I am an Intercessor by vocation. A pray-er whose lifestyle has been shaped and redefined by prayer. But by nature I am like everyone else: woefully prayer-less, terrible at prayer, inadequate, questioning, and slow to learn.
If any of us are praying it is because God himself has stirred our heart to do so. Prayer does not come independently. It is not a condition of the human heart or nature. In fact, by ourselves, our own natural inclination is to jump in and fix the problem, solve the equation, force the pieces, debate the issue. Prayer leads us to what the psalmist says in Psalm 46:10:
“Be still and know God’s will and purposes” in even the most tumultuous matters.
- The ability to make effective intercession for yourself or others is not based on maturity in prayer, years of experience in prayer, perfection in prayer, or having a lifestyle that is holier that everyone or even most. No the heart and life of intercession issues from God’s own heart. Because God lives in us and we are in relationship with him His heart becomes ours in all things and that includes prayer.
- Abraham interceded for his nephew Lot because his heart had been shaped by God
- Moses interceded for a very stubborn and forgetful people because his heart had been shaped by God
- Hannah prayed to have a child because her heart had been stirred and shaped by God to pray
- King David learned and examples for us even now, what it means to truly intercede on our behalf because his heart was like Gods: having a heart of prayer
Go down through history and see that Samuel, Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Queen Esther, Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Anna, Simeon, Paul…were all people of great payer because their heart had been shaped by their God to pray and intercede for themselves and others.
God wants to use you in prayer and the Holy Spirit has given you your own unique shape and style. Every prayer is needed. Every pray-er is needed. Every prayer personality is welcomed!
The fact that none of us pray alike is a reflection of our Creative God.
- Some pray in the very traditional sense: hands folded, eyes closed, head bowed, knees bent.
- Some are pacers; walking the floor
- Some are Rosary pray-ers
- Some practice prayer disciplines
- While others are free-flowing, learning to pray their days letting the Spirit set their prayer clocks
- Some use a crayon or paintbrush or pencil to color or draw their prayers
- Some sing their prayers
- Some dance their prayers
- Some pray aloud with a booming voice
- Some pray silently with lips barely moving
- Some open God’s Word to pray the Scriptures
- Some fast and pray
- Some weep and wet the whole earth with tearful prayers
- Some sit in a quiet place far removed from others while others pray best in a group
- Some pray out of doors in nature
- And some may pray all of these ways at some point in their praying life
But everyone who prays contributes to all the good and light we experience on this earth
If you are praying a lot-and hopeefully you are!—it’s not because you have more prayer in you than anyone else, it’s not because you are holier than others—although we sometimes like to think so!—it’s not that you are more naturally inclined to do so. It’s simply because it is part of God’s plans and purpose for your life.
- God stirs and shapes the human heart for prayer, we respond by praying
- God stirs and shapes the human heart to pray even more, we respond by praying even more
- God stirs and shapes the human heart to pray even more about others, we respond by praying even more about others
- And on and on the cycle goes. And all the while God is stirring our heart to pray about some of the deeper, darker, harder issues because God knows he can trust us to pray and to endure in prayer until eventually prayer is our natural response to any need.
Have you ever asked yourself:
- How you are inclined to pray; how prayer flows from you instinctively?
- Do you know your prayer voice?
- Have you ever thought your kind of praying was childish, immature, not good enough to be considered powerful?
- Have you ever recoiled at being called an intercessor or prayer warrior?
Today I’ll end this way. The great Reformer Martin Luther once said;
“If you have found a way to pray that keeps you praying—then pray that way!