September 19, 2018

Our Prayers of Intercession

Philippians 1:3-11

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. . . .

—  Philippians 1:3-4

Yesterday we reflected on the fact that Jesus intercedes for us, and that encourages us to intercede for others. As we pray for others, we lift them up to God, asking that in Jesus’ name God’s blessings pour into their lives.

As we pray for others, it’s important to know that our requests are not limited by time and space. In today’s passage we read Paul’s beautiful prayer for the Philippians. Paul was a prisoner in Rome when he wrote this letter. He was hundreds of miles away from Philippi, but that did not prevent him from asking God to fill the lives of his fellow believers there with the power of spiritual blessing.

When we pray for others, we ask God to pour out his resources on them, showering them with his limitless love and grace. It’s because we recognize our own limitations that we ask God to do for others what we are powerless to do ourselves.

Intercessory prayer demonstrates our love for others. We forget ourselves in prayer and seek God’s best for others—even those whom we consider our enemies.

One of the kindest, most power­ful things someone can ever say to us is “I’m praying for you.” It means they want us to thrive in ways that only God can accomplish.

Whom is the Lord leading you to pray for today?

Thank you, Lord, for putting people in my life who pray for me. You bless and strengthen me by their prayers. Help me to pray for others too. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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