SPECIAL TOPIC: INTERCESSORY PRAYER

I. Introduction

A. Prayer is significant because of Jesus' example

 1. personal prayer, Mark 1:35; Luke 3:21; 6:12; 9:29; 22:31-46

 2. cleansing of the Temple, Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46

 3. Model Prayer, Matt. 6:5-13; Luke 11:2-4

B. Prayer is putting into tangible action our belief in a personal, caring God who is present, willing, and able to act on our behalf and others, through our prayers.

C. God has personally limited Himself to act on the prayers of His children in many areas (cf. James 4:2)

D. The major purpose of prayer is our fellowship and time with the Triune God.

E. The scope of prayer is anything or anyone that concerns believers. We may pray once, believing, or over and over again as the thought or concern returns.

F. Prayer can involve several elements

 1. praise and adoration of the Triune God

 2. thanksgiving to God for His presence, fellowship, and provisions

 3. confession of our sinfulness, both past and present

 4. petition of our sensed needs or desires

 5. intercession where we hold the needs of others before the Father

G. Intercessory prayer is a mystery. God loves those for whom we pray much more than we do, yet our prayers often effect a change, response, or need, not only in ourselves, but in them. 

II. Biblical Material

A. Old Testament

 1. Some examples of intercessory prayer:

 a. Abraham pleading for Sodom, Gen. 18:22ff

 b. Moses' prayers for Israel

 (1) Exodus 5:22-23

 (2) Exodus 32:31ff

 (3) Deuteronomy 5:5

 (4) Deuteronomy 9:18,25ff

 c. Samuel prays for Israel

 (1) 1 Samuel 7:5-6,8-9

 (2) 1 Samuel 12:16-23

 (3) 1 Samuel 15:11

 d. David for his child, 2 Samuel 12:16-18

 2. God is looking for intercessors, Isaiah 59:16

 3. Known, unconfessed sin or an unrepentant attitude affects our prayers

 a. Psalm 66:18

 b. Proverbs 28:9

 c. Isaiah 59:1-2; 64:7

B. New Testament

 1. The Son and Spirit's intercessory ministry

 a. Jesus

 (1) Romans 8:34

 (2) Hebrews 7:25

 (3) 1 John 2:1

 b. Holy Spirit, Romans 8:26-27

 2. Paul's intercessory ministry

 a. Prays for the Jews

 (1) Romans 9:1ff

 (2) Romans 10:1

 b. Prays for the churches

 (1) Romans 1:9

 (2) Ephesians 1:16

 (3) Philippians 1:3-4,9

 (4) Colossians 1:3,9

 (5) 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

 (6) 2 Thessalonians 1:11

 (7) 2 Timothy 1:3

 (8) Philemon, v. 4 

 c. Paul asked the churches to pray for him

 (1) Romans 15:30

 (2) 2 Corinthians 1:11

 (3) Ephesians 6:19

 (4) Colossians 4:3

 (5) 1 Thessalonians 5:25

 (6) 2 Thessalonians 3:1

3. The church's intercessory ministry

 a. Pray for one another

 (1) Ephesians 6:18

 (2) 1 Timothy 2:1

 (3) James 5:16

 b. Prayer requested for special groups

 (1) our enemies, Matt. 5:44

 (2) Christian workers, Hebrews 13:18

 (3) rulers, 1 Timothy 2:2

 (4) the sick, James 5:13-16

 (5) backsliders, 1 John 5:16

III. Conditions for answered prayer

A. Our relationship to Christ and the Spirit

 1. Abide in Him, John 15:7

 2. In His name, John 14:13,14; 15:16; 16:23-24

 3. In the Spirit, Ephesians 6:18; Jude 20

 4. According to God's will, Matthew 6:10; 1 John 3:22; 5:14-15

B. Motives

 1. Not wavering, Matthew 21:22; James 1:6-7

 2. Humility and repentance, Luke 18:9-14

 3. Asking amiss, James 4:3

 4. Selfishness, James 4:2-3

C. Other aspects

 1. Perseverance

 a. Luke 18:1-8

 b. Colossians 4:2

 2. Kept on asking

 a. Matthew 7:7-8

 b. Luke 11:5-13

 c. James 1:5

 3. Discord at home, 1 Peter 3:7

 4. Free from known sin

 a. Psalm 66:18 

 b. Proverbs 28:9

 c. Isaiah 59:1-2

 d. Isaiah 64:7

IV. Theological Conclusion

A. What a privilege. What an opportunity. What a duty and responsibility

B. Jesus is our example. The Spirit is our guide. The Father is eagerly waiting.

C. It could change you, your family, your friends, and the world.

 

Copyright © 2013 Bible Lessons International