Praying for Those in (Any) Trouble

Praying For People

Does it ever occur to you about the wonderful ways of prayer? While everyone all around is taking a hard stand or offering a barrage of opinions, advice, and solutions, you simply pray and it is enough to invite the perfect outcome through God’s powerful, faithful and gracious hand. The more you pray the less you know on your own, the fewer opinions you have, the more you are confident God knows the best way and outcome?

How often we have people on our prayer lists who are in deep trouble, up against things that are not easily solvable; that have no clear cut solutions. It doesn’t matter whether their trouble is brought on by others, by themselves, or by circumstance beyond their control. They especially are in need of God’s help because the devil will do his best work with them. If he even senses or gets a hint they are beaten down or to their very last strand, running out of steam or faith, he will press hard upon them every moment of the day, giving them no rest, speaking lies and being deceptive, showing his truest colors as Peter says; He is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (I Peter 5:8) and thinking he has found a weakened soul he will prey, closing in for the catch, go for the juggler to grind them into fine dust because he comes just as Christ says; Only to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). In these situations we can intercede just as Moses and Abraham did for the people of God out of Christian duty, compassion, empathy, and love. Here several things apply:

1)As Paul says clearly we are all in the same boat when it comes to sin and our need for God’s grace (daily) 2)It is for this very hour that God gives true servants: pastors who are willing to preach both law and Gospel, counsel and strengthen through the Word of God to the needy heart and intercessors who are willing to stand in the gap in the time of need and pray for the salvation of the troubled one, remind God of His promise to be longsuffering and faithful and claiming the promises of God over the troubled life. 3)The soul that is weary from its own prayer can no longer see top from bottom or end from beginning and needs help in the journey and struggle, whether it be angels from heaven, or earthly intercessors, that will help them press and believe for a good outcome and deliverance from their trouble in due time.

Psalm 86 lends itself to pure intercession and can be prayed for the troubled, tossed, and torn soul. It both looks to God for perfect help in the soul’s struggle and calls out His great promises which cannot be broken. Use the natural places to insert the sufferer’s name. In other portions use the plural we (because we all share in sin and the human struggle) to trust in God’s promises for their life and good outcome.

Do not feel as though you need to change the portions that refer to ruthless men seeking their destruction. Remember our strong and determined enemies are not just those in the flesh but in the spiritual realm as well. It is to both the psalms refer.

Pray this psalm as often as needed until their victory or breakthrough is secured over their trouble and the enemy who has risen against them is defeated.

 

Great Is Your Steadfast Love, O LORD

Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer                        ,
for (he/she) is poor and needy.
2 Preserve (his/her) life, for (he/she) is godly;
save your servant, who trusts in you—you are (his/her) God.
3 Be gracious to                       , O Lord,
for to you does (he/she) cry all the day.
4 Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, does (he/she) lift up (his/her) soul.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to                        ‘s prayer;
listen to (his/her) plea for grace.
7 In the day of (his/her) trouble (he/she) calls upon you,
for you answer (him/her).

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
11 Teach                        your way, O Lord,
that (he/she) may walk in your truth;
unite(his/her) heart to fear your name.
12  We give thanks to you, O Lord our God, with our whole heart,
and we will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward                   ;
you have delivered (his/her) soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, insolent men have risen up against                         ;
a band of ruthless men seeks (his/her) life,
and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to                      and be gracious to                  ;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the (son/daughter) of your maidservant.
17 Show                         a sign of your favor,
that those who hate (him/her) may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped                     and comforted (him/her)…

Amen

God alone knows the depth of their struggle. He knows His perfect will and desired outcome for them. As one willing to intercede for the troubled you have entreated the promises of God, depended upon the power of God and prayed He will come and deliver them from their struggle.

You can come away from your time of prayer confident that God is at work and working it out, helping them, counseling with them, strengthening them, protecting them in this deep hour of need.

Psalm 86 is a productive and effectual prayer; it’s a work well done in prayer!

