Prayer changes you
All Crossroads devotionals are also distributed on the social networks. There one can see how many people are exposed to the message as well as the number of people that respond to it. With the three-time-a-week devotionals we reach three to five thousand people. With the coloured picture and short message that lands on Facebook via Instagram we reach six to ten thousand people.
Now and then we have an outlier. That’s the one that’s shared 600 times, gets 2500 likes and shows up on more than 52 000 walls. There’s a buzz and people comment left, right and centre. And the message: Pray for one another, it works!
Such a simple message making such big waves on the social networks. I wonder why. Why did this one work so well? And then I realise this is what people need today: prayer.
It’s rough out there. Many people are drowning and they realise they can’t make it on their own. Many people don’t even know how to pray, so they like the message in the hope that someone will indeed pray for them.
Paul knew the power of prayer. That is why it’s his point of departure: 1The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.
Prayer is the answer in all circumstances. Prayer works, because on the other side of prayer is a living God who listens. That is why we have to pray, continuously and for one another.
The Living Bible translation cranks up the intensity, saying we have to pray a lot for others, to plead for God’s mercy for others, and giving thanks. You see, this is not just a grocery list you reel off. “Lord, be with those with that problem. Lord, help that one and give the other this.”
No, to plead in prayer means that you will pray seriously for others. It takes time. It takes notice of God’s Word, because indeed it is here that you can remind God of the promises He had already fulfilled. Like a little boy who tries something new again and again to try and persuade his mom, we should not stop pleading with God.
Intercession means that we will pray on behalf of someone else. Often other people cannot pray. Often other people do not want to pray. Often other people do not even know they need prayer. Here, you as it were, intercede between God and the person and bring that person and all her/his needs to God. We have a few hundred intercessors at crossroad.com that intercede for people and bring their needs to God.
And with thanksgiving. We have to thank God for all that we and the person on whose behalf we are interceding already receives from Him every day. His mercy. His love. His Son who died on the cross as punishment for our sin. Can we ever thank God enough for this?
And then I hear someone say: “Why is it necessary to pray so much? God already knows everything. What effect would prayer have?”
You change when you pray, because after prayer you walk away differently from when you walked in. May you have calm and peace knowing that God has heard your prayer.
Who do you have to pray for?
How do you have to pray?
What do you have to pray for?
Our Father, thank you that we may pray. Thank you that we can pray. Thank you that we can pray for one another. Thank you for listening. Thank you that we are changed through prayer. Amen.