THE IMMEDIATE AND ETERNAL IMPACT OF INTERCESSORY PRAYER
                                           ...No One Can Do It Quite Like Seasoned Seniors!

Nothing to do with the rest of your life?

I am sometimes amazed when I talk to seasoned seniors who imply, as the old Merle Haggard tune asks,

    Is the best of the free life behind us now?
    Are the good times really over for good?*

Sometimes it seems that way, right?

I can tell you from experience that the body and mind don’t always function quite the way they used to work back in
the younger days. Sometimes the muscles tire quicker and the aches remain longer.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how quickly time has passed to get us to this point in life, but we are here. What are
we going to do about it?

AN AREA WHERE SEASONED SENIORS HAVE A GREAT ADVANTAGE
No matter how your body or mind works, your faith can get better and deeper as you get older!

Hopefully you have built your life on Christ, the solid Rock. If not, it’s never too late to begin right now:
Click here
for more beginning your walk with Jesus Christ or making sure of your relationship with Him.

Regardless of where you are right now in your relationship with God, you can know that He desires a growing,
deep, intimate fellowship with you. Ultimately, that’s why you were created.
Click here for more information on
having a deeper walk with God.

And as you grow older and deeper in your faith, you have a very special purpose that can be accomplished more
effectively by mature believers than anyone else—you can pray for others.

BE AN INTERCESSOR
No matter if you can walk, run or jump, you can pray! As a seasoned senior, you will probably never have the
chance to quarterback your team to the Super Bowl, but you can become an all-world champion prayer warrior.

The secret is focusing on the needs of others instead of praying solely for yourself and your needs.

Intercession is:

  • Simply praying for the needs of yourself and others.

  • It is doing what Jesus said: “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything
    that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:
    19 – all verses NKJV unless otherwise specified).

  • It means understanding spiritual warfare: “For we do not wrestle against flesh
    and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the
    darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly
    places” (Ephesians 6:12).

  • It helps you to battle in the spirit, not by your own strengths, but praying
    under God’s power and authority: “Not by might nor by power, but by My
    Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

We are told,
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help
in time of need”
(Hebrews 4:16).

That's the core of intercessory prayer. It is seeking God's help for others in their time of need.

SO FEW INTERCESSORS
In his classic book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote these words:

    You cannot truly intercede through prayer if you do not believe in the reality of redemption. Instead, you will
    simply be turning intercession into useless sympathy for others, which will serve only to increase the
    contentment they have for remaining out of touch with God. True intercession involves bringing the person, or
    the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on you, before God, until you are changed by His attitude
    toward that person or circumstance. Intercession means to “fill up . . . [with] what is lacking in the afflictions of
    Christ” (Colossians 1:24), and this is precisely why there are so few intercessors.

Why is intercession considered so difficult?

People describe intercession by saying, “It is putting yourself in someone else’s place.” That is not true!
Intercession is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and His perspective.

Simply put, our work is to be in such close contact with God that we may have His mind about everything, but we
shirk that responsibility by substituting doing for interceding. And yet intercession is the only thing that has no
drawbacks, because it keeps our relationship completely open with God.

Think of the number of people God has brought across our path, only to see us drop them! When we pray on the
basis of redemption, God creates something He can create in no other way than through intercessory prayer.

PERSEVERANCE IN PRAYER
Ideally, intercessory prayer means praying earnestly without giving up. It's the kind of prayer that endures and
overcomes.

Jesus taught, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened”
(Luke 11:10). In the New Testament Greek, this phrase is closer to this: “Keep on asking. Keep on seeking. Keep
on knocking.”

God’s timing is all-important, and your perseverance as an intercessor will bring a spiritual harvest in your life and
the lives of those around you! You must keep on keeping on.

WILL YOU STAND IN THE GAP?
One of the saddest verses is found in Ezekiel 22:30—“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall,
and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”

Another verse reflects the same sadness: “Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges
me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul” (Psalm 142:4).

Oh, that there would be more intercessors who would understand how vital they are!

No matter who you are, once you know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you can be an intercessory prayer warrior.
You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be a spiritual giant. You don’t have to be anything but obedient and
willing.

HOW DO YOU BEGIN?
You don’t have to join any organization, pay an initiation fee, learn a rigid set of rules, buy a uniform or raise your
right hand to take a pledge.

You simply begin setting aside a few moments every day to pray. Some people do it the first thing in the morning.
Others like to keep a list handy as they eat breakfast or drive to work. Others make

Where, when and how you do it isn’t as important as doing it!

Some intercessors begin by praying the Lord’s Model Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). It’s a great place to start.

Then, instead of going through the usual litany of  “gimmes” that we all are drawn to, it's important to focus on
others and lifting up their needs.

Here are a few suggestions:

Pray for our world and nation
    If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from
    their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
                                                           —2 Chronicles 7:14

Pray for the leaders of your nation, region and local area
    Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all
    men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and
    reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved
    and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
                                                           —1 Timothy 2:1-4

Pray for international and national Christian leaders

Pray for your local church pastors and leaders

Pray for the salvation of your loved ones

Pray for hurting people in your community

Pray for your family members

Pray for your neighbors

…the list is endless.

As you become more open to the value of intercessory prayer, you will also become more open to hearing God's
voice as He directs you to pray for specific people and situations.

I have good friends, for example, feel called to intercede for the famous, knowing those people have a wide circle of
influence. Others lift up specific media personalities, sports figures and corporate giants. Still others pick out names
from local newspapers of people in trouble with the law, and begin lifting those men and women, along with their
families, in prayer.

GOD ANSWERS PRAYER
We know that God has promised, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things,
which thou knowest not”
(Jeremiah 33:3).

We also know that Jesus said,
“If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall
be done for them of my Father which is in heaven”
(Matthew 18:19).

Intercession is a powerful spiritual weapon that cancels the plans of the devil against the people of God and
establishes our Lord’s plan for the huge work we are called to do.

You don’t have to have a doctorate in theology to be a great prayer warrior. You don’t have to have a big bank
account or live in a mansion. You don’t have to be best buddies with the rich and famous. You don’t even have to
be a leader in your local church.

All you need is a heart open to the needs of others and a commitment to intercede for them.

This side of heaven, you will never probably know the impact your intercessory prayers may have.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER—YOU ARE VITAL!
What you can know is that you are doing something that no one else can do exactly like you! No one!

Remember I mentioned the Merle Haggard song earlier? It’s interesting to note that by the end of the song, the
lyrics become filled with hope:

    The best of the free life is still yet to come;
    The good times ain't over for good.*

Will you set aside a few minutes every day to intercede for others?

Will you use those minutes each day to impact the world, one prayer at a time?

It is my fervent prayer that you will understand the value and the opportunity of becoming an intercessory. Your life
will never be the same!
FROM THE
BEST BOOK
Therefore I exhort first of
all that supplications,
prayers, intercessions,
and giving of thanks be
made for all men,.
—1 Timothy 2:1
THE COUNTRY
PARSON,
Benjamin Parsons,
has tended to hurts
and hearts in North
America's most
remote frontier
regions, including
the Pacific
Northwest, the
Canadian Rockies
and Alaska.
All contents © MyBestYears.com. No portion may be used in
print, for broadcast or on the Internet without prior
permission. Contact:
admin@MyBestYears.com
*Lyrics by Merle Haggard. Copyright
1982 by Sony/ATV Tree Publishing.
International Copyright Secured. All
Rights Reserved. Used by
permission.