VIDEO Intercessory Prayer

…men always ought to pray and not lose heart. —Luke 18:1

You cannot truly intercede through prayer if you do not believe in the reality of redemption. Instead, you will simply be turning intercession into useless sympathy for others, which will serve only to increase the contentment they have for remaining out of touch with God. True intercession involves bringing the person, or the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on you, before God, until you are changed by His attitude toward that person or circumstance. Intercession means to “fill up…[with] what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (Colossians 1:24), and this is precisely why there are so few intercessors. People describe intercession by saying, “It is putting yourself in someone else’s place.” That is not true! Intercession is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and His perspective.

As an intercessor, be careful not to seek too much information from God regarding the situation you are praying about, because you may be overwhelmed. If you know too much, more than God has ordained for you to know, you can’t pray; the circumstances of the people become so overpowering that you are no longer able to get to the underlying truth.

Our work is to be in such close contact with God that we may have His mind about everything, but we shirk that responsibility by substituting doing for interceding. And yet intercession is the only thing that has no drawbacks, because it keeps our relationship completely open with God.

What we must avoid in intercession is praying for someone to be simply “patched up.” We must pray that person completely through into contact with the very life of God. Think of the number of people God has brought across our path, only to see us drop them! When we pray on the basis of redemption, God creates something He can create in no other way than through intercessory prayer.


It is perilously possible to make our conceptions of God like molten lead poured into a specially designed mould, and when it is cold and hard we fling it at the heads of the religious people who don’t agree with us. Disciples Indeed

Persistent Prayer for the Lord’s Return (Luke 18:1-8)

Heroes, Tyrants, and Jesus

I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2

Beethoven was angry. He’d intended to name his Third Symphony “The Bonaparte.” In an age of religious and political tyranny, he saw Napoleon as a hero of the people and champion of freedom. But when the French general declared himself emperor, the celebrated composer changed his mind. Denouncing his former hero as a rascal and tyrant, he rubbed so hard to erase Bonaparte’s name that he left a hole in the original score.

Early believers in Jesus must have been disappointed when their hopes of political reform were dashed. He’d stirred hopes of life without the tyranny of Caesar’s heavy-handed taxes and military presence. Yet, decades later, Rome still ruled the world. Jesus’ messengers were left with fears and weakness. His disciples were marked by immaturity and infighting (1 Corinthians 1:11–12; 3:1–3).

But there was a difference. Paul saw beyond what remained unchanged. His letters began, ended, and overflowed with the name of Christ. Christ resurrected. Christ with a promise to return in power. Christ in judgment of everything and everyone. First and foremost, however, Paul wanted believers in Jesus to be grounded in the meaning and implications of Him crucified (2:2; 13:1–13).

The love expressed in Jesus’ sacrifice made Him a different kind of leader. As Lord and Savior of the world, His cross changes everything. The name of Jesus will forever be known and praised above every name.

By:  Mart DeHaan

Reflect & Pray

How is Jesus different from other leaders? Can you identify with Paul’s recall of his own weakness and fear? How does Jesus help you with that?

Father, please help me to see Your heart in the sacrifice of Your Son.

Sunday Reflection: Being a Good Neighbor

Being a “good neighbor” means that you invest in others in meaningful relationships that help a community grow

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

Consider this story of two neighbors: One is withdrawn and somewhat grumpy. He never speaks to anyone (unless yelling at kids to get off his lawn counts as a conversation). The other waves at everyone, is always up for a chat, and knows all the people in the neighborhood by name. Who do you think is living the happier, more fulfilling life? 

The neighbor who makes time for people builds community and is firmly becoming established as a member of it. This doesn’t happen automatically, however. Creating strong bonds requires time, resources, and emotional investment in others, which is rarely easy (but always worth it). Yet if we are willing to give ourselves away for the good of others, we’ll find a sense of wholeness and belonging that we can’t experience alone. It is only by giving up our life that we each more fully become the person God intends (Matt. 16:24-27; Luke 14:27).

Think about it

  •  What kind of neighbor are you? How can you reach out and build a stronger community with those who live nearby?

The Christian’s Partnership

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)

Prior to salvation, we are called “aliens…and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” But now we are part of the “new man” and the grand partnership that has been made possible between Jew and Gentile, Old and New Covenant saints, and the operative impact and purpose of the “household of God” (v. 12-13, 15, 19).

We are “made nigh” and made “one.” The enemy has been abolished, with the “middle wall of partition” that was between us broken down (vv. 13-15), making us “one body” with common “access by one Spirit unto the Father” (vv. 16-18).

Therefore, we are “fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God…built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets”; “fitly framed,” growing unto a “holy temple…for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (vv. 19-22). Now displayed in a fellowship of past and present, bond and free, male and female—all new “partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (3:1-6; Galatians 3:22-29).

And God has “created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv. 9-11).

