The Power of Prayer - TopicsA Lesson in Persistence
Our Great Intercessor
We cant allow ourselves to get tired of living the right way. Certainly, each of us will receive everlasting life at the proper time, if we dont give up. (Galatians 6:9). As a prayer warrior, you regularly pray for the same people and their continuing needs. Do you sometimes feel that you've become too repetitive in your requests or have bothered God too often with the same prayer?
There are many examples of persistent pray-ers in the Bible --
Let's look at an Old Testament example and two New Testament examples of people who were persistent in praying the same prayer and making the same request of God, over and over again.
In Genesis 18:16-33, God told Abraham that he was going to utterly destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham begged God not to destroy the righteous with the evil. He asked God to spare the cities for 50 righteous people and God agreed. Then Abraham asked even more -- would God spare them for 45 righteous people? Again God agreed. Abraham continued to beg for 40 . . . 30 . . . 20 . . . and finally for just 10 people. And God was influenced by Abraham's persistence -- and agreed.
What a bold, courageous pray-er Abraham was! Not only did he continue to ask the Lord the same request -- to spare the righteous -- but he raised the stakes each time by asking more and more of God -- to spare the cities' destruction for as few as 10 people.
In the New Testament, Jesus told two parables to show them that they need to pray all the time and never give up. (Luke 18:1). One involved a man who had unexpected guests and asked for bread from his neighbor at midnight (Luke 11:5-10). The second parable tells how a widow continually sought justice from a judge (Luke 18:1-8). In both cases, the friend and the judge gave the individuals what they wanted because of their nagging and pestering. The man and woman would not take no for an answer!
Jesus Himself says we should nag God with our deep desires. It's like the young boy who asks for a bike for Christmas. If he asks only once, will his parents really believe a bike means much to him? Will they treat it as a priority? But, if he asks every single day for three or four months, they see how serious he is and how much it means to him!
Remember that you are in dialogue with your Father who loves you. God is influenced by your desire and dedication; He is willing to listen and His mind can be changed by your persistent prayers.
Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world on a cross. He rose again from the grave to give us eternal life and sits at the right hand of God. But, is Jesus' work over? Is He simply waiting for the Day of Judgment? No! Jesus not only died to save us, but also lives now to intercede for us.
That is why he is always able to save those who come to God through him. He can do this because he always lives and intercedes for them. (Hebrews 7:25).
The Oxford Dictionary definition of intercede is to interpose or intervene on behalf of another; plead. Our Savior, the King of the Universe, actually speaks to His Father on behalf of our prayers. Why is this so significant?
Look at John 14:13 and John 14:16: I will do anything you ask the Father in my name so that the Father will be given glory because of the Son. . . . I will ask the Father.
There are two different Greek words used for the word ask in these two Bible passages. The first "ask" in John 14:13 is aiteo, which means to ask, to request or to beg. That word is used when an inferior goes to a superior, when a beggar makes a request of a giver. That's certainly the relationship we human beings feel toward our Savior.
The second "ask" in John 14:16 is erotao, which means to ask tenderly or delicately. That word is used when an equal speaks to an equal.
Jesus knows just how to approach His Father. God loves His Son and they are One, equal to equal. Jesus, in a sense, puts in a good word for us and interprets our requests to the Father, adding his amen to our needs. What a marvelous Intercessor we have!
This is why it's so important to pray in Jesus' name when we pray to God. Jesus' sacrifice has made us holy in God's eyes and His intercession on our behalf adds to the impact of our prayers to the Father. Jesus lives to intercede for you, tenderly speaking on your behalf. What a privilege it is to call Him our Brother and Friend!