Striving together in prayers

JP: Good read by Dave Doran on corporate intercessory prayer.

The Efficacy of Intercessory Prayer

Excerpt:

When you compare Romans 15:30-32 with Acts 21-23, you find several clear testimonies to the truthfulness of this statement. Look at those prayer requests again, then consider: (1) that Acts 21:17 says that Luke records that when the missionary team “arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly;” and (2) that Acts 21 and 23 show clearly how God protected Paul by (a) motivating a Roman commander to respond immediately to the riot that broke out; (b) allowing the arrogance of the Jewish leaders to produce a fight among themselves rather than an attack on Paul; and (c) by placing Paul’s nephew in a position to learn of the plot against Paul, then causing both the centurion and commander to listen to the words of this young man. It is really a remarkable chain of events that come together in order to fulfill the prayer request which Paul was making before God’s throne, and for which he had invited the fervent prayers of the Roman believers.

The Apostle clearly believed in the effectiveness of intercessory prayer. He constantly invited others to pray for him, and he described those prayers as an effective instrument used by God to accomplish His purposes. Although he wrote it to the Corinthians, I am sure he would have responded to the Romans who prayed in the same way as he did in 2 Corinthians 1:10-11, God “who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.” God delivers. We help in that deliverance through prayer. Prayer secures the blessings and results in multiplied thanksgivings.

Our commitment to just about any effort is tied to our belief in its effectiveness. None of us engage fervently and faithfully in what we consider to be fruitless, pointless tasks. Let’s be reminded by the combination of Acts 21-23 and Romans 15:30-32 that God hears the combined prayers of people who may be far removed from each other, but are striving together in prayer for the same purpose, and He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. Let’s be reminded that the prayers of people comfortably situated in North America can be effective instruments in securing protection for those who are laboring for Christ on the other side of the globe. Let’s be reminded that prayer works because God designed it to work!

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