Today I had my first exam, first of three…I feel it went quite well, and that the revision payed off. Before I went into my exams, I shot texts to a few of my friends asking for prayer for it to go smoothly. There is nothing quite like knowing your friends are praying for you, especially through a difficult time.
I have this one friend in particular, who really does make an effort in praying for me. He doesn’t go on and on about it, but I know he’s praying because the next time I see him he usually asks how the situation x or y is going? I find it of enormous comfort, telling him about personal struggles, because I know that he takes my issues to the very throne of God on my behalf. (In this way I see Jesus at work in him!)
It challenges me when I think about my prayer life. I can get so self-obsessed. “Lord please help me do this”, “please provide that”, “I have this thing coming up, please can you make sure it goes smoothly”… and on and on. (I know God delights to hear our prayers, and wants to hear the requests of our heart however selfish!) But I also believe that God’s plan as He makes us more like Christ, is to shape our hearts so that their requests are for others as well.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.- Col 1:9
The last few weeks as my grandparents have gone through a tough season with their health, and my own issues related to exams, I have been really challenged by my mate. I want to be someone who intercedes for others. Someone who makes a difference in people’s lives, without them ever noticing. This is part of what it means to be a good friend (I think)!
Lord I pray that my eyes would be opened to the needs of others, teach me what it means to intercede and to love others like I do myself.
[P.S. I read an amazing book last year on intercession, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to grow in prayer: Rees Howells – Intercessor. Its a biography of a Welsh man, who knew a great God! I can’t say enough about how much it impacted my approach to prayer!]