Corliss Taylor, GFC Lutz
(Acts 12: 1-11)
Have you ever thought a situation was hopeless? After I accepted Jesus, I initially thought that everything should go my way. It did not take too many rejections for me to quickly realize being a Christian did not mean getting all the things I asked for. I found being a Christian meant I had to follow God’s way to see manifestations. Two key principles I learned about seeing God move on an otherwise dead situation were: 1) focus on God’s Word and 2) when you pray for someone else, God will strengthen you.
Growing up, my aunt was one of my best friends. When she received a negative report from the doctor, I was deeply saddened. My aunt had a family. She was young. All of these thoughts began to cause me to despair. Then, I remembered the scripture I read that said, “Therefore, confess your faults one to another and pray for one another, that you may be healed”. This charge is found in James 5:16. Confess is defined as admitting or acknowledging. Faults are defined as an inadequacy or mistake. Prayer is simply talking to God. When we know we have a seemingly insurmountable situation, James says we are to discuss the matter with another person we trust to help us get the victory through prayer. So why are we not using the prayer tool of intercession more often?
Looking at the testimony of Peter in Acts 12:1, we see an amazing illustration of intercession. Peter had been arrested in Jerusalem because King Herod decided to use his power and disturb the Church. Peter had not committed any crime, he was simply a Christian boldly doing God’s will. When the Church heard the news, they prayed for Peter without ceasing (verse 5). So much focus was on Peter and praying for his situation to be reversed that God sent an angel to rescue Peter (verse 7). Look at the power of this miracle. The angel appeared, gave Peter clear instructions on how to get the breakthrough, and proceeded to lead Peter out of the prison doors (verses 8-10). Prayer caused the victory. Likewise, when my aunt went to the hospital, my family gathered to pray. We had “around the clock prayer” with some family members at their home, many during the day, and others in the hospital by her beside. Eventually, after much prayer, my aunt experienced a supernatural recovery.
Intercessory prayer should not be underestimated. The Word of God tells us in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” When God joins your prayer circle, His presence makes all the difference. So, how do you effectively intercede?
1) Listen to hear what the need is of the individual. 2) Find out the will of God for that trial in the Word. It is the Word that will move God’s mighty hand. 3) Once you have scripture, pray it as often as possible with someone who has the same end goal in mind as you. 4) Watch for God to answer. Be mindful, pleading for the needs of others builds your spirit man in strength. Going to God on someone else’s behalf has the power to change outcomes. (Job 42:10).