When folks know we’re believers, they inevitably come to us to ask for prayer when they get into trouble or find themselves carrying a heavy burden. My husband remembers witnessing to guys on his job who never really had time for what he was saying; yet, when they faced suffocating marital problems or the devastating diagnosis of a sick parent or child, they’d make a beeline to him to ask for prayer saying, “I know you’re a Christian, praying man.” They had faith in his faith, and in the fact that his faith had an effective connection with God.
Psalm 126:5-6 says, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Our labor in prayer for our friends and neighbors should produce tears empathetic to their plight. As we pray in compassion with them, we are sowing in tears. As they toil, we toil. Painful intercession, that tenderness of heart before God for others, is the rain that reaps a bountiful and joyful harvest of wonderfully answered prayer.
I’m trying to get better about praying from my heart for others. As with other areas of my life, I want my prayer life to reflect the Golden Rule: I want to do for others just as I would have them do for me. I’m serious about the needs I ask others to pray for and I really need them to bombard the Throne Room with my concerns. I fully expect that my praying friends will take my issues to the Lord in the same serious manner in which they take their own. The more pain I’m in, the more pain they should be in, and vice versa. So when somebody asks me to pray for them, I should take their request to heart and put in some labor and some tears.
“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2 (NKJ). Sometimes intercession is painful, but oh the joy on the other side of the answer! Submit to some painful intercession and watch God work!
©2010 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com.
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