This weekend I corresponded with a friend about intercessory prayer. Here are a few thoughts that I shared with this very compassionate person:
The Lord’s prayer is a good prayer to pray at a macro level. I believe God wants us to invite Him into our world and praying the Lord’s prayer is a good way to do it. The question of God’s will can be summed up with this question: Are our prayers factored in to God’s will? I think that the answer is yes because another part of His prayer is asking His kingdom to come. When we invite His kingdom to come we pray on a macro level for the miraculous and supernatural.. we ask Him to invade our dark world and our dark lives with His light. Of course much of the Lord’s prayer deals with our relationship with Him.. inviting Him in to change us from the inside out.
On a less than macro level I believe that prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit.. being moved by His goodness.. moved by His compassion.. being His vessel here on earth. In the same way that Jesus partnered with the Father saying that He only did what He saw the Father doing it is our part to partner with the Spirit in intercession for ourselves and those He calls us to pray for. This can be so difficult because it involves heart faith.. connecting with our heart is something we need to walk out every day.. it is difficult because faith means that we keep praying as we are moved by compassion even when we don’t see the results of our prayers.
I guess that this is the rub.. unanswered prayers.. it is gut-wrenching and heart-breaking to suffer a long time and pray so much and not see His kingdom come. To me this is the heart of faith and the essence of trusting God.. it is also what I believe it means to wait on the Lord. What comes shining through your note is the message of one whose heart breaks for their friends – is there anything more reflective of the beauty of Christ than this? I believe that Jesus walked the earth with a broken heart for hurting people.. when we cry for others in prayer we partner with Him and His divine plan.. when we persevere in faith, praying as He leads us, we reflect His magnificent presence in our lives.