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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 49

Prayers of Intercession continued...

Now that we’ve established we are biblically mandated to intercede on behalf of those assigned to oversee our spiritual progress, and shepherd us in our spiritual walk, the question which arises is what ought we to be praying and interceding on their behalf for?

The first thing we must remember, is that every pastor, every shepherd, every overseer, is human. No matter how well known, no matter how seemingly gargantuan they might be spiritually, in the end, they are flesh and blood human beings like you, and me.

Think of your favorite biblical hero, the one individual that impresses you and humbles you with consistency every time you read of their exploits and their relationship with God. For some it might be Moses, for others Abraham, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, David, perhaps even Solomon, or Paul, or Peter, or John the Baptizer. Every one of these giants of the faith, and others besides, were human. Not one of these men was supernatural in his nature, not one of them was an undercover angel, or a heavenly being, they were born, they lived, they ate, they laughed, they slept, they married, they wept, and they died. Human!

As such they were given to their moments of doubt, there were given to their moments of anguish, they were given to their moments of uncertainty, and you will never meet a man of God that has not gone through his own valleys from time to time. If anyone who’s been in ministry longer than it takes to microwave a bag of popcorn tells you they’ve never gone through spiritual deserts, they’re either trying to put on a brave front, or outright lying. It happens to us all, and shepherds and overseers are not exempt.

At one point Elijah desires to die, exhausted, depressed and fearful. John the Baptizer, sent word to Jesus to ask if He was the one they had been waiting for or if another was to come. Moses tried to beg off the responsibility of leading God’s people, and Peter denied Christ three times, as he was forewarned he would do.

Although all these men were mortal, human beings, although they each had they shortcomings, it is undeniable that God worked through them, doing miracles at their hands, speaking with authority through their lips, and using them as vessels of honor.

As we discussed some time ago, specificity is important when it comes to prayers of intercession. Seeing as specificity is an important part of prayers of intercession, what specific things can we pray and intercede for on behalf of the shepherds and overseers of God’s house?

Romans 15:30-32, “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you.”

The first thing we can intercede and pray for on behalf of the shepherds and overseers of God’s house is protection. Pray for the protection of those on the frontlines of the battle, because they are always in the crosshairs of the enemy. Just as God has His servants, the enemy has his own servants, those who do not believe, and they go to great lengths in order to silence, or sideline the servants of the cross of Christ.

Pray for the leaders, pray for the shepherds, pray for the overseers, that God would place a hedge of protection around them, and their families, and quench the fiery arrows of the enemy that are constantly being flung at them.

I’ve said it before, chances are good I’ll say it again, it is not an easy calling, and most often, it is a thankless calling that breeds animus both from those of the world, and those within the church whose desire is to make disciples of their own, and form their own little cliques.

Colossians 4:2-4, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”

The second thing we can intercede and pray for on behalf of the shepherds and overseers of God’s house is open doors to preach the gospel. Nothing compares to when God makes a way, or when He opens a door for the word.

When God opens a door, no man can close it. When God opens a door, one realizes it would have been impossible to open by earthly means, or with worldly methods.

God has His ways, and when the children of God intercede and pray that He open a door for the word, He hears their prayers, and answers them.

Even though Paul was in chains at the time of his plea, he had full faith that if the children of God prayed, and interceded, He would make a way, He would open a door for him to speak the mystery of Christ, and make it manifest.

Paul knew the power of prayer well enough, He knew the doors prayer could open, and though he was imprisoned and in chains, he believed that if the children of God prayed, God would make a way for him to preach the gospel.

Never undervalue, or underestimate the power of prayer for yourself, as well as for others. Stand on the promises of God, and know that when you pray He hears your prayers, and when you intercede on behalf of others, He moves on their behalf.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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