by Larry Glover-Wetherington
I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col 2:1-3 NLT)
As I observe the prayers of the Apostle Paul, I notice that he asks for prayer that he might have opportunities to share the gospel; he prays that people may be established in their faith; that they may experience the fullness of the good news; and that they will not be deceived by others perverting the gospel. He prays against “the principalities and powers” of the unseen world. As in the scripture above he agonizes in prayer over the new churches. Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.(Gal 4:19 NLT), and he prays that they will make disciples. Paul’s ministry is baptized in intercessory prayer.
It is in intercessory prayer that Jesus finds his highest calling. In his heavenly ministry, Hebrews 7:25 says, he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
This is where the church finds its highest calling as well. It is through the intercessory prayer of the church alone that the church can participate in God’s work, and nothing avails without it. This is that part of abiding in the Vine where Jesus says, “Apart from me, you can do nothing”.
There is so much that needs prayer, it is easy to be overwhelmed to the point of not praying. Where do we begin? How do we proceed? I believe the clue is to pay attention to our heart.
My wife and I routinely watch the evening news. I have noticed at the end of the hour that I usually have a deep sense of grief and sadness from the reports of the pandemic, immigrants in multiple places in the world, some for political reasons, some fleeing persecution. Numerous wars and conflicts are ravaging people’s lives, and there is the continual racial injustice in our country. It occurred to me one evening that instead of just being sad and feeling like there is nothing I can do, perhaps the sadness is God’s way of calling me to compassionate intercessory prayer for God’s suffering and broken world.
These thoughts in the blog above are from Rev. Larry Glover-Wetherington, one of our associate partners in ministry living in Durham, North Carolina. He has served in various churches positions across the Southeast. For more information about how he can help you, contact him at [email protected].