Praying as a Community
"If the lungs of prayer and the Word of God do not nourish the breath of spiritual life, we risk suffocating in the midst of a thousand daily cares. Prayer is the breath of the soul and of life."
- Pope Benedict XVI
There are many ways to love one’s neighbor, but intercessory prayer—praying on behalf of other people—is particularly powerful.
Since it is the prayer of the righteous that is powerful and effective (James 5:16), examine your conscience before you pray, and repent of any sin or harsh feelings you may have against other people.
Spend a few minutes in silence, to quiet your mind and come into God's presence.
During this time, ask the Lord to give you a sense of the things God wants you to pray for. Put aside your own agenda, concerns, and desires and unite yourself to Jesus' heart. You may want to write down the things that God places on your hearts.
Briefly reflect on what you wrote down. What do you think God is leading you to pray for?
Pray for the things on God's heart—for those who have no faith; for those who have fallen away from Jesus; for renewal and unity in all the Christian churches; for respect for all life; for all the lost, abandoned, or forgotten children of the world; for those under the power of addictions or bound by depression, anxiety, or bitterness; and for prisoners and service men and women. And, of course, pray for your own intentions and those of your loved ones.
As you pray, take confidence in God’s power to overcome any obstacle. Stand firm in faith, and wait to see God work in power.
In your prayer journal, keep a record of what you prayed for, and of the ways God answered those prayers. Thank him and praise for all the ways he has worked through your prayer.
Jesus promised: "If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven" (Matthew 18:10). One of the most powerful ways we can pray as intercessors is together with others. Consider forming an intercessory prayer team.
The final chapter of the Book of Habakkuk gives us a glimpse into the heart of an intercessor, both in praying for a mighty outpouring of grace, and in his abandonment and trust in God’s provision. Let us take Habakkuk's prayer as our own as we intercede for the many needs of the church and the world.