31 Days to Effective Intercession by Andrew Murray
This inspirational guide was written to help those who desire to be effective in intercession. It was written many years ago by Andrew Murray, a mighty man of prayer who understood what it meant to pray from a position of intimacy with God. If you are not overly disciplined in intercession, you are encouraged to follow this plan and begin praying.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Power of the Holy Spirit
“I bow my knees before the Father…that…he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit…” Ephesians 3:14,16
“…wait for the promise of the Father…” Acts 1:4
“The fuller manifestation of the grace and energy of the Blessed Spirit of God, in the removal of all that is contrary to God’s revealed will, so that we grieve not the Holy Spirit but that He may work in mightier power in the Church, for the exaltation of Christ and the blessing of souls.”
God has one promise to and through His exalted Son; our Lord has one gift to His Church; the Church has one need; all prayer unites in the one petition -the power of the Holy Spirit. Make it your prayer.
HOW TO PRAY- As a Child of the Father
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Spirit of Supplication
“The Spirit himself intercedes for us…” Romans 8:26
“…I will pour out…a spirit of…supplication…” Zechariah 12:10
“The evangelization of the world depends first upon a revival of prayer. Deeper than the need for people – even, deep down at the bottom of our spiritless life-is the need for the forgotten secret of prevailing, world-wide prayer.”
Every child of God has the Holy Spirit within him or her to pray. God waits to give the Spirit in full measure. Ask for yourself, and all who join, the outpouring of the Spirit of Supplication. Ask it for your own prayer circle.
HOW TO PRAY – In the Spirit
“Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Eph. 6:18 “…pray in the Holy Spirit;….” Jude 20
Our Lord gave His disciples on His resurrection day the Holy Spirit to enable them to wait for the full outpouring on the day of Pentecost. It is only in the power of the Spirit already in us, acknowledged and yielded to, that we can pray for His fuller manifestation. Say to the Father, it is the Spirit of His Son in you is urging you to plead His promise.
WHAT TO PRAY – For all Christians
“Pray at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the Christians,…” Ephesians 6:18 Every member of a body is interested in the welfare of the whole, and exists to help and complete the others. Believers are one body, and ought to pray, not so much for the welfare of their own church or society, but, first of all, for all the Christians. This large, unselfish love is the proof that Christ’s Spirit and Love is teaching them to pray. Pray first for all and then for the believers around you.
HOW TO PRAY – In the Love of the Spirit
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
“…I…pray…that they may all be one; so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:21
“I appeal to you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,….” Romans 15:30
“Above all hold unfailing your love for one another,….” 1 Peter 4:8
If we are to pray we must love. Let us say to God we do love all His Christians; let us say we love especially every child of His we know. Let us pray with fervent love, in the love of the Spirit.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Spirit of Holiness
God is the Holy One. His people is a holy people. He speaks: I am holy: I am the Lord which make you holy. Christ prayed: Sanctify them. Make them holy through Thy Truth. Paul prayed: “God establish your hearts unblamable in holiness.” “God sanctify you wholly!” Pray for all Christian – God’s holy ones – throughout the Church, that the Spirit of holiness may rule them, especially for new converts, for the Christians in your own neighbourhood or congregation, for any you for whom you are especially interested. Think of their special need, weakness, or sin, and pray that God may make them holy.
HOW TO PRAY – Trusting in God’s Omnipotence
The things that are impossible with people are possible with God. When we think of the great things for which we ask, of how little likelihood there is of their coming, of our own insignificance. Prayer is not only wishing, or asking, but believing and accepting. Be still before God and ask Him to give you to know Him as the Almighty One, and leave your petitions with Him who does wonders.
WHAT TO PRAY – That God’s People may be kept from the World
“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me,….I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:11, 15, 16 In the last night Christ asked three things for His disciples: that they might be kept as those who are not of the world; that they might be sanctified; that they might be one in love. You cannot do better than pray as Jesus prayed. Ask for God’s people that they may be kept separate from the world and its spirit; that they, by the Holy Spirit, may live as those who are not of the world.
