Intercessory Prayers

  1. INTRODUCTION:
    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
      1 Tim 2:1-2 = "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
    2. OUR SUBJECT IS "INTERCESSORY PRAYERS"
      1. In our text we have the Paul writing to Timothy in regards to Christians approaching the Heavenly Father in supplications in which he lists "intercessions".
      2. The Greek word for intercessions is Enteuxis, pronounced (ent'-yook-sis); This is a supplication, usually translated intercession or prayer.
      3. Look at the meaning of some of the words in our text:
        1. Supplication -- "To make a humble entreaty to God; To ask earnestly and humbly, to beseech."
        2. Prayer -- "This is a supplication or an expression addressed to God; It is an earnest request that is made to God; It usually is something prayed for."
        3. Intercessions -- "This is a prayer or petition made to God in behalf of another."
        4. Giving of thanks -- This is three English words that are used for one Greek word Eucharistia, pronounced (yoo-khar-is-tee'-ah); Meaning gratitude, being grateful to God in expressing thankfulness.
          Note: "Thanks" -- This is an expression of gratitude for something received.
    3. THE NOBLEST OF ALL PRAYERS IS A PRAYER FOR OTHERS::
      1. The most common thought of prayer is seeking to obtain that which we desire for ourselves.
        1. These prayers are selfish.
        2. Most private prayers are in this class of prayers.
      2. However, when we consider Christ:
        1. He prayed for others while on earth in the flesh.
          John 17:9 = "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. ….. [20-21] Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
        2. He continues to make intercessions for us in heaven.
          Rom 8:34 = "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
          Heb 7:25 = "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
      3. The Holy Spirit makes intercessions for us.
        Rom 8:26-27 = "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
      4. The apostle Paul prayed for others.
        Eph 3:14-19 = "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
    4. IT BEING THEREFORE IMPORTANT TO MAKE INTERCESSORY PRAYERS FOR OTHERS LET US CONSIDER FOR A FEW MINUTES THOSE FOR WHOM WE SHOULD MAKE INTERCESSION.
      1. Paul writes -- "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;" = I Tim 2:1.
      2. Paul exhorts that we need to do this "for all men" so let's break this down into four classes of men:
  2. DISCUSSION:
    1. FOR OUR RULERS -- "For kings, and for all that are in authority; …"
      I Tim. 2:2 = "For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
      1. That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.
      2. That we may go about in life manifesting godliness and honesty.
      3. Praying for those in authority of all nations is promoting the working for peaceful existence on earth among all men and affording the opportunity to reach out to other people with God's saving grace.
    2. FOR OUR BRETHREN --
      1. For the weak that their faith does not fail.
        Luke 22:31-32 = "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
      2. For the sick that they may have good health.
        3 John 2 = "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."
        James 5:16 = "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
      3. For the elders that they may rule wisely and well.
        Acts 20:32-36 = "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all."
      4. For the minister that he may preach God's word faithfully.
        1 Thess 5:25 = "Brethren, pray for us."
      5. For the broken-hearted that they may be comforted.
        2 Thess 2:13-17 = "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."
      6. For every brother that his spirit, soul and body may be preserved entire at the coming of the Lord.
        1 Thess 5:23 = "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
    3. FOR OUR ENEMIES --
      1. The best way for us to deal with our enemies is not by doing them injury, but by prayer manifest kindness toward them .
        Rom 12:17-21 = "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
        Matt 5:43-45 = "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
      2. Jesus, on the cross, prayed for his executioners.
        Luke 23:34 = "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."
      3. Stephen, while being stoned, prayed for his murderers.
        Acts 7:59-60 = "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."
      4. There is a great fact that comes out of this and that is when we pray with the spirit and understand God's will for a man, it is going to very difficult to carry out any act of injury toward him.
        1 Cor 14:15 = "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."
    4. FOR THE LOST --
      1. Abraham made an intercessory request for the wicked cities of the plains, which was the first prayer recorded in the Bible.
        Gen 18:21-33 = "And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake. And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake. And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake. And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place."
      2. Paul prayed for the salvation of his people – Israel.
        Rom 10:1-2 = "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."
      3. We should be praying for the lost today as well, but in doing so let us remember:
        1. There is a difference between what God desires and what He wills by decree.
          1. God desires the salvation of all men.
            John 3:16 = "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
          2. But God wills that they should be saved through faith and obedience.
            Mark 16:15-16 = "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
            2 Peter 3:9 = "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
        2. Prayer cannot change the plan of salvation or the Divine law of pardon.
          1. So when we pray for the lost -- we pray that their hearts will be receptive to God's word and obey it.
          2. We are not to pray for the lost to be saved separate and apart from the will (Word) of God for it alone has the power of salvation.
            Rom 1:16 = "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
  3. CONCLUSION:
    1. INTERCESSORY PRAYERS ARE PRODUCTIVE:
      1. First -- To the one for whom the intercessions are made.
        James 5:16 = "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
      2. Second -- To the one making the request, for these prayers makes the one praying less selfish and more humble.
        Phil 1:3-4 = "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,"
    2. LET EACH OF US GIVE SERIOUS THOUGHT TO OUR PRAYING AND THAT WHICH WE ARE PRAYING FOR.
    3. LET US ALWAYS REMEMBER AS IN THE WORDS OF OUR LORD -- "…; NEVERTHE LESS NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE, BE DONE." = Luke 22:42.

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