Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lent - Day 14: Intercession

Intercessory prayer - today's video puts it into an interesting perspective.  How many times have you been asked, would you pray for me?  or please pray for my friend [fill in the blank here]?

So often between the liturgical churches and the evangelical churches, there is controversy regarding "intercessory" prayer, because so often in liturgical churches (often Catholic, but also Episcopal or Lutheran), we request the saints who have gone before us to offer prayers on our behalf.  Perhaps we're hoping they might have the ear of God and can make our prayers better heard.

Another difference often seen is the presence of a "prayer list" - where when it is time to pray, we have a list of people for whom we offer intercessory prayer - and they're all those people who have asked for prayer or who others have asked on behalf of friends or family.  Often in evangelical churches, if you ask someone to pray for you, you're going to find that everything stops, right then and there, and the person literally offers up prayer, with you right there.

The concept of an "arrow prayer" - that quick, please God, watch over so and so on their journey or, thank you, God for the thing that has made my life easier at the moment, or the prayer of a parent - Lord God, please watch over my kid and give him a brai... er, wisdom -- these are the ongoing, little prayers we send on a regular basis to God, perhaps to ensure that we don't forget an intercessory prayer later, or to ensure that we don't forget to thank God for His blessings.  These are no less heartfelt than those prayers offered in a more formal manner, following "ACTS" as discussed previously - they're just different.

And perhaps we can each appreciate the differences people have in how intercessory prayer is offered - they are all heart-felt and sincere.  And whether it's our own intercession, or the intercession of one who's already on the other side - they're all prayers.  And that's the important part.

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