An Update from the Prayer Team: Intercessory Prayer.Posted: July 1, 2012
A Message from Vicki Oldham.
I look at this blank page and remember that our days are canvases that the Lord fills with His plans when we ask Him to do so. Are we willing to allow our lives to be filled with the things God has planned for us? Can we love the things and people God gives us, even when it is messy, they are unlovable, as are we, they wound us and we them , and all of us are so inept at the whole love thing? Do we believe in the rubber meets the road kind of prayer where God hears us, then answers us? Do we really believe that God is real? And, if so, why are we not talking to Him, and bringing everything to Him? These are very real questions that require birthing to release the will of God in our lives; requiring the work of intercessory prayer.
Our round table discussion of intercessory and restorative prayer at the prayer servant breakfast last Saturday morning hinged on these things as we discussed the book by Dutch Sheets entitled Intercessory Prayer. Why pray, anyway? Doesn’t God already know what I am thinking and feeling and what His plans are for me, for my family, friends and circle of influence? He knows St.Paul’s and where we are heading, why pray over what is His work?
The answers lie in the way in which God has chosen to work and it is through His people: the how in the why is really the bigger question. How do we pray? God has chosen to work through prayer here on earth, through us. That is His choice. Just like it is His choice to give us free will and to offer Christ up for us and Christ’s willingness to lay down the honor of heaven to restore us to relationship with Him and with the Father, then gift us with the Holy Spirit; all His choices.
Our part is much simpler. We are to pray. We are to proclaim the love of God, the finished work of Christ, the Gospel, over every broken thing, every splintered heart and dead dream, every hope lost that has moved us into bitterness and disillusionment and left us empty and hopeless, every decision or word or situation that leaves us limping and wounded that when brought to Christ, can be redeemed, repaired and restored. Prayer, in essence, is the work of releasing Christ’s truth to break through the darkness and shatter the lies, “to release captives and set prisoners free” (Isaiah 61:1). This is the work of prayer; partnering with the Holy Spirit, setting people free. Prayer really has everything to do with us, agreement and dispensing, and everything to do with God, all power rests in Him. Prayer remains as it has always been- powerful, mysterious and real because its origin is in God.
Next month we will be discussing the book, Healing, by Francis MacNutt. The prayer breakfast will be July 21st from 9:30 to 11:30am in St.Paul’s café. All are welcome-just let Emily Dolan or I, Vicki Oldham, know as we serve breakfast and want to make sure we are prepared. Come, learn a little more about prayer, ask some questions, listen, eat and enjoy some fellowship! We hope to see you there!
Also don’t forget to check out the bulletin board for restorative prayer session dates in the café and contact Emily, or myself, if you need to have some more deliberate, intensive prayer time.