Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Practice of Intercession

Now that I have told you about all of the tools that I use for my intercession, you may be wondering how I proceed. What are the things that I talk to the Lord about in this time when I arise and settle down on the couch in the den with my lap desk? I am usually accompanied by our cat, Belle who initially jumps up on the lap desk to see what I am going to do and when she finds that it is not that interesting to her, she moves over to the chair at the desk and curls up there to wait until I have finished.

The order of the topics I cover has no particular significance and changes frequently. I mentioned earlier that I begin with the large folder of current topics for prayer that are most urgent, as well as the lists of requests. These days the first topic is our personal prayer requests. If you have read my book, More Questions than Answers, Sharing Faith by Listening, you may remember that when we were responsible for the work of The Salvation Army in France, a decade ago, we faced some significant challenges in our ministry. It became clear to us that we needed additional prayer support, so I organized our prayer support team. That was when we started the prayer team. These people pray for us on a regular basis. We prepare and send out our prayer newsletter to them every month, outlining the specific needs that we have in our ministries and in our lives. The prayer support team really proved its worth at the time of our son’s accident, eight years ago. A traffic accident when the vehicle he was driving hit black ice on the highway in northern Vermont left him a quadriplegic.

As well as asking others to remember our prayer requests, I also pray through the list myself, praying for one request each day. Since there are seven prayer topics in the list, I can cover them four times each month.

Praying about the concerns that we have also reminds me to pray for those who are part of our prayer network. I have listed all of them by name and the second list in my folder is the names of all the members of our prayer support team. I pray for a different person or couple each morning. Since the list is quite long, it takes me a while to work through the list. Some of the names also appear on other lists in my folders for various other reasons. We will eventually come to those.

The third page in my current acute prayer list is the name of a little boy, whose parents are part of our congregation. He has been having seizures and there are still a lot of questions about what is causing these and how to treat them. His father is the one who does the translation from English into Spanish for those who come to worship with us but are still learning the English language. This is their first child and they are worried about this health concern of their little boy.

As we continue this journey of intercession, I will share with you some of the other concerns that occupy this valuable part of my day.

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