Lists Versus Holy Spirit
As the leader of the prayer team for a large mission organization we receive many prayer requests. It takes time to prepare a document with all the latest prayer requests and have it ready in time for the team to meet and pray. I don’t currently have an administrative assistant to help with this. (This job is open if you know of someone with these skills.)
Today, more updates came in after our ‘deadline’. There was a time I would’ve tried to go back and add them in or go through and check once again to see if they were already on there and just needed an additional update. Fast forward ahead and today I simply had to say to the intercessor who sent them in late that they will be added the next update. Perhaps this seems uncaring. Let me explain why it is not and why my time may be better spent in prayer.
There are many ways to pray. Praying from a list is only one of them. It is not my preferred way to pray. But, it is efficient for a group to divide the pages of a list up amongst pairs of intercessors and set to praying.
My own preferred way to pray is Holy Spirit led. I’ve gotten to know many of our field missionaries and I’m very familiar with the names of many others. So, is my team. The “list” is helpful because it alerts us to what is happening and many times the dates of important events are given. But, if we only pray what’s on the list, we may be missing something important the Lord would have us intercede for in prayer.
I consider the list a beginning in prayer. It’s a guide. But, I love when we take enough time to pray for what’s said and to allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us for what is not said. He will, you know. We pray for these people often. I am blessed to travel to the fields to pray with many of them. Developing a relationship with them just enables me to pray better for them.
Perhaps you feel you need a well outlined list to pray from so you will know exactly what to pray for. I would urge you to challenge yourself in prayer this week. Ask God what he wants you to pray for this person. If you really feel stuck, go to the Holy Scriptures and pray blessings over the person. I’m not suggesting you pray what you want prayed for them. Just that you begin to seek God in what HE may want prayed for them. His Scriptures will guide you.
When the team meets tomorrow to pray, we won’t forget those in need of prayer – even if their latest request is not on the list. We’ll lean into the Holy Spirit and ask his will and pray his blessings for them. And those dates of events, don’t get overly concerned about those. Remember, God is not bound by space or time and prayers don’t have expiration dates.
By Jacqui - One of God's Intercessors