Chapter 24—Intercessory Prayer
Pray for Others—Let us strive to walk in the light as Christ is in the light. The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed, not only for himself, but for those who were opposing him. When he felt earnestly desirous that the souls that had trespassed against him might be helped, he himself received help. Let us pray, not only for ourselves, but for those who have hurt us, and are continuing to hurt us. Pray, pray, especially in your mind. Give not the Lord rest; for His ears are open to hear sincere, importunate prayers, when the soul is humbled before Him.—(The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 3:1141.)
You are to be the agent through whom God will speak to the soul. Precious things will be brought to your remembrance, and with a heart overflowing with the love of Jesus, you will speak words of vital interest and import. Your simplicity and sincerity will be the highest eloquence, and your words will be registered in the books of heaven as fit words, which are like apples of gold in pictures of silver. God will make them a healing flood of heavenly influence, awakening conviction and desire, and Jesus will add His intercession to your prayers, and claim for the sinner the gift of the Holy Spirit, and pour it upon his soul. And there will be joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.—(Sons and Daughters of God, 274.)
There are those all around you who have woes, who need words of sympathy, love, and tenderness, and our humble, pitying prayers.—(Testimonies for the Church 3:530.)
In calling God our Father, we recognize all His children as our brethren. We are all a part of the great web of humanity, all members of one family. In our petitions we are to include our neighbors as well as ourselves. No one prays aright who seeks a blessing for himself alone.—(Sons and Daughters of God, 267.)
As we seek to win others to Christ, bearing the burden of souls in our prayers, our own hearts will throb with the quickening influence of God’s grace; our own affections will glow with more divine fervor; our whole Christian life will be more of a reality, more earnest, more prayerful.—(Christ’s Object Lessons, 354).
There are souls who have lost their courage; speak to them, pray for them. There are those who need the bread of life. Read to them from the Word of God. There is a soul sickness no balm can reach, no medicine heal. Pray for these, and bring them to Jesus Christ. And in all your work Christ will be present to make impressions upon human hearts.—(Welfare Ministry, 71.)
Let those who are spiritual converse with these souls. Pray with and for them. Let much time be spent in prayer and close searching of the word. Let all obtain the real facts of faith in their own souls through belief that the Holy Spirit will be imparted to them because they have a real hungering and thirsting after righteousness.—(Testimonies for the Church 6:65).
When self dies, there will be awakened an intense desire for the salvation of others,—a desire which will lead to persevering efforts to do good. There will be a sowing beside all waters; and earnest supplication, importunate prayers, will enter heaven in behalf of perishing souls.—(Gospel Workers, 470).
Oh, that the earnest prayer of faith may arise everywhere, Give me souls buried now in the rubbish of error, or I die! Bring them to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.—(This Day With God, 171).
Begin to pray for souls; come near to Christ, close to His bleeding side. Let a meek and quiet spirit adorn your lives, and let your earnest, broken, humble petitions ascend to Him for wisdom that you may have success in saving not only your own soul, but the souls of others.—(Testimonies for the Church 1:513.)
There are many from whom hope has departed. Bring back the sunshine to them. Many have lost their courage. Speak to them words of cheer. Pray for them.—(Prophets and Kings, 719.)
Souls are to be sought for, prayed for, labored for. Earnest appeals are to be made. Fervent prayers are to be offered. Our tame, spiritless petitions are to be changed into petitions of intense earnestness.—(Testimonies for the Church 7:12).
This work requires you to watch for souls as they that must give an account. The tenderness of Christ must pervade the heart of the worker. If you have a love for souls you will reveal a tender solicitude for them. You will offer humble, earnest, heartfelt prayers for those whom you visit. The fragrance of Christ’s love will be revealed in your work. He who gave His own life for the life of the world will co-operate with the unselfish worker to make an impression upon human hearts.—(Testimonies for the Church 6:75, 76.)
Let us work upon this plan, and pray for one another, bringing one another right into the presence of God by living faith.—(The Review and Herald, August 28, 1888.)
Pray for Blessings in Order to Bless Others—Our prayers are not to be a selfish asking, merely for our own benefit. We are to ask that we may give. The principle of Christ’s life must be the principle of our lives. “For their sakes,” He said, speaking of His disciples, “I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified.” John 17:19. The same devotion, the same self-sacrifice, the same subjection to the claims of the word of God, that were manifest in Christ, must be seen in His servants. Our mission to the world is not to serve or please ourselves; we are to glorify God by co-operating with Him to save sinners. We are to ask blessings from God that we may communicate to others. The capacity for receiving is preserved only by imparting. We cannot continue to receive heavenly treasure without communicating to those around us.—(Christ’s Object Lessons, 142, 143.)
When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we ask for others as well as ourselves. And we acknowledge that what God gives us is not for ourselves alone. God gives to us in trust, that we may feed the hungry.—(Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 111, 112.)
Intercede for Others in Private Prayer—In private prayer all have the privilege of praying as long as they desire and of being as explicit as they please. They can pray for all their relatives and friends. The closet is the place to tell all their private difficulties, and trials, and temptations. A common meeting to worship God is not the place to open the privacies of the heart.—(Testimonies for the Church 2:578.)
Pray for Those Who Preach and Minister—Among God’s people there should be at this time frequent seasons of sincere, earnest prayer. The mind should be constantly in a prayerful attitude. In the home and in the church let earnest prayers be offered in behalf of those who have given themselves to the preaching of the Word.—(In Heavenly Places, 87.)
