Date: Thursday, September 25
Scripture: Revelation 8:2-5
Verse: And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. (Revelation 8:4)
I love when I get to see our prayer team pray. Every week a pair or trio of people get together and pray for the joys and concerns we received during the worship services the past Sunday. Every once in a while I will see them gathered around the cafe tables in our Great Room with the stack of cards in front of them. Sometimes they will be holding hands, other times I notice their hands laid on top of the card with the concern for which they are praying. I know they are passionately lifting before God the concerns or joys expressed in a card. It is a privilege to watch, and quite inspiring. I know it is doing something because not long ago someone told me when the church was praying for them, they could feel the prayers.
Intercessory prayer, the act of praying for one another, is a biblical concept. We see it in today’s passage. In heaven, the saints in today’s passage are praying for the inhabitants of earth. In the next several verses we read about terrible things happening and the saints are praying for those suffering through them. The Bible says that their prayers and the incense accompanying them, rise before the throne of God.
We can do that too, even without being part of the prayer team at church. When we know someone is going through something difficult, it is OK to lift them up in prayer. Our congregation publishes our prayer concerns each week in the Weekly Beacon and you can pray those prayers. Another wonderful way to do this, is to pray the news. All the bad news in the world isn’t just food for conversation and politically volleying. It can also be a prayer list.
Something wonderful happens when we pray for one another. Not only are prayers lifted before God, but he brings us together and raises our awareness of the struggles of others.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the saints who pray for me. Teach me how to pray for others as well. Amen.
Action: Go to your favorite news source, and make a list of those for whom you might pray. Then lift those prayers before God.
Respond: Have you ever been prayed for? What was it like?
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