HOW TO PRAY – Having Confidence before God
“Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” 1 John 3:21-22
Learn these words by heart. Get them into your heart. Join the ranks of those who, with John, draw near to God with an assured heart, that does not condemn them, having confidence toward God. In this spirit pray for your brother or sister who sins (1 John 5:16). In the quiet confidence of an obedient child plead for those of your brothers and sisters who may be giving way to sin. Pray for all to be kept from the evil. And say often, “…we receive…whatever we ask, because we keep and do….”
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Spirit of Love in the Church
“I…pray…that they may be one, even as we are one, I in them and thou in me so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me….that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:22-23, 26 “The fruit of the Spirit is love….” Galatians 5:22
Believers are one in Christ, as He is one with the Father. The love of God rests on them, and can dwell in them. Pray that the power of the Holy Spirit may so work this love in believers, that the world may see and know God’s love in them. Pray much for this.
HOW TO PRAY – As one of God’s Remembrancers
“I have set watchmen on thy walls, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that are the Lord’s remembrancers, keep not silence, and give Him no rest.” Isaiah 62:6 KJV Study these words until your whole soul be filled with the consciousness, I am appointed intercessor. Enter God’s presence in that faith. Study the world’s need with that thought – it is my work to intercede; the Holy Spirit will teach me for what and how. Let it be it be an abiding consciousness: My great life-work, like Christ’s, is intercession – to pray for believers and those who do not yet know God.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Power of the Holy Spirit on Ministers
“I appeal to you…to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf….” Romans 15:30 “…he will deliver us….You also must help us by prayer….” 2 Corinthians 1:10, 11 What a great host of ministers there are in Christ’s Church. What need they have of prayer. What a power they might be, if they were all clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray definitely for this; long for it. Think of your own minister, and ask it very especially for him or her. Connect every thought of the ministry, in your town or neighbourhood or the world, with the prayer that all may be filled with the Spirit. Plead for them the promise, “Stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
“…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;….” Acts 1:8
HOW TO PRAY – In Secret
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret;…” Matthew 6:6
“He went up into the hills by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23; John 6:15
Take time and realize, when you are alone with God: Here am I now, face to face with God, to intercede for His servants. Do not think you have no influence, or that your prayer will not be missed. Your prayer and faith will make a difference. Cry in secret to God for His ministers.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Spirit on all Christian Workers
“You must also help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us in answer to many prayers.” 2 Cor. 1:11
What multitude of workers in connection with our churches and missions, our railways and postal workers, our soldiers and sailors, our young men and young women, our fallen men and women, our poor and sick. God be praised for this! What could they accomplish if each were living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit? Pray for them; it makes you a partner in their work, and you will praise God each time you hear of blessing anywhere.
HOW TO PRAY – With definite Petitions
“What do you want me to do for you?” Luke 18:41
The Lord knew what the man wanted, and yet He asked him. The utterance of our wish gives point to the transaction in which we are engaged with God, and so awakens faith and expectation. Be very definite in your petitions, so as to know what answer you may look for. Just think of the great host of workers, and ask and expect God definitely to bless them in answer to the prayers of His people. Then ask still more definitely for workers around you. Intercession is not the breathing out of pious wishes; its aim is, in believing, persevering prayer, to receive and bring down blessing.
WHAT TO PRAY – For God’s Spirit on our Mission Work
“The evangelization of the world depends first of all upon a revival of prayer. Deeper than the need for people – even, deep down at the bottom of our spiritless life, is the need for the forgotten secret of prevailing, world-wide prayer.”
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and set them off. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went….” Acts 13:2-4
Pray that our mission work may all be done in this spirit – waiting on God, hearing the voice of the Spirit, sending forth people with fasting and prayer. Pray that in our churches our mission interest and mission work may be in the power of the Holy Spirit and of prayer. It is a Spirit-filled, praying Church that will send out Spirit-filled missionaries, mighty in prayer.
HOW TO PRAY – Take Time
“I give myself unto prayer.” Psalm 109:4 KJV
“But we will devote ourselves to prayer….” Acts 6:4
“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God;….” Ecclesiastes 5:2
“…all night he continued in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12
We need time with God – to realize His presence; to wait for Him to make Himself known; to consider and feel the needs we plead for; to take our place in Christ; to pray till we can believe that we have received. Take time in prayer, and pray down blessing on the mission work of the Church.
