James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
One of the most powerful books in the New Testament is the Book of James. In the verse above he encourages Christians to pray for each other. Let us first establish the fact the act of intercessory prayer is one thing we Christians are asked to do, and the one thing we can all do. How difficult is it for us to say a prayer for someone else?
My favorite reading on the subject of intercessory prayer comes from the pen of Andrew Murray, who shows us the importance of this act in his little booklet, "The Secret of Intercession." Here is a quote from his introductory remarks,
Intercession! Would one not say that this is the very holiest exercise of our boldness as God's children, the highest privilege and enjoyment connected with our intercourse with God--the power of being used by God as instruments for His great work of making men His habitation and showing forth His glory? Would one not think that the Church would count this one of the chief means of grace, and see above everything to cultivate in God's children the power or an unceasing prayerfulness on behalf of the perishing world?
Murray goes on to suggest that believers, those who have been brought into a "rightness" with God, should actively be involved in lives of prayer, especially prayers for each other. That brings me to ask myself, and all believers to think for a moment about the people we need to be including in our prayers. Yes, we need to continue to pray those prayers of praise and thanksgiving for the wonderful deeds of God. We should never omit prayers seeking forgiveness for sin in our lives. But right now, perhaps with pen and paper, think of the people you know who are struggling, in need, suffering health issues, needing to know Jesus, people who teach us, people we can teach, our children, our parents.......the list is endless.
This type of prayer was especially important to Paul as he traveled on his missionary journeys, establishing churches, converting people to Christianity, and fulfilling his God-given purpose of spreading the gospel. In his letter to the Colossian church, written from a prison cell, he says, " Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains."
Let's vow today, as I pray for each one who reads this devotional blog, you will be praying for me, too. It is going to be so amazing for us to see the workings of God in the lives of those for which we pray.