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Intercessor’s Prayer Bulletin

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Bite-Size Prayer

If you find it a bit overwhelming to pray for your city as a whole then try this:

Pray for the places you frequent, the bank you go to, the grocery where you shop, the beauty salon, or barber, the movie theater, the mall or department store you frequent, the places your children hangout, the school and library in your community, the fast food places you get take-out or dine-in, the gas station where you fill up your car, etc…

  • Pray there are no acts of violence (including murder, rape, assault) or robberies
  • Pray for the safety of the workers and patrons
  • Pray God will put a fence of protection around the place of business and send His holy angels in time of danger or evil intent
  • Pray the workers are able to make ends meet even if their salary is inadequate
  • Pray God blesses them with wisdom to deal with any problem or difficulty they may be facing
  • Pray for their continued good health and speedy recovery when ill
  • Pray each worker will come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior if they don’t already
  • Pray the Spirit of God will stir their heart and pull them closer in to God
  • Pray the power of darkness or forces of evil cannot have control over their life, the establishment, or area
  • Pray the Spirit of God will use you to confirm the Father’s great love for them each time you shop or frequent there

If the Spirit moves you, let them know from time to time you are praying for their well being, ask if there is any way you might keep them in your prayers. People, even non-Christians love to be prayed for and will often tell you one way or another they could use prayer!

 

 

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Intercessors Prayer Bulletin

Pray God will fill you with knowledge and wisdom.

Not only for daily living;

But knowledge and wisdom useful in praying for others

more effectively

And for passing on to others

Ask God to create a prayer explosion and revival in the land

And this will be an age

where the Kingdom of God is forcefully advanced

                                 through the prayers of His people

as never before!

 

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Praying for the Captive and Captivated

 

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. (Psalm 25:16-20) 

 

I remember seeing a movie years ago about a priest who fell in love with a nun. The discovery of their love led to both being excommunicated by the Church. They were two broken people who did not know where to turn. In need of healing and compassion, but found none. They did not find grace but judgment and accusation and the end for both was tragic: One life ending in death and the other to mental, emotional and spiritual torment.

Satan gets joy out of every soul he can capture, but he seems to take even greater delight in the souls he can capture that were once secure in Christ. He is truly as Peter stated; “A roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8)

It is painful to see good people fall. It’s painful to see God’s people fall into sin and the clutches of the devil. And we should cry with and for them and not judge them, not shut the door on them, not criticize them; but seek to help them in any way we can. Christ came as a restorer of souls; something that perplexed the church(?)! They questioned His motives and authority. They did not understand why he forgave what they themselves would have judged? Remember the woman caught in adultery?

The Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”(John 8:3-5)

But Isaiah prophesied how Christ would handle brokenness and sin;

Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench (Isaiah 42:1-4).

Much to the dismay of the Accuser Jesus does not kill, does not cry out against, does not put to death, but brings renewed life! Just as the Intercessor does not stand with the accuser, does not join in with gossipers, ridiculers, or haters, but prays fervently for their brother or sister gone astray: knowing in their heart of hearts; “There for the grace of God, go I!”

When the people of Israel sinned greatly God was ready to destroy them but Moses pleaded for them instead:

And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them…I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” but Moses implored the LORD his god and sais; O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? (Exodus 32:7-8,9-11)

 

In Psalm 1 David reveals;

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers…(Ps. 1:1-2)

In Psalm 25 (above) David pleads for forgiveness for all his sin. The sin he could do nothing about: sinful as a state of being (from birth) and transgressions (sinful acts of the will). He knew it was only God’s grace that could save and deliver him because the enemies that wanted to see his destruction and downfall were truly many!

If you continue in prayer the Holy Spirit will add to your concerns those who have fallen into the clutches of Satan and his followers.

The Word of God gives us many passages to pray for our friends, neighbors, loved ones, brothers and sisters in community who are in the dire straits of sin. And we can do more than X them off our prayer list, we can even go further than praying for their strength: We can storm the strong man’s house and ties up his spoils and reclaim them for God’s purposes:

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger that he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Luke 11:22-23)

Can you see how God has chosen and appointed the intercessor to be the Stronger man; to be a collector of the devil’s spoils? One who can enter the devil’s domain, tread on his territory, plunder his house, take possession of his spoils and release them for good and God-purposes?

