great things took place.
God still answers prayer
1. We see the answered prayer in the widow who finds strength to endure the lose of her spouse
2. We see the answered prayer in the parents who have lost a child to death and still find the spiritual power to minister to others.
3. We see the answered prayer in the missionary in the foreign country who has no fear for his/her life and has been filled with wisdom and understanding in preaching the gospel to the lost of that country.