Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day Twelve: Groanings of Intercession

"For some reason, Auntie Kathy keeps coming to my mind when I pray," declares my girl as she snuggles closer to me on the couch. We've just concluded our family prayer with a big, Amen--Ashanti shouting the word with emphatic declaration. "I think it means I should pray for her," Molly continues. I agree, and so she bows her head and lifts up Auntie Kathy to the Lord for whatever reason she is in need. My daughter is learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit's voice and intercede for someone else.

I believe there is a difference between rattling off a list of people who are ill or in demand of something, and true, empathetic prayer for them. The dictionary definition for "intercession" is: an interposing or pleading on behalf of another person. The word pleading itself denotes intercession is more than just a mere request. Our greatest example of this type of prayer is when Jesus sent His Spirit after His ascension. The Holy Spirit aches for us and presents us to the Father. What love! What care for us! There's a whole lot of groaning going on in Romans 8:

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.  What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Have you ever experienced gut-twisting pain for someone? To know that a Person of the Trinity groans for us is surely a comfort. He is aware of our weaknesses and intercedes for us. Just as Molly is tuning in to the possibility that God is sharing the burden of a soul with her, we can all listen acutely to where the need is in our world. Intercessory prayer is ongoing. It never gives up. It's spiritual warfare. It wakes you up at night. It involves acknowledging that Jesus is capable and in control. It involves resisting the enemy in order to be effective. It includes fighting for breakthroughs by praying fervently for God's will to come to fruition. I'm thankful that Someone is always going before the Father on my behalf in such a way--with groanings. With that in mind, how much more powerful can my prayers be for others?

sister love

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