WHAT TO PRAY – For God’s Spirit on our Missionaries
“What the world needs today, is, not only more missionaries, but the outpouring of God’s Spirit on everyone whom He has sent out to work for Him in the foreign field.” “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 God always gives His servants power equal to the work He asks of them. Think of the greatness and difficulty of this work, – cast out Satan out of his strongholds, – and pray that everyone who takes part in it may receive and do all his work in the power of the Holy Spirit. Think of the difficulties of your missionaries, and pray for them.
HOW TO PRAY – Trusting God’s Faithfulness
WHAT TO PRAY – For more Laborers
“…pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:38 What a remarkable call of the Lord Jesus for help from His disciples in getting the need supplied. What an honor put upon prayer. What a proof that God wants prayer and will hear it. Pray for laborers, for all students in theological seminaries, training homes, Bible institutes, that they may not go, unless He fits them and sends them forth; that our churches may train their students to seek for the sending forth of the Holy Spirit; that all believers may hold themselves ready to be sent forth, or to pray for those who can go.
HOW TO PRAY – In Faith, nothing Doubting
“And Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.'” Mark 11:22 23 Have faith in God! Ask Him to make Himself known to you as the faithful, mighty God, who works all in all; and you will be encouraged to believe that He can give suitable and sufficient laborers, however impossible this appears. But, remember, in answer to prayer and faith. Apply this to every opening where a good worker is needed. The work is God’s. He can give the right workman. But He must be asked and waited on.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Spirit to convince the World of Sin
“…I will send him [the Counselor] to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin…..” John 16:1-8
God’s one desire, the one object of Christ’s being manifested, is to take away sin. The first work of the Spirit on the world is conviction of sin. Without that, there is no deep or abiding revival, no powerful conversion. Pray for it, that the gospel may be preached in such power of the Spirit, that people may see that they have rejected and crucified Christ, and cry out, What shall we do?
Pray most earnestly for a mighty power of conviction of sin wherever the gospel is preached.
HOW TO PRAY – Stir up yourself to take hold of God’s Strength
“Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me.” Is. 27:5 KJV “There is no one that calls upon your name, that bestirs himself to take hold of you….” Isaiah 64:7
“Stir up the gift of God which is in thee….” 2 Timothy 1:6 KJV
First, take hold of God’s strength. God is a Spirit. I cannot take hold of Him, and hold Him fast, but by the Spirit. Take hold of God’s strength, and hold on till it has done for you what He has promised. Pray for the power of the Spirit to convict of sin.
Second, stir up yourself, the power that is in you by the Holy Spirit, to take hold. Give your whole heart and will to it, and say, I will not let You go except You bless me.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Spirit of Burning
“And he who is left in Zion…will be called holy, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion…by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.” Isaiah 4:33-4
A washing by fire! a cleansing by judgment! Those who have passed through this shall be called holy. The power of blessing for the world, the power of work and intercession that will avail, depends upon the spiritual state of the Church; and that can only rise higher as sin is discovered and put away. Judgment must begin at the house of God. There must be conviction of sin for sanctification. Beseech God to give His Spirit as a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning – to discover and burn out sin in His people.
HOW TO PRAY – In the Name of Christ
“Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
Ask in the name of your Redeemer God, who sits upon the throne. Ask what He has promised, what He gave His blood for, that sin may be put away from among His people. Ask – the prayer is after His own heart – for the spirit of deep conviction of sin to come among His people. Ask for the spirit of burning. Ask in the faith of His name – the faith of what He wills, of what He can do – and look for the answer. Pray that the Church may be blessed, to be made a blessing in the world.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Church of the Future
“…that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.” Psalm 78:8
“…I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring.” Psalm 44:3
Pray for the rising generation, who are to come after us. Think of the young men and young women and children of this age, and pray for all the agencies at work among them; that in associations and societies and unions, in homes and schools, Christ may be honored, and the Holy Spirit get possession of them. Pray for the young of your own neighbourhood.
HOW TO PRAY – With the Whole Heart
“May he grant you your heart’s desire,….” Psalm 20:4
“Thou hast given him his heart’s desire,….” Psalm 21:2
“With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD!” Psalm 119:145
God lives, and listens to every petition with His whole heart. Each time we pray the whole Infinite God is there to hear. He asks that in each prayer the whole person shall be there too; that we shall cry with our whole heart. Christ gave Himself to God for people; and so He takes up every need into His intercession. If once we seek God with our whole heart, the whole heart will be in every prayer with which we come to this God. Pray with your whole heart for the young.
