Sunday, October 14, 2012

Intercessory Prayer as Agonizing Battle

This morning at Redeemer I put out a call for a week of intercessory prayer. God led me to do it this way.

Before we began to worship I asked people to raise their hands if they wanted to write a prayer request on a 3X5 card. I walked through the congregation, passing out cards to many raised hands. During worship I kept walking through our church family, gathering the prayer requests.

Then I preached out of Colossians 2:1-6, focusing on intercessory prayer as a means of battling for and on behalf of the souls of others. When Paul writes, in Colossians 2:1, that he was "struggling" for the Colossian Jesus-followers, the Greek word he used was agon. We get "agony," and "agonizing," from this. This is intercessory prayer as agony. Sam Storms writes:

“Intercession is a battle, an agonizing war that demands concentration, effort, and sustained devotion.” (Storms, The Hope of Glory: 100 Daily Meditations on Colossians)

"Is there anyone here this morning who will take one of these 3X5 card prayer requests," I asked, "and contend for it?" I estimate that 80-100 came forward. I anointed each one with oil and gave them one of the prayer cards.

This is a week, one week, of struggling, agonizing, battling intercessory prayer at Redeemer. I was able to take pictures of about half of these pray-ers. (Sorry if you were there and I missed you. I almost forgot to do this!)

My church is a praying church, and I thank God for this!