Our strong and fervent prayers can bring some back from the dead. Can release the captive and snatch some from the fires of hell. We can declare (spiritual) war through prayer and Satan does not stand a chance against the saints of God in prayer because the prayers of the righteous do not fail! James put it this way;

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is (sin) sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working…my brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins (James 5:15-16, 19-20)   

 

How do we pray for the broken, those held captive and captivated by the world, the flesh, Satan and his band, those in danger of losing their soul?

  • We can take out the Word of God which is always our weapon of mass destruction against sin, the world and the devil.
  • We can mark and pray the promise of God for these broken and endangered lives.
  • We can fast and pray for the hard and difficult cases.
  • We can pray without ceasing.
  • We can intercede just as Moses did for the people of Israel and appeal to God’s longsuffering, mercy and grace
  • We can believe the Word and promises of God are stronger than the lies of Satan.
  • We can pray and wait patiently.
  • We can love
  • We can call the devil who he really is when he attacks or accuses our prayers as ineffective and weak
  • We can dismiss him with the same power Christ sent him away in the wilderness
  • We can hope and trust in the power of God to save
  • We can pray them through, pray till enlightenment, pray till truth penetrates, pray till Satan’s hands are pried off, pray till victory, pray till they fall upward and forward into heaven’s grace and Go’s forgiveness!

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Praying for Right Governing and Political Officials

Rescue the Weak and Needy

A Psalm of Asaph.

82 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!

 

In days where there is ongoing battle and infighting, political upheaval and strong party alliances concerning earthly politics, Psalm 82 is an excellent source for learning to pray correctly for governing officials and their duties on earth.

The psalmist explains the role of the government and God’s intention when He set them in place: to make and preserve just laws.  Which is how they got their title as little gods on earth—because they have been given such power. God also points out through this psalm that, unfortunately, worldly government (that is governing that is done according to human passions and bias and sin) will make no headway and will in fact dishonor God’s name because of the shameful abuse of their power.

Psalm 82 highlights three virtues of God we should take note of because, as we pray concerning government they are important to know: 1)God advances His Kingdom and His Word, 2)God makes and keeps laws for the poor, 3)God protects and rescues those who are miserable (oppressed in numerous ways).

From these three things we can see God’s chief aim through earthly government is: justice, peace, righteousness, life, and salvation. These are supported throughout the Gospels and the Epistles. If we are going to pray for governing officials, government, and its workings, these aims and concerns of God should be our focus also.

It will disappoint many to discover God does not have a favorite political party. He does not favor one or the other but will work through all who hold these positions and promises judgment for those who do not follow His direction and counsel in matters of governing.

Looking closely at Psalm 82 we can see:

  • How God takes His place among the council (governing bodies) and speaks (82:1)
  • God asks the question about the manner of governing taking place—82:2
  • Gives direction and refreshes earthly gods concerning their chief duties on earth among the people —82:3-4
  • States the refusal of earthly gods to do what is right in God’s eye concerning his people—82:5
  • Makes a declaration concerning His judgment about the gods of earth—82:5-7
  • The psalmists closes with the powerful knowledge that God will judge the earth and the running of it and everything will fall under His supreme authority—82:8

Thus, the position of the intercessor or prayer warrior in praying for the political matters is not like praying for our favorite football team at game time. Rather, it should be to uphold what God wants done through the little gods on earth. These are the prayers God will hear and answer and use to persuade the earthly gods as they take their seats of power.

If, concerning political matters, you find yourself in the locker room praying for one political team (party) over another, ask God to give you a right perspective, teach you how to pray just as the disciples asked Jesus for instruction, and make your prayers effective and pleasing to Him alone so that His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven: meaning God’s authority and chief aim are always upheld.

It may help us as we pray concerning the operation of earthly government, to remember, one day even our earthly government will pass away and be no more, but in the meantime it should serve the purposes which God intends (see aforementioned).

