Wednesday, March 4, 2015

“…always laboring fervently for you in prayers…” Colossians 4: 12
There was a prayer chapel on the first floor of the men’s dorm at the college I attended. It was a small, carpeted room with an altar up front. I would often go there at night to pray. The fellows who went in there to pray usually left the lights off and sat in the soft light that passed through the stained glass in the door. I would sit on the wooden pews or kneel, but often I would lie on the floor.
It was there, during my freshman year of college, that I discovered a deeper level of intercessory prayer. I would begin to weep before the Lord, sometimes vehemently, as I cried to Him in behalf of various family members and other areas of concern. During these intense times of prayer, I was not able to speak much or say anything, but could only cry before the Lord.

I described this to one of my professors, and his explanation made a deep impact upon me. “During those times,” he said, “the Holy Spirit is working through you and leading you into a deeper level of intercession. Much is being accomplished through those prayers.” He then quoted the Apostle Paul who said, “…the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8: 26).
I learned that prayer is not just an exercise of the mind, but also an exercise of my spirit working together with the Holy Spirit, and sometimes it involves travail.
Prayer should include praise and thanksgiving; and It is often a time of joy and sometimes quietness, but these verses show us that there is also a place for passion and intensity. This does not speak of an emotional ritual, but rather a reflection of the genuine burden we have for those people and situations for which we pray.
“Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.” Hebrews 5: 7
“And being in agony He prayed more earnestly…” Luke 22: 44
“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers…” Colossians 4 12
“Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8
“Arise, cry out in the night…pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.” Lamentations 2:19

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