As young men go forth to preach the truth, you should have seasons of prayer for them. Pray that God will connect them with Himself and give them wisdom, grace, and knowledge. Pray that they may be guarded from the snares of Satan and kept pure in thought and holy in heart. I entreat you who fear the Lord to waste no time in unprofitable talk or in needless labor to gratify pride or to indulge the appetite. Let the time thus gained be spent in wrestling with God for your ministers. Hold up their hands as did Aaron and Hur the hands of Moses.—(Testimonies for the Church 5:162.)
Pray for the Youth of the Church—Let those older in experience watch over the younger ones; and when they see them tempted, take them aside, and pray with them and for them.—(Messages to Young People, 18).
Sabbath School Teachers Pray for Your Class Members—As workers for God we want more of Jesus and less of self. We should have more of a burden for souls, and should pray daily that strength and wisdom may be given us for the Sabbath. Teachers, meet with your classes. Pray with them, and teach them how to pray. Let the heart be softened, and the petitions short and simple, but earnest.—(Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 125.)
Students to Pray for Teachers—Students should have their own seasons of prayer, where they may offer fervent, simple petitions that God shall bless the president of the school with physical strength, mental clearness, moral power, and spiritual discernment, and that every teacher shall be qualified by the grace of God to do His work.—(Fundamentals of Christian Education, 293.)
Pray for Fellow Christians—Too often we forget that our fellow laborers are in need of strength and cheer. In times of special perplexity and burden, take care to assure them of your interest and sympathy. While you try to help them by your prayers, let them know that you do it. Send along the line God’s message to His workers: “Be strong and of a good courage.” Joshua 1:6.—(Testimonies for the Church 7:185.)
Parents to Pray for Their Children—God has promised to give wisdom to those that ask in faith, and He will do just as He said He would. He is pleased with the faith that takes Him at His word. The mother of Augustine prayed for her son’s conversion. She saw no evidence that the Spirit of God was impressing his heart, but she was not discouraged. She laid her finger upon the texts, presenting before God His own words, and pleaded as only a mother can. Her deep humiliation, her earnest importunities, her unwavering faith, prevailed, and the Lord gave her the desire of her heart. Today He is just as ready to listen to the petitions of His people. “His hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear;” and if Christian parents seek Him earnestly, He will fill their mouths with arguments, and, for His name’s sake, will work mightily in their behalf in the conversion of their children.—(Testimonies for the Church 5:322, 323.)
We should pray to God much more than we do. There is great strength and blessing in praying together in our families, with and for our children.—(Child Guidance, 525.)
Let Christ find you His helping hand to carry out His purposes. By prayer you may gain an experience that will make your ministry for your children a perfect success.—(Child Guidance, 69.)
You did not consider hard labor a burden if the way would only open that you might care for your children and shield them from the iniquity prevailing in this age of the world. It was the burden of your heart that you might see them turning to the Lord. You pleaded before God for your children with strong cries and tears. Their conversion you so much desired. Sometimes your heart would despond and faint, and you would fear that your prayers would not be answered; then again you would consecrate your children to God afresh, and your yearning heart would lay them anew upon the altar.
When they went into the army, your prayers followed them. They were wonderfully preserved from harm. They called it good luck; but a mother’s prayers from an anxious, burdened soul, as she felt the peril of her children and the danger of their being cut off in their youth without hope in God, had much to do with their preservation. How many prayers were lodged in heaven that these sons might be preserved to obey God, to devote their lives to His glory! In your anxiety for your children you pleaded with God to return them to you again, and you would seek more earnestly to lead them in the path of holiness.—(Testimonies for the Church 2:274, 275.)
He [God] will not refuse to hear the parents’ earnest prayer, that is seconded by persevering labor, that their children may be blessed of Him, and become faithful workers in His cause. When parents do their duty in God’s appointed way, they may be sure that their requests for His help in their home work will be granted.—(The Signs of the Times, May 4, 1888.)
Watch continually to cut off the current and roll back the weight of evil Satan is pressing in upon your children. The children cannot do this of themselves. Parents can do much. By earnest prayer and living faith, great victories will be gained.—(Spiritual Gifts 4b, 139.)
To do her work as it should be done requires talent and skill and patient, thoughtful care. It calls for self-distrust and earnest prayer. Let every mother strive by persevering effort to fulfill her obligations. Let her bring her little ones to Jesus in the arms of faith, telling Him her great need, and asking for wisdom and grace.—(Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 128.)
Painstaking effort, prayer and faith, when united with a correct example, will not be fruitless. Bring your children to God in faith, and seek to impress their susceptible minds with a sense of their obligations to their heavenly Father.—(Temperance, 157, 158.)
Do not expect a change to be wrought in your children without patient, earnest labor, mingled with fervent prayer. To study and understand their varied characters, and day by day to mould them after the divine Model, is a work demanding great diligence and perseverance, and much prayer, with an abiding faith in God’s promises.—(The Signs of the Times, May 4, 1888.)
Even the babe in its mother’s arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother.—(The Desire of Ages, 512.)
Fathers and mothers, will you not lay hold of your work with energy, perseverance, and love? Sow the precious seed daily, with earnest prayer that God will water it with the dews of grace, and grant you an abundant harvest. The Son of God died to redeem a sinful, rebellious race. Shall we shrink from any toil or sacrifice to save our own dear children?—(The Signs of the Times, November 24, 1881.)
After you have done your duty faithfully to your children, then carry them to God and ask Him to help you. Tell Him that you have done your part, and then in faith ask God to do His part, that which you cannot do.—(Child Guidance, 256.)