Years ago I began intercessory praying. I read a book entitled, “Rees Howells: Intercessor”. You can read it free HERE.
After reading Rees Howells biography, I began focusing on intercessory prayer. When people made prayer requests in the church meeting, or to me personally, I added them to a mental list. I also prayed about the needs of people in ministry and our nation’s leadership. I reached the point that I was praying for several hundred people. It became a task to keep up with all the names and answers to prayer, so I purchased a notebook to record everything in.
Presently, Cheryl and I intercede for thousands of people each morning. It is sometimes very difficult, especially when an emergency wipes out our prayer time. However, for many years I have never failed, even when very sick with flu, to pray through the prayer manual each day. I keep a copy of my prayer manual on my tablet and smart phone.
I mention our intercessory ministry here, not to bring honor to us, but to encourage people to pray. Most professing Christians do not pray—they say prayers, and short ones at that. If they would begin to actually pray each day for people who request prayer, they would develop an intercessory ministry. Interceding for the believers and lost souls to be saved is one of the basic duties of a Christian.
Although I have always prayed and believed it to be essential to a victorious life, the addition of intercessory prayer has been a great blessing. I seem to be more aware of the presence of God during intercessory prayer than in my regular prayer time. I usually begin praying when I wake up. I’m still groggy with sleep and do not feel like praying, but I don’t want to waste the time. Later on in the morning I begin the intercessory prayer. Then I pray periodically throughout the day and when someone calls or messages me with a prayer request.
I am convinced that prayerless Christians are responsible for the mess our world is in today. We all fight battles, but prayerless people are either in constant battles or total defeat. They have compromised and are in denial to avoid the consequences of their spiritual destitution. Those consequences are rapidly arriving. If they could not pray in relative peace time, how are they going to pray when the dark storm arrives?
I encourage everyone to pray. If you want to draw near to God, communication is the only way. I do not mean Contemplative Prayer. Contemplative Prayer is not even prayer and subjects one to demon possession. True praying is talking to God. He speaks through the Holy Spirit to people who take time to speak to Him.
I try to avoid the overuse of maxims, but I must quote the British evangelist, S. D. Gordon. He wrote, “An open life, an open hand, open upward, is the pipe line of communication between the heart of God and this poor befooled old world. Our prayer is God’s opportunity to get into the world that would shut Him out.” (Quiet Talks on Prayer)
Gordon also wrote, “Man’s willingness is God’s channel to the earth.” God never forces anything on us. He wants obedience that comes from willingness. I believe it was Charles Finney that said, “Desire is not the same thing as willingness.” When we become willing, it means that our entire will is invested in something or someone. It involves commandeering the will, often tearing it from something else it “wills” to be involved in, and pouring it into something that pleases God.
Gordon wrote about praying people, “They have not time (to pray). It must be taken from something else. This something else is important, very important, and pressing, but still less important and less pressing than prayer.” (Parenthesis mine)
I encourage everyone to pray. Boldly and authoritatively “take” time from something or someone else. Pour your will into keeping a set period each day with praying as the priority. Make praying as much of a necessity as eating, sleeping, bathing, and every other essential thing that you do.
Our world is in terrible condition. Christians, the ones who have access to God, are the only people that can do anything about this crisis. If we don’t act, it would be like the great majority of the medical professing refusing to do anything during a terrible catastrophe with thousands of people critically injured.
There are presently 7.4 billion people on this earth. The vast majority are desperately lost and in danger of eternal death. The entire world is in moral and spiritual decadence. Our nation is in a great crisis. There is a cultural war between Christianity and unveiled wickedness. The blunt truth is that no one will be unaffected by this conflict. Christians need to wake up to the duty and benefit of praying. Christ Jesus said to His disciples before His crucifixion, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” (Luke 22:46)
My fellow believers, it is time that we performed our critical duty to pray.