This is week 5 of my Lent devotional experience. It has been good and hard at the same time.
This week’s theme focus is on something that I have been working on for years (and am still learning to be at ease with)
That may sound like something for monks and nuns but it’s not really.
To intercede simply means to go before a judge on behalf of another. In this case it means that we go before God’s throne and pray for others and not just our own needs.
Imagine what your life would be like if you weren’t focused only on yourself.
Praying for the needs of others helps me in so many ways: I am learning to develop the sense that Paul wrote to us in his letter to the Philippians: ” do not think of your needs only but consider the needs of others, think of others more importantly than yourself”. I also gain greater perspective on my own life by thinking about and considering others’ needs; my own problems sometimes simply don’t occupy my mind when I am thinking about the needs of others and the difficulties others are facing.
Years ago I heard a speaker use this illustration: imagine that we carry a backpack of our problems and were asked to lay the pack down in the center of the room to let go of them for awhile. She then said imagine going to the pile of backpacks and choosing one that wasn’t your own, a surprising thing would happen. We would see the problems of others as larger than our own and we would want our own familiar load back again. The speaker further challenged us to be looking to the needs of others as a way to change our perspective on the load we carry.
Probably because I have battled the poor me syndrome for as long as I can remember this illustration was a good one for me. Someone else might not have gotten anything out of it. But I did. And I have tried to live with this perspective since then.
It is such a privilege to be asked to pray for someone. I imagine walking into the Throne room and sitting down with Jesus and telling Him about my friend or someone I heard about and what they are facing and asking Him to help them know that He is with them in this hard time, asking Him to strengthen them as they need, asking Him to comfort them in their loss. Interceding for others is what Jesus does ALL the TIME. Why not join Him?