WHAT TO PRAY – For Schools and Colleges
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD: my spirit which is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your children, or out of the mouth of your children’s children, says the LORD, from this time forth and for evermore.” Isaiah 59:21
The future of the Church and the world depends, to an extent we little conceive, on the education of the day. The Church may be seeking to evangelize the non Christian, and be giving up hits own children to secular and materialistic influences. Pray for schools and colleges, and that the Church may realize and fulfill its momentous duty of caring for its children. Pray for godly teachers.
HOW TO PRAY – Not Limiting God
“They limited the Holy One of Israel.” Psalm 78:14 KJV
“…he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.” Mt. 13:58
“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Genesis 18:14
“‘Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you,….’…’Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for me?'” Jeremiah 32:17, 27
Beware, in your prayer, above everything, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think. Each time you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, of how He delights to hear Christ, of your place in Christ, and expect great things.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Power of the Holy Spirit in our Sunday Schools
“Surely, thus says the LORD: ‘ Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will content with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.” Isaiah 49:25
Every part of the work of God’s Church is His work. He must do it. Prayer is the confession that He will, the surrender of ourselves into His hands to let Him, work in us and through us. Pray for the hundreds of thousands of Sunday school teachers, that those who know God may be filled with His Spirit. Pray for your own Sunday school. Pray for the salvation of the children.
HOW TO PRAY – Boldly
“…we have a great high priest…Jesus, the Son of God,ä.Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,….” Hebrews 4:14, 16
These hints to help us in our work of intercession – what are they doing for us? Making us conscious of our feebleness in prayer? Thank God for this. It is the very first lesson we need on the way to pray the effectual prayer that avails much. Let us persevere, taking each subject boldly to the throne of grace. As we pray we shall learn to pray, and to believe, and to expect with increasing boldness. Hold fast your assurance: it is at God’s command you come as an intercessor. Christ will give you grace to pray aright.
WHAT TO PRAY – For Kings and Rulers
“First of all, the, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2
What a faith in the power of prayer ! A few feeble and despised Christians are to influence the mighty Roman emperors, and help in securing peace and quietness. Let us believe that prayer is a power that is taken up by God in His rule of the world. Let us pray for our country and its rulers; for all the rulers of the world; for rulers in cities or districts in which we are interested. When God’s people unite in this, they may count upon their prayer effecting in the unseen world more than they know. Let faith hold this fast.
HOW TO PRAY – The Prayer before God as Incense
“And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, loud noises, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.” Revelation 8:3-5
The same censer brings the prayer of the saints before God and casts fire upon the earth. The prayers that go up to heaven have their share in the history of this earth. Be sure that your prayers enter God’s presence.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Holy Spirit on Christendom
“…holding the form of religion but denying the power of it.” 2 Tim 3:5
“…you have the name of being alive, and you are dead.” Rev. 3:1
There are millions of people who are Christians in name only. The state of the majority is unspeakably awful. Formality, worldliness, ungodliness, rejection of Christ’s service, ignorance, and indifference – to what an extent does all this prevail. We pray for the heathen – oh! do let us pray for those bearing Christ’s name, many in worse than heathen darkness. Does not one feel as if one ought to begin to give up one’s life, and to cry day and night to God for souls? In answer to prayer God gives the power of the Holy Spirit.
HOW TO PRAY – In deep Stillness of Soul
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.” Psalm 62:1
Prayer has its power in God alone. The nearer a person comes to God Himself, the deeper one enters into God’s will; the more one takes hold of God, the more power in prayer. God must reveal Himself. If it please Him to make Himself known, He can make the heart conscious of His presence. Our posture must be that of holy reverence, of quiet waiting and adoration. As your month of intercession passes on, and you feel the greatness of your work, be still before God. Thus you will get power to pray.
