Have you ever thought about prayer and become frustrated that you don’t seem to know how to pray like some people you know? They seem to have a gift for it and seem to pray all day long for anything and everyone? I know I have at times in my life. In fact, I think I have overcomplicated the idea of prayer in my own life, and the Holy Spirit has been working on this with me.
This weekend I have been reading a book titled “The Praying Pastor” by David Busic, one of our General Superintendents in the church of the Nazarene. A couple thing stood out to me that I think are beneficial for all of us, not just those of us with the title “pastor.” The first is that prayer is communication, both listening and talking. We communicate with God to get to know God better, just like we would have a conversation with a friend we are trying to get to know better. It takes at least equal parts listening and speaking, if not more listening than speaking. This has been something that I haven’t been able to shake from my mind. As followers of Jesus, we should want to get to know God better and better each passing day.
The second thing that stood out to me was the definition of intercession. Intercession is “specifically praying for those God has providentially placed in our circle of relationships and sphere of influence.” Busic gave four practical steps to practice intercession which are noted below:
- Pray first for those you love and know best. In other words, our family (starting with our spouse if we have one) and close friends.
- Pray next for your colleagues and partners in ministry. In other words, those you work with and those you minister with in the church or are in leadership positions in the church.
- Pray next for what is most important to you. This may sound selfish, but as we allow the Holy Spirit to continue to transform us to be more Christlike, our desires start to look like God’s.
- Pray for and pay attention to divine appointments, those God puts in your path.
Do you know how our prayer life gets better? By practicing praying. I pray that you would join with me in praying in a new way in the days ahead as we minister to those in our circle of relationships and sphere of influence.
~ Pastor Todd