Pr. Sam C. Samuel
We begin our prayer with praise and worship focusing on the attributes of God. Attributes tell us what and who God is. God is eternal and unchanging. Something happens when we worship Him. The Psalmist says, ‘God who inhabits the praises of Israel. At another place the Psalmist says, ‘Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with PRAISE.’
Next follows confession. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up. Angels dwelt on the Holiness of God. The prophet who denounced the sins of Israel saw himself and cried “woe unto me, I am a man of unclean lips.” He receives cleansing when he makes the confession. In our case, the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from our sins.
Then we follow thanking the Lord for what He has done in our lives – air that we breathe, food that we eat, the health we enjoy. Someone once said, ‘When we are depressed, try THANKSGIVING.’ Count your blessings and name them one by one and it will surprise you what He has done. Why do we go with long face? It’s because we forget what great things God has done in the past. A servant of God wanted to quit the ministry because of various problems and difficulties. Before he did so he set apart time to name each blessing that he received and thank the Lord for the same. A kind of thanksgiving session followed. His problems began to melt like ice under the sun. He revoked his decision and continued in the ministry with more vigor and commitment.
When we make known our various needs to the Lord it is called supplication or Petition. In other words, in our prayer time we major on Petition. Of course, it is scriptural. ‘Ask and it shall be given.’ Mt. 7:7. Asking is the principle of God’s Kingdom. James says, ‘You do not have because you do not ask.’
When we take our needs to the Lord in prayer it is called supplication but when we take others’ needs to the Lord it is called Intercession. Intercession comes from two Latin words: ‘inter’(= between/among) and‘cedere’ (= go). It means ‘go between’. As priests we take our fellow beings’ needs to the Lord in prayer. Many examples of Intercession like Moses interceding for people are found in the Bible. In intercession we go to God representing people and we go to men representing God. What a wonderful ministry!
In 1 Tim 2:1 Paul says, ‘Pray for ALL men.’ How can we be a World Christian? For the past 30 years I am following Operation World. If you follow that book, you can go round the world once in 365 days on our knees. It gives you the description of everything concerning a nation, its history, people groups, Praise and Prayer items. My brother-in-law and his wife are going to Samoa Islands on April 28 as medical missionaries. In my intercession I was praying for that small Island and now I see the answer before my eyes.
Ask, I shall give you
The uttermost parts of the world
as your inheritance.
In Every Home for Christ, we had a system of praying round the clock in 15 minutes slot. Besides this we had One Hour Watchers for whom we supply a world map listing all nations and the Prime Ministers and Presidents of all nations.
Another practical way of Intercession is that when we watch TV or read newspaper we come across names of our ministers, at the state or center. Seeing their names, we can whisper a word of prayer for them. What we need is a spirit of prayer. We come across people as we walk on the road and travel in a bus or train. We can pray for them silently even though we may not know their names, their profession or their needs.
The Lord has given a powerful key in our hand and that is Prayer. James in his epistle says, ‘Elijah prayed and he could lock the heaven. He again prayed and there was abundance of rain. He used this key to lock and unlock heaven. Likewise, God has given us authority to bind and loose. Mat. 18:18. If two of you shall agree upon anything that they shall ask it will be done. Mat 18:19.