Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Church:An Interceding Community

Akhila John
Carmel MTC, Boston, MA
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.

More frequently than you want to admit, you probably look around and think...c'mon, what’s the point in prayer? There is so much going on in this crazy world and does God really have the time to listen to my requests?

Sometimes, with church everything becomes habitual. Every week we set aside time for intercessory prayer. You go down your list - I pray for my family, I pray for my friends, I pray for those who are need- the ones without clothes, shelter, food, safety, comfort. Sometimes, I like to add in a little shout out for those friends who have asked me - “Hey, can you pray for me? I have a really hard exam coming up.” Or the occasional, “Hey keep me in prayer, life is a little tough nowadays” But have we stopped to think about why we take it upon ourselves to pray for these people and these things? Why should I be concerned with the person sitting next to me? Furthermore, if my friend isn’t a believer in Christ, will my prayers help him or her? Will my requests be heard by my God if it’s about a nonbeliever?

The Bible tells me yes. Our Mar Thoma church tells me yes.  We all know the story of Abraham interceding with the Lord, when it was decided that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed. The Lord saw their wicked ways and was ready to destroy them, while keeping Abraham and his people safe. He asks the Lord in Genesis 18 verse 23: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” He goes on to ask the Lord, “What if only 10 people are found righteous, can He not destroy Sodom.” The Lord agrees. We have so much to learn from this. Abraham could've learned of God’s plans and gone about his day. Rather he intercedes, he works towards helping those people - the people that were straying away from the Lord.

In James chapter 5 verse 16 we learn why it is important that we pray, and that we pray with a pure heart. It reads: “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”. How blessed we are to be in a community that emphasizes the importance of recognizing the needs of others. How lucky that this is something we practice week to week. However, I pray that we do not become stagnant with this duty. Every week we as a congregation pray for the leaders of this faith, we pray for this beautiful universe and this life and the possibilities of it, we pray for the leaders of this country, we pray for the less fortunate. We are also given a time, to personally intercede for others. I challenge all of us to go beyond our mental checklists. I challenge each person to look to their neighbor, understand the sorrows and joys they face- and pray to God for blessings and strength. I challenge each person to think not only of themselves, and the ones they love, but also the ones that they do not know - and the ones that do not know God.


Father God, you have shown us the power of prayer and compassion for mankind. Help us to move past our own struggles and extend love and kindness to our neighbors. Grant that we be a testament of your love through daily intercession. As Jesus interceded on our behalf on the cross, we pray that we may lessen the burden of others. Amen.

"We are never more like Christ than in the prayers of intercession" -Austin Phelps

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