Saturday, July 7, 2012

Learning to Intercede

            The longer I walk with Jesus, the more important prayer becomes.  Jesus Himself modeled a prayer life during His life on earth.  He took time away from the pressing crowds to be alone the His Father.  He would steal away and spend a night in communion with Father.
            Rees Howells: Intercessor by Norman Grubb is an important book that every person should read who is interested in being used of God in prayer.  It traces how God led Rees Howells step by step in learning how to be an intercessor.  Rees began by taking baby steps of a disciplined, focused prayer life.  Then God laid on his heart certain people to intercede for.  Slowly, over many years, Rees took on larger and more challenging prayer targets.  Finally, after 30 or 40 years of praying, God led him to join his prayers with those in a Bible College he had founded to intercede for various key battles in World War II.  Their prayers made a difference in the outcome of that war.
            One of the chief motivating factors in what Rees Howells prayed for was the establishment of Israel as a nation and the return of the Jews to their homeland.  Rees correctly saw that this was a key to world evangelization and the ultimate return of Messiah to the earth.  The motivation to “pray through” (pray until Holy Spirit assured them of victory) against the Nazi war machine came because Rees could see that if Alexandria fell in North Africa, Palestine would be threatened and fall into Nazi hands.  The same was true in the battle for Russia, particularly when the Nazis attacked Moscow and later Stalingrad—if the Nazis succeeded, the Holy Land would be invaded from the North.  At key times, God prompted them to pray against the Nazis and God turned what looked like sure victory for Germany into major defeats that saved the world from tyranny.
            The author Norman Grubb summed it up:  “…the prayer in the College for the Gospel to go to every creature, and for the Jew to return to Palestine, has always been with the one great anticipation of the return of the Saviour in glory, and the setting up of the Millennial Kingdom.”  What drove Rees Howells to pray was God’s heart for evangelization and the return and reign of Jesus.
            What do your prayers focus on?  What drives you to “pray without ceasing”?  Only a heart gripped by what is on God’s heart will have the motivation to stay in prayer until victory is won.  God could trust Rees Howells with truly large prayer initiatives because he was first faithful in the small things (like healing for one person or the salvation of one individual). 
            So what will ignite your prayers today?