The Intercessory Life

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By Deana Mitchell, Director of Women’s & Prayer Ministries
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get
some rest.”

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” – Mark 6:30-37

One of the overlooked points in this familiar story is that when the disciples expressed a need to Jesus, (the people were hungry), it took on the life of a petition–a prayer request. At the time they didn’t recognize Jesus as God the Son. They made many excuses for avoiding the needs of the people! It’s late, there’s too many of them, we have no money… I love the response from Jesus when he said you do it. YOU give them something to eat. The point that Jesus was making is this: It’s not enough sometimes to simply pray for someone’s needs to be met. Sometimes, we are to be the answer to our own petition. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ whenever we can. It’s not enough to wait for someone else to do it for us. When we lift up prayer requests, we are doing a wonderful thing. When we pray on behalf of someone else for their needs to be met,
we are offering prayers of intercession. The next step beyond intercessory prayer is to live a life of intercession; this requires discipline, a deepening of our faith, and the gift of our time.

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