WHAT TO PRAY – For God’s Spirit on the Non-Christians of the World
“Lo, these shall come from afar, and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene.” Isaiah 49:12
“Let bronze be brought from Egypt; let Ethiopia hasten to stretch out her hands to God.” Psalm 68:31
“I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it.” Isaiah 60:22
Pray for the heathen, who are yet without the word. Think of China, with her billion people. Think of Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, and Nigeria. Think of India< !– google_ad_section_>, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Think of Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. Think of millions a year going down into the thick darkness. If Christ gave His life for them, will you not do so? You can give yourself up to intercede for them. Just begin, if you have never yet begun, with this simple monthly school of intercession. The ten minutes you give will make you feel this is not enough. God’s Spirit will draw you on. Persevere, however feeble you are. Ask God to give you some country or tribe to pray for. Can anything be nobler than to do as Christ did? Give your life for the non-Christians of the world.
HOW TO PRAY – With Confident Expectation of an Answer
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3
“Thus saith the Lord God: I will yet be inquired of, that I do it.” Ez 36:37 KJV
Both texts refers to promises definitely made, but their fulfillment would depend upon prayer: God would be inquired of to do it. Pray for God’s fulfillment of His promises to His Son and His Church, and expect the answer. Plead for the non-christians: plead God’s promises.
WHAT TO PRAY – For God’s Spirit on the Jews
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him. Zech 12:10
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” Romans 10:1 Pray for the . Jews . Their return to the God of their fathers stands connected, in a way we cannot tell, with wonderful blessing to the Church, and with the coming of our Lord Jesus. Let us not think that God has foreordained all this, and that we cannot hasten it. In a divine and mysterious way God has connected His fulfillment of His promise with our prayer. His Spirit’s intercession in us is God’s forerunner of blessing. Pray for Israel and the work done am them. And pray too: Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
HOW TO PRAY – With the Praying For Others of the Holy Spirit
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
In your ignorance and feebleness believe in the secret indwelling and intercession of the Holy Spirit within you. Yield yourself to His life and leading habitually. He will help your infirmities in prayer. Plead the promises of God even where you do not see how they are to be fulfilled. God knows the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Pray with the simplicity of a little child; pray with the holy awe and reverence of one in whom God’s Spirit dwells and prays.
WHAT TO PRAY – For all who are Suffering
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you also are in the body.” Heb. 13:3
What a world of suffering we live in! How Jesus sacrificed all and identified Himself with it! Let us in our measure do so too. The persecuted Jews, Iranians, and Ethiopians, the famine-stricken millions of the world, the hidden slavery in countries, the poverty and wretchedness of our great cities – and so much more: what suffering among those who know God and who know him not. And then in smaller circles in thousands of homes and hearts, what sorrow. In our neighbourhood, how many needing help or comfort. Let us have a heart for, let us think of the suffering. It will stir us to pray, to work, to hope, to love more. And in a way and time we know not God will hear our prayer.
HOW TO PRAY – Praying always, and not fainting
“And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Luke 18:1
Do you not begin to feel prayer is really the help for this sinful world? What a need there is of unceasing prayer? The very greatness of the task makes us despair! What can our ten minutes of intercession avail? It is right we feel this: this is the way in which God is calling and preparing us to give our life to prayer. Give yourself wholly to God for people, and amid all your work, your heart will be drawn out to people in love, and drawn up to God in dependence and expectation. To a heart thus led by the Holy Spirit, it is possible to pray always and not to faint.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Holy Spirit in your own Work
“For this I toil, striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me.” Colossians 1:29
You have your own special work; make it a work of intercession. Paul labored, striving according to the working of God in him. Remember, God is not only the Creator, but the Great Workman, who works all in all. You can only do your work in His strength, by Him working in you through the Spirit. Intercede much for those among whom you work, till God gives you life for them. Let us all intercede too for each other, for every worker throughout God’s Church, however solitary or unknown.
HOW TO PRAY – In God’s very Presence
“Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8
The nearness of God gives rest and power in prayer. The nearness of God is given to him who makes it his first object. “Draw near to God”; seek the nearness to Him, and He will give it; “He will draw near to you.” Then it becomes easy to pray in faith. Remember that when first God takes you into the school of intercession it is almost more for your own sake than that of others. You have to be trained to love, and wait, and pray, and believe. Only persevere. Learn to set yourself in His presence, to wait quietly for the assurance that He draws near. Enter His holy presence, tarry there, and spread your work before Him. Intercede for the souls you are working among. Get a blessing from God, His Spirit into your own heart, for them.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Spirit on your own Congregation
“…beginning from Jerusalem…” Luke 24:47
Each one of us is connected with some congregation or circle of believers, who are to us the part of Christ’s body with which we come into most direct contact. They have a special claim on our intercession. Let it be a settled matter between God and you that you are to labor in prayer on its behalf. Pray for the ministers and all leaders or workers in it. Pray for the believers according to their needs. Pray for conversions. Pray for the power of the Spirit to manifest itself. Band yourself with others to join in secret in definite petitions. Let intercession be a definite work, carried on as systematically as preaching or Sunday school. And pray expecting an answer.
