CONTINUING STEADFASTLY IN INTERCESSION
APRIL 29, 2020
How we thank the Lord for His abundant supply to the churches and the saints in His recovery that has enabled so many to intercede as one man over this past month. There has never been such global, round-the-clock prayer in the history of His recovery. Though we feel to bring this coordinated labor to a close on April 30, we hope in the Lord that this will not be just a season of prayer but that He will sustain us all to continue to advance in our personal prayer life and in the corporate prayer ministry of the church.
We believe that every saint who has taken up this burden has gained some realization of the perseverance required for intercessory prayer (Col. 4:2). This is because in the unseen realm there is a war raging between God and his enemy, Satan. Of course, God’s purpose will ultimately be fulfilled, but how quickly that happens and who appears to be winning the battle at a particular time depends on how much God’s people cooperate with Him in prayer. Satan knows this, so he seeks by all means to frustrate our prayer. In fact, because the entire tide of this age is against our prayer, Brother Lee told us, “Persevering in prayer is like rowing a boat upstream. If you do not persevere, you will be carried downstream by the current. No doubt, to persevere in this way, either in rowing or in praying, requires a great deal of energy” (Life-study of Colossians, p. 580). Because of this, we need the Lord’s empowering (Eph. 6:10).
Brother Lee gave some practical tips to help us persevere in prayer. First, he charged us to have a thorough dealing with the Lord and even make a vow to Him concerning our prayer life. Such a vow expresses our aspiration to be a praying person, while acknowledging that we need the Lord to enable us to be faithful to fulfill our vow. Second, we need to set aside one or more definite times every day to pray (Dan. 6:10). We should consider prayer the most important thing and not allow anything to usurp these times or to interrupt our prayer. Third, we need to be mindful of our speaking during our daily life, as loose talk dampens our praying spirit (Eph. 4:29-30; cf. 1 Thes. 5:19 and footnote). Fourth, we need to use our spirit, exercise our will, calm our mind, and regulate our emotions in order to pray properly (Eph. 6:18; 2 Tim. 1:7; 1 Pet. 4:7). Fifth, experience teaches us that praying with a companion helps us to develop more consistency in our prayer (see Life-study of Colossians, pp. 581-583, and Life-study of Ephesians, pp. 552-555, for more detail on these helpful practices).
Exercising to pray in such a way has tremendous benefits. It causes us to be mingled with the Lord so that we become a reproduction of Him as a man of prayer (Matt. 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16). It causes us to set our mind on the things above instead of on earthly matters related to our own interests (Col. 3:2). It enables us to join with the interceding ministry of the ascended Christ for God’s interests on the earth (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). This intercessory prayer, which is in Christ and with Christ as the incense, is “not prayer for ourselves but prayer for the carrying out of the divine administration, for the dispensing of God’s supplying grace, and for the churches and the saints. Such prayer is a fragrant incense to God—it fulfills His purpose, satisfies His desire, and delights His heart” (Exo. 30:7, footnote 1). Furthermore, as we come forward to the throne of grace in prayer, we receive mercy and find grace for timely help (Heb. 4:16). Our prayer will bring blessing to ourselves, to our churches, and to our nations.
Whether in our estimation we succeeded or failed in our prayer over the past thirty days, we need to press on and advance from this point forward. We strongly encourage all the saints to take the thirty suggested prayer burdens on unceasinglypray.org and pray over them again during the month of May. We believe that if you go back to pray over these thirty items and the verses that accompany them, you will realize there is still much that requires our continued intercession. May the Lord strengthen His recovery and make us His house of prayer (Mark 11:17). Let us praise our merciful and faithful High Priest who is higher than the heavens (Heb. 2:17; 7:26) and who brings us into oneness with Him in His heavenly ministry of intercession (James 5:17 and footnote).
Your brothers in Christ,
The co-workers in the Lord’s recovery