Intercessory Prayer – Ephesians 1:16-19

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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When O.J. Simpson was charged with murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman, he hired a high-profile defense team, often referred to as the “Dream Team.” Robert Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran led it. It also included F. Lee Baily, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Kardashian, Shawn Holley, Carl E. Douglas, and Gerald Uelman, with two more attorneys specializing in DNA evidence: Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. Their job was to plead the case of their client skillfully before a judge and jury for the purpose of obtaining a favorable verdict.

In many ways, every Christian has a similar duty to become a skilled advocate for other believers, representing them before the Judge of all mankind, Almighty God, and therein seeking to obtain a favorable outcome. In fact, it is our sacred duty. The prophet Samuel told his fellow Jews, “…God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you…” (I Samuel 12:23). We should note that God often answers the prayers of His saints for other believers also. While Peter was imprisoned for preaching Christ, “…prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5). The Lord intervened by sending an angel to release Peter (vss. 6-11). Likewise, the Apostle Paul said that he had been delivered from death when he was persecuted intensely (II Corinthians 1:10), because his fellow saints had been “helping together by prayer for us” (vs. 11). When later imprisoned for proclaiming Christ, he assured the believers at Philippi, “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation (meaning deliverance) through your prayer…” (Philippians 1:19). Also, the Apostle Paul personally and regularly prayed for the needs of others. He told the saints at Ephesus that after he heard of their faith in Christ, he “cease[d] not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:16). While Philippians 4:6 assures us we can pray about anything, it is noteworthy that when Paul prayed for others, he primarily prayed for their spiritual growth (Ephesians 1:17-20). We should also follow this pattern when praying for others.

It has been a rich blessing that this writer has had a “dream team” of faithful prayer warriors representing him before the throne of grace in his times of need. I attribute divine protection, provision, and enablement to their intercessory prayer. Today, begin making it a daily habit to pray for the needs of others. Your prayers make a difference!

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."