HOW TO PRAY – Continually
“…I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent.” Isaiah 62:6 “…his elect, who cry to him day and night…” Luke 18:7
“…praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith.” 1 Thessalonians 3:10
“…a widow has set her hope on God and continues in supplication and prayers night and day;….” 1 Timothy 5:5
When the glory of God, and the love of Christ, and the need of souls are revealed to us, the fire of this unceasing intercession will begin to burn in us for those who are near and those who are far off.
WHAT TO PRAY – For more Conversions
“…he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
“‘But we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.’…And the word of God increased, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly…” Acts 6:4, 7
Christ’s power to save, and save completely, depends on His unceasing intercession. The apostles withdrawing themselves from other work to give themselves continually to prayer was followed by the number of the disciples multiplying exceedingly. As we, in our day, give ourselves to intercession, we shall have more and mightier conversions. Let us plead for this. Christ is exalted to give repentance. The Church exists with the Divine purpose and promise of having conversion. Let us not be ashamed to confess our sin and feebleness, and cry to God for more conversions in Christian and non-Christian lands, of those too whom you know and love. Plead for the salvation of sinners.
HOW TO PRAY – In deep Humility
“‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs….’…’O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” Matthew 15:27-28
You feel unworthy and unable to pray aright. To accept this heartily, and to be content still to come and be blest in you unworthiness, is true humility. It proves its integrity by not seeking for anything, but simply trusting His grace. And so it is the very strength of a great faith, and gets a full answer. “Even the dogs” – let that be your plea as you persevere for someone possibly possessed of the devil. Let not your littleness hinder you for a moment.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Holy Spirit on Young Converts
“…Peter and John, who dame down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 8:15-16
“But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
How many new converts who remain feeble; how many who fall into sin; how many who backslide entirely. If we pray for the Church, its growth in holiness and devotion to God’s service, pray especially for the young converts. How many stand alone, surrounded by temptation; how many have no teaching on the Spirit in them, and the power of God to establish them; how many in non-Christian lands, surrounded by Satan’s power. If you pray for the power of the Spirit in the Church, pray especially that every young convert may know that he or she may claim and receive the fullness of the Spirit.
HOW TO PRAY – Without Ceasing
“..as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you;….” 1 Samuel 12:23
It is sin against the Lord to cease praying for others. When once we begin to see how absolutely indispensable intercession is, just as much a duty as loving God or believing in Christ, and how we are called and bound to it as believers, we shall feel that to cease intercession in grievous sin. Let us ask for grace to take up our place as priests with joy, and give our life to bring down the blessing of heaven.
WHAT TO PRAY – That God’s People may Realize their Calling
“…I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing…. by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” Genesis 12:2-3
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon the earth, thy saving power among all nations.” Psalm 67:1-2
Abraham was only blessed that he might be a blessing to all the earth. Israel prays for blessing, that God may be known among all nations. every believer, just as much as Abraham, is only blessed that he may carry God’s blessing to the world.
Cry to God that His people may know this, that every believer is only to live for the interests of God and His kingdom. If this truth were preached and believed and practiced, what a revolution it would bring in our mission work. What a host of willing intercessors we should have. Plead with God to work it by the Holy Spirit.
HOW TO PRAY – As One who has Accepted for Oneself what one Asks for Others
“…Peter said, ‘…I give you what I have;….’…’the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning….God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us…'” Acts 3:6; 11:15, 17
As you pray for this great blessing on God’s people, the Holy Spirit taking entire possession of them for God’s service, yield yourself to God, and claim the gift anew in faith. Let each thought of feebleness or shortcoming only make you the more urgent in prayer for others; as the blessing comes to them, you too will be helped. With every prayer for conversions or mission work, pray that God’s people may know how wholly they belong to Him.