God has designed His salvation for us in such a way that we cannot fail to achieve His plans for us! We should humbly thank Him for what He has accomplished in us through Christ Jesus. HMM III

David In Combat: Pleading For Help In The Present

Lord, part Your heavens and come down. Touch the mountains, and they will smoke. Flash [Your] lightning and scatter the foe; shoot Your arrows and rout them. Reach down from on high; rescue me from deep water, and set me free from the grasp of foreigners whose mouths speak lies, whose right hands are deceptive. God, I will sing a new song to You; I will play on a ten-stringed harp for You—the One who gives victory to kings, who frees His servant David from the deadly sword. Set me free and rescue me from the grasp of foreigners whose mouths speak lies, whose right hands are deceptive (Psalm 144 vv. 5-11).

David set his faith firmly in divine intervention rather than in human strategy. He longed for a dazzling supernatural display of God’s power! He wanted to see the heavens illuminated by holy fireworks, to see God’s own Fourth of July celebration (v. 5)! He knew that when God sent forth lightning, enemies were scattered (v. 6), and when God sprung his bow and shot his arrows, villains were put to rout (v. 6).

David was praying for deliverance now! His enemies were foreigners with lying tongues, impure motives, and corrupt actions. He desperately needed a divine rescue action.

What inspiration for music! In ancient Israel the creative process worked like this:

Genuine need—God’s people were backed against the wall.

Imminent danger—They faced the possibility of being wiped out.

Honest lament—They groaned and cried out to the Lord for salvation and deliverance. Whole families clothed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, fasted, and prayed.

Divine intervention—The Lord heard their cry and supernaturally delivered them.

Genuine praise—They worshipped God for his mighty works!

We often do it all backward today—cranking up a praise experience while nothing is happening in our lives! Yet David was so confident of success that he wrote this psalm of victory before the fact!Considering the unchanging nature of God and his faithfulness, I can begin now to compose music in gratitude for who he is and what he is going to do for me!

Personal Prayer

O Lord, even before you do your next exciting work in my life, may I burst forth in creative worship of your mighty name and power!

God Is Not Father of All

Where they were told: You are not My people, they will be called: Sons of the living God.—Hosea 1:10

Jim Packer said: “You sum up the whole of New Testament teaching in a single phrase if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the Holy Creator. In the same way you sum up the whole of the New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s Holy Father. Father is the Christian name for God.”

There are those who claim that the teaching given in the Old Testament is quite different. There, they say, God is viewed as being the Father of all. But is He? Consider this: “Israel is My firstborn son … ‘Let My son go'” (Ex 4:22-23). There are many such passages. The Old Testament as well and the New Testament shows God as the Father, not of all men and women but of His own people, Abraham’s descendants. Galatians 3:26 tells us that God is not the Father of all, but only of those who know themselves to be sinners and have accepted His Son into their hearts. When we have done this, Paul says, we belong to Christ and are ourselves Abraham’s offspring.

Divine sonship is not ours because we have been born into this world; it is ours because we have been born again into another realm—the kingdom of God. Sonship is a gift, a gift of grace. It is not a natural sonship but an adoptive sonship. God takes those who receive His Son and makes them His adopted children, to see and share His glory into which His one and only Son has already come.


O Father, once again I want to record my deepest thanks that because of Your Son I am an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. How wonderful. How truly wonderful. All honor and glory be to Your precious name. Amen.

Further Study

Rm 9:4-12; Jr 31:9; Hs 11:1; 2Co 6:18

What makes people children of God?

What does “Abraham’s children” mean?


Psalm 130:5

Stress levels reach new peaks and blood pressures soar, all within a short space of time. We are told that solitude is mandatory for survival. But how? And when? Are we not already over-scheduled? It’s a simple word—solitude—but can it become a reality in today’s world?

An ideal setting would be a monastery or prayer center. Even a weekend away at such a facility could do wonders: silence, being in tune with one’s soul, time to think, time to walk and time to listen. Time to read and to meditate with no noise other than the wind in the trees. Total bliss!

Even a short-term alternative can be beneficial. Being alone and simply thinking of a quiet, idyllic place can bring a sense of quietness and solitude and comfort.

But what about prayer? Have we forgotten about, or dismissed, prayer as a means of seeking peace and serenity? Prayers offered to God in solitude can bring healing and restoration to a frantic life. The yearning of the soul, the cries of the heart, the expression of thankfulness and joy, are all heard in prayer.

Seminars are not needed for personal prayer. Perhaps it’s not the emptying of the mind that is necessary. Rather, the filling of one’s spirit with thoughts of God, His creation, His blessings, His love. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen” (Matthew 6:6). At one with self and at one with God through prayer.

Prayer is no doubt the oldest form of meditation that has sustained and encouraged millions for centuries. It is dialogue between oneself and God: talking to God about extremely personal matters, sharing with Him all that is in one’s heart, crying out to Him in anguish and thanking Him for all His blessings.

And then it is simply being quiet, listening to what He has to say to us. Solitude is a stirring of one’s spirit, waiting upon the Lord: “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).

Is there anyone who does not need solitude? It is to be treasured as a precious gift, for it can be a means of communing with the Creator of the universe who is our Heavenly Father.

Beverly Ivany, The War Cry