July 27, 2012

Intercession of the Spirit

I have been wanting to write this post for a while because I am learning so much in this area.  I finally got around to it...

Prayer is one of the most important disciplines of a follower of Jesus.  Along with clothing ourselves with the armor of Christ, prayer should always be our first line of defense when the fiery darts of spiritual warfare are thrown at us.  Yet, it is too often my tendency to try and "fix" things instead of going first to God in prayer. Lately, there have been situations in my life that have been completely out of my control, and through these situations I have learned more about the importance of prayer than I have ever before.

Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest said, "God brings you to places, among people, and into certain circumstances to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you." Each person and each situation in our lives give us an opportunity to let the Spirit work in us through intercession.  The best thing about Oswald's statement here is that part that says "to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you."

You see, the glorious thing is that the Spirit in us intercedes on our behalf. "For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."  Romans 8:26-27

What a relief! The Spirit intercedes when we do not know what to pray! And, the Spirit always intercedes according to the will of God. How comforting to know that when we are lost for words or when our words aren't what they ought to be, the Spirit steps in and goes to the Father on our behalf.

The same holds true when we are responsible for praying for the people in our personal "spiritual jurisdictions." As Chambers points out, we are put in certain circumstances among specific people by God's design so that we can fulfill the purpose of intercession.  Crying out to God in genuine dependence on Him and on behalf of others is one of the most powerful things that we can do for people that we love.  And when we do not know what to pray, we can ask that He focus the intercession of the Spirit on the people and circumstances on our hearts.

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