I just came across a good teaching / exhortation about intercessory prayer written by Bp. John Guernsey and posted on the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic’s webpage. I’ve posted it in full below.
Towards the end of the teaching, there is also an announcement about a workshop on intercessory prayer being held in Woodbridge, VA on November 10. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of meeting, getting to know and praying with Rose Marie Edwards-Tasker, and strongly encourage anyone in the D.C. area or reasonably close environs to attend! – Karen
Standing in the Gap
A wise pastor once taught me, “Prayer is not preparation for the battle. Prayer is the battle.” The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 6 that the conflict we face in this world is fundamentally a spiritual one. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (verse 12).
“Put on the full armor of God,” Paul tells us (verse 11). We’re in a spiritual battle. The enemy is the devil and his demonic forces, not flesh and blood, not human beings, no matter how much people annoy us or hinder us or hurt us. The real enemy is in the spiritual realm and so the enemy must be fought wearing spiritual armor and wielding spiritual weapons.
Paul exhorts us to put on the elements of our armor: truth and righteousness and the readiness of the gospel of peace and faith and salvation. He tells us to use the use the Word of God which is a mighty sword in the battle. But then he goes to emphasize the part of our spiritual equipment that, in my experience, is often overlooked: prayer, and in particular prayer for those in spiritual authority over us.
He says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (verses 17-18). God provides for us and protects us as we cry out to Him in prayer. Everything about our life and ministry—for ourselves, our families and our churches—rests upon a foundation of prayer.