"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”
1 Timothy 2:1, 2:8
Recently I have been attending a church near my home. It is literally within walking distance from my home; so on those rare occasions where I may not feel like attending services, I actually have no excuse but to roll out of bed and go. While visiting the church I was asked by the Prayer Ministry Leader to join their prayer group for prayer. I was a little surprised since it is customary for these groups to pray for specific people or issues within the church; nevertheless, I joined their group for prayer.
Prayer is a personal issue, and intercessory prayer is even more personal. The idea of group intercessory prayer is based on Matthew 18:18-20, “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them...” Yet, not every person can intercede on behalf of others. In order to intercede on behalf of another person, you truly have to believe anything is possible. And, I mean anything! True intercession, is based on clearing all of your own personal biases, concerns, fears, judgments, and preconceived notions so you can be in full agreement with the other person’s request. If the request is not something you agree with, you cannot pray for that request. It simply cannot garner a solution from God based on the principle of touching and agreeing.
Herein lies the problem. In order to intercede on behalf of another, the other person really should tell you, in confidence of course, what their issue is. They should not speak around the issue, talk in code, or ask in secrecy. The idea is, you should actually agree with what the other person is asking for. If it is done in secret, how do you know that you agree with the petition being place before God? You don’t! If they can’t tell you, then maybe they should find someone they can confide in, or begin the process of praying alone in their prayer closet. The intercessor has a spiritual responsibility to maintain the personal confidence of the person they are praying for. There are no grey areas concerning the confidentiality of the matter. Unless you are purposely enlisting the spirit-filled prayers of additional prayer partners in a prayer group for the person in question, everything told to you should be in confidence. Take the time to pray for others, omit your own fears and truly pray for them; because, you never know when you will need someone to pray for you. L.
Study Reference: 1 Timothy 2:1, 2:8, Mark 1:35
From: "Praying For Others." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: sherry zhao