A Model of Intercession | Andrew Murray
Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” Luke 11:5–8
In true, unselfish prayer there is little thought of personal need or happiness. If we would be delivered from the sin of limiting prayer, we must enlarge our heart for the work of intercession.
To pray only for ourselves is a mark of failure in prayer. It is in intercession for others that our faith and love and perseverance will be stirred up and the power of the Spirit will be found to equip us for bringing salvation to the lost.
How can we become more faithful and successful in prayer? See in the parable of the friend at midnight how the Master teaches us that intercession for the needy is the highest exercise of believing and prevailing prayer.
Here are the elements of true intercession:
Urgent need. If we are to learn to pray as we should, we must open our eyes and heart to the needs around us.
Willing love. It is the very nature of love to give up and forget itself for the sake of others.
The sense of powerlessness. “I have nothing to set before him.”
Faith in prayer. What the man himself doesn’t have, another can supply.
To get from God and then give to others what we ourselves receive from day to day is the secret of successful ministry. Intercession is the link between our powerlessness and God’s omnipotence.
— The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer