Today’s message summary of January 15, 2017 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:
Last Sunday, we discussed the relationship of fasting and prayer, and the sin of gluttony. We will continue this week with discussion of:
- Intercessory Prayer
- Prayer of Suffering
- Prayer of Healing
There have been many recent news events that have occurred where we, as believers, should respond with intercessory prayer. It is one way for us to take action on behalf of others as we are interceding and petitioning God for a response.
Intercessory prayer is a priestly ministry.
1 Peter 2:5, 9
…you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for His possession,
so that you may proclaim the praises
of the One who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light.
Intercessory prayer is a prayer of mediation on behalf of others. This principle is a way of “standing in the gap” for others who are hurting or in need of relief.
I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one. So I have poured out My indignation on them and consumed them with the fire of My fury. I have brought their actions down on their own heads. This is the declaration of the Lord God.
God calls for His people to stand in the gap in the hope of averting any disaster upon those who need prayer. In the event of a calamity, intercessory prayer also has an impact upon those who remain after a tragedy.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh tells you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh. It will become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent. But then Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers—the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same thing by their occult practices. Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs. However, Pharaoh’s heart hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
1 Timothy 2:8 (ESV)
I desire then that in every place the men should pray lifting up holy hands.
In this effort, even though it is tiring, we are not to stop praying.
Romans 8:26-27, 34
In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And he who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.
Now if He were on earth, He wouldn’t be a priest, since there are those offering the gifts prescribed by the law. These serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was warned when he was about to complete the tabernacle. For God said, Be careful that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain. But Jesus has now obtained a superior ministry, and to that degree He is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been legally enacted on better promises.
Intercessory prayer is something that we should be doing.
The Prayer of Suffering
The prayer of suffering is a prayer of relief, in the midst of a trial, for relief within the trial.
In your suffering, would you stop praying if you thought it wasn’t working, or would you continue in the hope that God would provide relief? The challenge of this prayer within these circumstances is that while you are unaware of the timing, you are aware that God does hear your prayer. God provides the perfect example of Jesus Christ as to how to respond within this prayer.
1 Peter 3:13-16
And who will harm you if you are deeply committed to what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.
During His earthly life, He offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence.
If you are praying in the midst of your suffering, God will answer you.
Each of these postures of prayer lead to:
The Gift of Healing
Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses,
and He carried our pains;
but we in turn regarded Him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him,
and we are healed by His wounds.
Are you praying for someone’s healing? Are you standing by watching others in need?
Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.