Saturday, June 30, 2012

You Shall Not Pass: On Inter-cessory Prayer

It's 6 AM, and Linda and I are at my brother Mike's (and Sue's) home in Roscoe, Illinois.

I'm taking to time pray for some people who've asked me to pray for them. I am inter-ceding for them, on their behalf. One aspect of prayer is intercession; viz., standing between the followers of Jesus and an evil that is threatening to devour them.

I'm praying for Q, who, from her vantage point, has been given more than she can bear in life. Q is a real Jesus-follower. But her family and economic situation is bleak. Her mood is despair. How shall I pray for Q?

I am praying that she will endure. That she will not let go of Jesus in this difficult time.

I am praying that Q will not turn to the quick fix of a God-substitute, like drugs or alcohol or sex or spending money she does not have.

I am praying that Q will not give up. For this to be possible, she needs strength. Her knees are buckling under the weight of oppression.

If she gives up, what will that do and how will that help? She'll only be driven deeper into darkness.

I'm praying that light will come to Q, now. That she will recognize it.

James 1:12 says, Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

I know of no other hope but this. I have placed my hope in this. So has Q.

God, Q is going through a trial. She's been in this dark fire for some time. To her it seems to have become her life, her apportioned destiny. How long will her test last? Q loves you, God, and you know that. She is very weak this morning. She contacted me out of this weakness. Stretch out your hands to her, O God, and hold out the crown of life promised to her.

Rescue her.

Remind her of the powerful, light-filled moments of her rescue by your hand. Remind her of all that you have pulled her out of. Once she belonged to the darkness. But no longer. Now she belongs to you. Yet as she is following you, evil lies close at hand. 

While praying I thought of that scene in "Lord of the Rings" where Gandalf stands on the bridge holding his staff. His little group is being pursued by the Balrog of Moria. He thrusts the staff onto the bridge and shouts, with great authority, "You shall not pass!" Gandalf intercedes.

To pray for Q is to accept the role of the come-between, the intermediary, the inter-cessor. This is prayer as part of the armor of God. This is prayer as a weapon in spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:18 reads: ...praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints...

I am a staff-bearer for Saint Q, who has not the strength to lift a toothpick to protect herself from the evil that is fire-breathing on her and her family. In prayer, I now thrust this staff into the ground.