As intercessors let’s pray fervently that God will take our personal opinions and biases out of the mix and use our prayers to accomplish His will on earth as it is in heaven.

 

A sample prayer in this area might be:

All praise and glory be to You, heavenly Father, Ruler of nations, because You have granted our land free institutions of government, and under which we enjoy both civil and religious freedom. We pray, by Your mighty hand protect and uphold these freedoms and keep them from being divided, dislodged, or overthrown through selfish desires, disagreement, or evil intent and fractions. Protect it from those who do not have Your good and chief aim in mind and cause all who sit in seats of power to remember the purpose for which You have chosen them. May we always remember to pray; “Thy will be done on earth, through those that government, as it is in Heaven.” Give justice to the weak and the fatherless, maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute, rescue the weak and the needy and deliver them from the hand of the wicked. May Your good always rise above all other agendas and make our ways pleasing to You. In the name of Jesus who sits on the throne to bless and to judge the actions of every human. Amen

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Praying for the Sick: Fervency in Suffering

Although God permits us to become sick in this lifetime He does not want us to pull away from Him or stop praying. In fact, He wants us to pray more than ever! We should pray for the sick that they will do just that! That they will, despite their many sufferings call out to God fervently just as Christ did when His own sufferings increased,

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation”. And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation (Luke 22:39-46)

The sick should pray more and we should be determined to pray with and for them! In that way we also serve as God’s angels on earth. We serve the sick as Aaron and Err did when they lifted up the arms of Moses while he interceded for the Israelites so they could be victorious in battle. Our strong and faith filled prayers for the sick also help push the enemy back, binding up his intentions to deride,  torment, threaten, and discourage them to the point of death just as he tried with Jesus. The devil wants to make the distress of the sick to be even greater during their time of suffering but the prayers of God’s people can help strengthen the sick until they can be set free from their infirmity.   

One way we might pray for the sick is;

Lord God, Chief Physician and Healer,

I/we pray for the sick and the infirmed today. Hear my/our prayer for …….

I/we pray, if the night has been good to them and they have not experienced any severe suffering they may remember to thank You for Your goodness to them and pray You will keep them this day from the severity of suffering also. If, there has been great suffering in the night, I/we pray they will be strengthened throughout the day and be recipients of Your great mercy and graces and that they will never turn away from You or stop trusting in You, nor give up hope of healing. That they will give themselves to Your guardianship and care morning, noon, and night.

Help all who are sick—whether severe or slight, to remember that Jesus is with them every minute of every day and sends His holy angels to sustain them, comfort, and attend to them. Lord may they now put into practice all they have learned of and from You: that You are good, and trustworthy and Your word is helpful, encouraging and strengthening and Your promises never cease. If they have never known of Your faithfulness through Your Word or witness from others may this be the hour You have chosen for them to draw closer to You.

Give each one today, the ability to sense Your presence and be filled with hope. May they join the ranks of those who say, My, isn’t God great and therefore worthy of all praise and glory! How He helped me in my time of need and I trust Him even more today than yesterday!” Amen

 

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Praying for the Sick and Infirmed

Mostly all of our prayers concerns include those who are sick and infirmed and in need of a visit from Christ who comes with healing in His hands. We remember them in prayer, sometimes we receive reports that they are healed immediately. Sometimes our prayers are ongoing and  persistent. Still we trust Jesus will come at just the right time and touch our friends and loved ones, our neighbors near and far. Today we are reminded of the time a man with leprosy came to Jesus with a simple request to be healed. Here is the encounter:

When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.—Matthew 8:1-3

Such a simple request filled with faith! Such a simple response from Christ! And shouldn’t we believe He is ready to do the same for our own? Who will you pray for in this manner today?  we can pray this text for others who suffer any type of infirmity. The need may be different, but the Savior who is willing to hear and to heal is the same!

 

We can pray as simply as,

Christ, our Healer, if You are willing You can heal               . I pray, stretch out Your hand and touch                              !  Thank You for your willingness to heal                              . Thank You for hearing our pleas for the sick. Thank You for Your willingness to share Your healing power with the sick, whatever their condition may be! Amen

 

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