WHAT TO PRAY – That all God’s People may know the Holy Spirit
“…the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.” John 14:17
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…” 1 Corinthians 6:19
The Holy Spirit is the power of God for the salvation of people. He only works as He dwells in the Church. he is given to enable believers to live wholly as God would have them live, in the full experience and witness of Him who saves completely. Pray God that every one of His people may know the Holy Spirit! – That He, in all His fullness, is given to them! That they cannot expect to live as their Father would have, without having Him in His fullness, without being filled with Him! Pray that all God’s people, even away in churches gathered out of heathendom, may learn to say: I believe in the Holy Spirit.
HOW TO PRAY – Laboring fervently in Prayer
“Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always remembering you earnestly in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” Colossians 4:12
To a healthy person labor is a delight; in what interests one labors fervently. The believer who is in full health, whose heart is filled with God’s Spirit, labors fervently in prayer. For what? That ones brothers and sisters may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God; that they may know what God wills for them, how He calls them to live, and be led and walk by the Holy Spirit. labor fervently in prayer that all Good’s children may know this, as possible, as divinely sure.
DAY TWENTY-NINE WHAT TO PRAY – For the Spirit of Praying For Others
“…I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16
“Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name;….I that day you will ask in my name;….” John 16:24, 26
Has not our school of intercession taught us how little we have prayed in the name of Jesus? He promised His disciples: In that day, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you shall ask in My name. Are there not tens of thousands with us mourning the lack of the power of intercession? Let our intercession today be for them and all God’s children, that Christ may teach us that the Holy Spirit is in us; and what it is to live in His fullness, and to yield ourselves to His intercession work within us. The Church and the world need nothing so much as a mighty Spirit of Praying For Others to bring down the power of God on earth. Pray for the descent from heaven of the Spirit of Praying For Others for a great prayer revival.
HOW TO PRAY – Abiding in Christ
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7
Our acceptance with God, our access to Him, is all in Christ. As we consciously abide in Him we have the liberty, not a liberty to our old nature or our self-will, but the Divine liberty from all self-will, to ask what we will, in the power of the new nature, and it shall be done. Let us keep this place, and believe even now that our intercession is heard, and that the Spirit of Supplication will be given all around us.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Holy Spirit with the Word of God
“…our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5
“…those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,….” 1 Peter 1:12
What numbers of Bibles are being circulated. What numbers of sermons on the Bible are being preached. What numbers of Bibles are being read in home and school. How little blessing when it comes “in word” only; what Divine blessing and power when it comes “in the Holy Spirit,” when it is preached “with the Holy Spirit set forth from heaven.” Pray for Bible circulation, and preaching and teaching and reading, that it may all be in the Holy Spirit, with much prayer. Pray for the power of the Spirit with the word in your own neighbourhood, wherever it is being read or heard. Let every mention of “The Word of God” waken intercession.
HOW TO PRAY – Watching and Praying
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; and pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the word,…” Colossians 4:2-3
Do you not see how all depends upon God and prayer? As long as He lives and loves, and hears and works, as long as there are souls with hearts closed to the word, as long as there is work to be done in carrying the word – Pray without ceasing. Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving. These words are for every Christian.
WHAT TO PRAY – For the Spirit of Christ in His People
“I am the Vine, you are the branches.” John 15:5
“…that you would do as I have done to you.” John 13:15
As branches we are to be so like the Vine, so entirely identified with it, that all may see that we have the same nature, and life, and spirit. When we pray for the Spirit, let us not only think of a Spirit of power, but the very disposition and temper of Christ Jesus. Ask and expect nothing less: for yourself, and all God’s children, cry for it.
HOW TO PRAY – Striving in Prayer
“…to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,…. Romans 15:30
“For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you,….” Colossians 2:1
All the powers of evil seek to hinder us in prayer. Prayer in a conflict with opposing forces. It needs the whole heart and all our strength. May God give us grace to strive in prayer till we prevail.
A healthy personal prayer life is key to maintaining a passion for intercession: Developing an Effective Prayer Life
Inspiring quotes by Andrew Murray
©1997, 2016 Katherine Walden
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