Mom, Dad and Andrew and the Power of Intercessory Prayer-
In my youth, I prayed that my mother and father would not divorce. We had a great family, but there were times when my parents argued so forcefully, I thought they would end it all. Looking back, I cannot recall one reason why they had their disagreements. After the death of Martin Luther King jr. Andrew Young was in Detroit for a series of meetings at Rev. C. L. Franklin’s church. He spent several nights at our home. I think they were organizing for the Poor People’s Campaign. Andrew asked my mother if I could attend one of the meetings with him. My mother asked what time was the meeting. He replied, 10pm. My mom came back with” Nick has to do his homework and go to bed.” Andrew replied, “Betty, he will learn more tonight than a whole year in school.” My mother shot back, “Absolutely not!” My father never got a word in edge wise. He was probably going to the meeting with Andrew. What I do remember is that I prayed for them and they did not divorce. Their marriage is one of many reasons why my faith was confirmed at an early age.
Paul instructs Timothy to urge believers to pray prayers of intercessions for everyone. Intercessory prayer is important for at least two reasons. First, when we pray for others, God listens. Yes, God already knows, but I think God likes to hear directly from us. God responds to our prayers. Some research has shown that people who know that others are praying for them do better with surgery and some cancers. Intercessory prayer is also good for the person who is making the prayer. There have been times when I have prayed for one or more persons in succession. What I find is that when I do this I feel like peace floods my soul and a great calm relaxes me.
When Andrew and my mom went at it that night, the thought never crossed my mind that I should pray. Maybe had I prayed, I might have been able to join him in the organizing meeting.
2 Timothy 2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,
Questions for Reflection:
- How important are prayers of intercession?
- When do you pray prayers of intercession?
- Are there any prayers of intercession that are inappropriate?
Prayer: Lord, I ask your help today for all who are sick, lonely, grieving and lost. I pray for the elderly and for every child. For the broken-hearted I pray the salve of relief. I pray for the depressed. I pray for the joyful. For those who are out of work, I pray that that they might find work. For those who have work, but do not have enough money, I pray that they might obtain a decent wage. For those who have more than enough money but are unfulfilled, I pray that they might finding meaning and purpose in life. I pray for the family that is in chaos. I pray for those who have found meaning and joy in life, that each person might find every day worth living, every night worth rejoicing and every moment worth celebrating. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
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 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ti 2:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.