By Dr. Michael Layne
---- — I John 2:1 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
I Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”
Here’s what one dictionary says about intercessory prayer: the act of interceding or offering petitionary prayer to God on behalf of others.
Do you find yourself praying for others? As Christians that is part of what we are called to do. In our worship services there are various ways in which we pray for other people. In some churches it’s called “prayer requests,” “concerns,” or “prayer of intercession.”
Regardless what it’s called, it leads us to the same place of asking God to do something on behalf of a person we mention.
We need to keep in mind there are many intercessors, but only one mediator – and that is Jesus Christ, as is recorded in the book of I Timothy. As Christians we really are called to share one another’s burden. One meaning of that term is to intercede in prayer for the person who is struggling.
I remember an incident when I was a child. My grandmother accused me of doing something and I told her that I wasn’t the one who did it. My Great Aunt Nettie interceded for me and was I ever thankful for that! Someone stood up for me when I wasn’t able to prove my point.
We are often called upon to pray for someone when it’s difficult for them to pray for themselves. Sunday morning in our church we will have a time of prayer for the needs that have come before us and as the pastor will end one of the paragraphs of prayer for whatever the need, the prayer is ended with, “Lord in your mercy.” The response from the congregation is, “Hear our prayer.”
I can tell you from experience that I have been the recipient of answered prayer. This is a process that requires faith in what one is asking for. One of the important elements to prayer is to not give up so easily. Our Lord said in Matthew 17:20 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
What kind of mountain do you face in your life? Health, finances, relationship, spiritual? God really does care about you; just don’t give up on praying for the blessings He has for you. Share your concerns and needs with someone who will pray with you and be in agreement concerning whatever the need may be.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of faith, just consistency in prayer and remaining faithful to the Lord in all you do.
So, the next time someone asks for you to pray with them about a situation, are you going to be serious about spending some time in agreement with that person? It takes time and besides that, it will draw one closer to the Lord in your own life as you pray for someone else.
We need to continue preparing for our journey when this life on Earth is over. If you have never been exposed to the Rosary, which is praying the Gospel, one of the phrases is, “remember us now and in the hour of our death.” The journey in this life is preparing us for the continued journey. Be an intercessor for someone today. Hey, pray for me if you can’t think of anyone else. I can always use your prayers.
May you receive His blessings today and continue to trust in the one Mediator, Jesus Christ.
The Most Rev. Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church and can be reached at 812-614-2160or, firstname.lastname@example.org.