One of my spiritual gifts is intercession, which is a fancy word that means ‘praying for others’. Since I became a Christian, I have always been fascinated with prayer and its power. The first nine months of CedarCreek Church, we spent hours and days praying about what God wanted our church to look like. Until I retired from the church staff at the end of 2013, I prayed every weekend over the seats for the people who would sit in them to hear the gospel message. (Now the members of the band and production teams pray over those seats at each campus! That’s how important prayer is!) Is there power in those prayers? I think so. I think God honors those prayers by guiding our leaders, by protecting us, by letting us grow, and by providing the resources and the people we need to meet the challenges that come as we move forward into the purpose God has for CedarCreek Church.
In those times of prayer as a new church, we always believed that God was bigger than anything we could imagine. We knew that God had amazing plans and purposes for us as individuals as well as us as his church. We were confident that we were praying in accordance to his will because what drove us was the desire to see unchurched and spiritually restless people come into a healthy, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ! We had to pray. We knew nothing about planting a church. We knew if God didn’t show up for us, nothing would happen. All of our planning would be for nothing. We had to depend on God alone and trust him to provide everything we would need, and here we are!
Has God laid someone or something on your heart that he would have you make the focus of your prayers for the next several weeks, as Ben suggested? We encourage you to pray for family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers whom God might want you to invite to church this Easter. Maybe God is calling you to intercede for an organization or ministry for which you have a “holy discontent.” If you make that the focus of your prayers, you will most certainly discern how God wants you to be involved in that ministry. Perhaps a friend or loved one is struggling with their health, an addiction, or a relational conflict. Make it your joy to intercede for them with the God of the universe, who loves them, and you, more than you could ever imagine. Remember this series’ memory verse:
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Be earnest in your prayers this week. You will experience great power and wonderful results, and God will be glorified!
Who does God want you to pray for in the days and weeks ahead?
Do you trust God to answer your prayers? How has he shown up in the past for you?
Sometimes it is helpful to write out your prayers so you can keep track of the answers. In your journal or notebook this week, write out your specific request and date it. Keep track of your persistence in prayer and how God answers your request.
Abba Father, thank you that you love for us to ask for the many blessings you have for us. We trust in your great mercy and the good gifts you have for each of us. Help us to trust you and to be confident in our prayers. Amen.
This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people who God used to start CedarCreek 21 years ago, and was on staff until 2013. She and her husband Mike love to travel the country in their motor home with their kitties Jane & Mary. Lauri is passionate about prayer, and about helping women discover who they are in Christ. She doesn’t tweet but you can follow her and Mike’s adventures on Facebook.
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