How we can pray in this great time of need
Over the next days, weeks or months we will be sharing thoughts about intercessory prayer that everyone can get involved with. Even if you struggle to pray or don’t know what intercession is , hopefully you will find out as we delve into some key scripture and reasons to pray.
The All Saints church building is shut for now, but our mouths are not and Jesus calls us to pray. This can feel so difficult in times that are extreme especially as most of us have never experienced anything like this before. So here are a few things we can do to guide our prayer times:
Use scripture to declare over our communities, families and ourselves. Today’s choice of scripture is from Romans. When you can’t find the right words, use God’s word.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
1 Timothy 2:1-2 also calls us to pray for our leaders. Even if you are unhappy with our government, we are still told to pray for them and this needs a Godly attitude towards them. See point 4!
We are called to pray in the spirit on all occasions (Ephesians 6:18) and this suggests that we can be going about our daily business and pray at the same time. Jesus bought us freedom to pray with him (after all, he is the best intercessor of all) and we can be confident that he is with us. So pray where ever you are and what ever you are doing. If you can, pray in tongues as it is precisely these unfathomable moments where we need the Holy Spirit to lead.
Pray with authority. You belong to Christ and he has given you authority to pray in partnership with Him with confidence (Ephesians 3:12). The Lord’s Prayer is the perfect template for any prayer. Acknowledge who he is, ask for his Kingdom to come to earth (eg no sickness, no mourning etc), ask him what you need and for his forgiveness as we forgive, ask for his safe guidance and protection and thank him expectantly. You will notice that Lord’s Prayer does not say “please, we beg you”or “if you’re not too busy”. Instead it uses language that is familiar, presumptuous and bold. In times of intercession, we need to pray with childlike boldness. After all, he is your daddy God and if its anything like my children were when they were growing up wanting things from either parent, they expected results!!
Pray from heaven down. Start with a kingdom perspective. God loves all his children. God is good. God does not cause suffering and needless pain but we do live in a broken, sinful world that needs his touch and transformation. He is love and so as we pray, use words that represent his attitude towards us. The prodigal son (Luke 15) is a perfect example of the Father’s gracious love and compassion. What is He longing for? Join in with Him.
Today’s recommended reading is Pete Grieg’s - Dirty Glory. Its a book about Kingdom focussed prayer in the midst of mess and suffering. Its real, gritty and very practical.
If you want to join others in prayer, we are creating an All Saints daily prayer time of 9:30-11am every day including Sundays. So even if you are on your own, know that there will be many of us praying at that time too.
Rachael Stone and Meg Searle