“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Today, we will look at the fourth part of payer: supplication. Supplication means to ask with intensity, earnestness, and perseverance. Supplication can be broken down into intercession for others and petitions for ourselves. Though our prayer lives may focus more on our own needs and concerns, as we grow in our faith, we will find ourselves focusing more on the needs and concerns of others.
Intercession is to stand between two parties and plead the case of one to another. In this case, it is to stand between God and another and plead to God on the other’s behalf. “Intercession is perhaps the most unselfish act of love, because the person who is blessed by God seldom knows who has been praying for him or her” (G. Ogden). God has given us the great privilege of bringing others into His presence through prayer, just as the four friends carried the paralytic into the presence of Jesus.
Our failure to ask is a failure to know Jesus well. In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “Until now, you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” James wrote, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” Sometimes we fail to ask God because our faith is weak. Sometimes we fail to ask God because we just don’t care. Sometimes we fail to ask God because we think that God doesn’t want to be bothered.
The focus on the fourth part of prayer is God’s will. One of the benefits of close communion with God is that it aligns our hearts with God’s heart. When we are walking closely with our God, the Spirit intercedes on our behalf. Paul writes, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will” (Romans 8:26-27). Even when we are not sure of what God’s will is, the Spirit translates our prayers so that they are in perfect alignment with the will of the Father. So just let it rip! Speak from the heart and know that God’s Spirit is taking care of the rest!
Questions to Ponder:
Review the four parts of prayer: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Which one of these are you most comfortable with? Why? Which one of these are you least comfortable with? Why? Do you consider it a privilege to pray for others? How often do pray for others? How does it make you feel to know that the Spirit intercedes on your behalf?
- Praise God! The Great Intercessor, Jesus Christ, is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us, stating, “This one, not guilty!” Praise God that we also have the Holy Spirit who is also interceding in and for us. Praise Him for His faithful and fierce love!
- Ask the Lord to teach you how to pray. Ask Him to teach our church family how to pray.
- Ask the Lord to help us, His bride, to respond to this amazing, on-going invitation we have to partner with His heart in the place of prayer.
- Pray that we would hunger for His Word and abide in Him in His Presence in the place of communion, fellowship, friendship, courtship, and partnership. Pray for joy in the house of prayer, that we will have joy interceding.
Abba, woo and draw Your people closer to Yourself today. I ask that You would grip our hearts with Your love. Consume our minds with Your Word and ways so we will ponder You, mediate on Your Word, walk in Your ways, and be led by Your Spirit. Oh Father, thank You for all my brothers and sisters in Christ at Oak Pointe Church. Thank You for all our leaders. Thank You for Pastor Rick teaching your Word this weekend on the Lord’s Prayer. Set us ablaze for Your glory, Lord. Even with so much uncertainty in the world and around us, cause us to cling to You and put our hope in You and You alone! Grant us holy burdens for others. Give us people and places like schools, police stations, fire stations, stores, and countries to pray for. Give us faith, Lord, eyes in the Spirit, to see and believe. Thank You for confiding in those You trust. Help us to be trustworthy, Lord. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.