Sunday, May 9, 2010

Prayer No: 8 (Preparing for Intercessory Prayer)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 14 October 2005)

Everyday we cross difficult situations and at the end of the day we start to think, ‘o why did that person do this’ and you think how much people are against you or how much they love you. Sometimes God puts aside sleep and you stay awake without sleep, the only solution is to pray and you find it’s hard. For all of that you have to glorify God. Our lives depend on God and without God we are nothing. If God didn’t exist, we could not exist either. If we know each other it’s because we believe in Jesus (that’s why we are meeting together every week).

Sometimes we come here and we don’t really know why we are here, we don’t feel God’s presence. God told the people of Israel to leave Egypt and go to Canaan and He chose Moses to give directions. Some didn’t want to leave believing it might be better in Egypt than Canaan and others had given up on God because He took 400 years to hear their cry. The Israelites are among the most intelligent people so they are clever and could think of many challenges for Moses to answer. When they started the journey they started to complain, first about the Red Sea, then about the manna, and then about the bitter water. Moses complained to God and God was quiet because He was measuring the actions of Moses when facing problems.

The purpose of God was to show the Israelites that they must walk together. If you know how to walk together, to respect each other, to collaborate and follow God’s instructions you can have problems but you will reach Canaan (a land of promises). But if you have problems and blame others and complain, you’ll never cross the Red Sea.

Every time God says, "look", that is the time you’ll say, ‘I’m blind’ and every time God says, "listen", that is the time you’ll say, ‘I’m deaf’. This is human nature, the old nature and it is now alive in our lives and we even make it grow and be like a Goliath in front of God’s face.

To intercede; it’s a matter of committing yourself to God and then to other people. Moses was afraid to set his people free because he was afraid to go back to Pharoah and we also fear. For example if we decide today to fast for four days, how will you feel? Reasons will follow the fear that we have to push God out of our lives.

When we say we will intercede for people, we make a step to come closer to God and God now comes when we are a bit isolated. E.g. ‘Benedicte come here and pray for my people who need freedom’. If you are not a good servant you will think that it’s just your mind and carry on vacuuming. If you are a good servant you will stop and think, ‘is it my thoughts or God?’ and God will answer you, ‘it’s Me, are you ready to go?’ If yes you need to get prepared because you will cross difficult situations where you are going.

When we want to pray for others we must be prepared because intercession is not a matter of praying for others and then going back but intercession is a matter of deciding, I will not give up this prayer until the day I see the result. ‘God I’m praying for Sally and I will pray until the day I see Sally receive such and such.’

Another man in the Bible had a servant who was sick (not his brother or son, just his servant) and he decided to find Jesus. He accepted to walk the distance and then fight through the crowd to meet with Jesus. He knew beforehand to get ready because it’s a battle. We are going to pray for people and we really need to get ready.

The first miracle Jesus did was to turn water into wine. In order for this miracle to take place the servants had to be humble to ask Jesus and also to accept all His commands (get containers, place water in them). We are preparing ourselves to pray and the way to get ready is to follow God’s instructions.

The first thing we have to do before to intercede for others is to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask, am I ready because we want to pray for (x) to find change in his life and so I have to first ask myself, what did I change in my life. I’m struggling so (x) can change while myself is not better. Before to intercede for others we have to know first who we are and we have to try to rearrange ourselves. Before to intercede for others, have you interceded for yourself? Get out what is hidden in your life and remove it.

When we are going to do our intercession and we are not in a good position with God or other people we will put ourselves in a position where satan will say, ‘here I am, I must eliminate you’. We must get ready spiritually so if I have a problem with someone I must fix it. God likes us not because we are special but because He loves us, but He needs us to be educated (in Him) and obedient (to Him).

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