“It’s all too easy to admire from afar the power of prayer and understand the promises attached to it without ever experiencing its reality in our lives.” – Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala with Jennifer Schuchmann
If you were to write down the answered prayers you’ve experienced in your life, how long would your list be?
- Would the span of time between answers cover days or years?
- Would the answered prayers primarily be about your needs, and your family and friends or would they also include answered prayers for your church, missionaries, ministries, and people in other countries?
- Do you have enough faith to believe God works through your prayers whether or not you actually see or hear about the answers?
In Matthew 6:19-20, Jesus exhorts us:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Are you storing up for yourself treasures in heaven in the form of ongoing, fervent prayer and intercession for others?
The unfortunate truth is that if our prayers were like planted seeds, many of us would see the sum total of our prayers like the equivalent of a small backyard garden plot: for the most part, we faithfully prayed for our needs, family, and friends.
Few of us would see the equivalent of a harvest field.
James 5:16-17 makes it clear that the power of prayer is equally available to all believers:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.
Are we a people who consistently intercede for substantial lengths of time on the behalf of our churches which need cleansing, our marriages which need strengthening, and our ministries that need the wind of the Holy Spirit’s fresh empowering?
My invitation to each person reading this book is not to just pray for your needs, requests, family, and friends—but to specifically and persistently intercede for our church bodies, neighborhoods, communities, government, and for other countries.
How is your prayer portfolio?
Is it the equivalent of a backyard garden plot or is it an expanding harvest field?
How would you like it to be?
Brothers and sisters, may we be willing to stand in the gap for our families, brothers, sisters, church families and those who have yet to be rescued from the dominion of darkness (Col 1:13-14). May eternity reveal the precious stones of intercession that were quarried because we prayed earnestly. – Precious Stones