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Prayer as Intervention

By April 3, 2022April 7th, 2022Audio, Discipleship, Home

Matthew Scott — Prayer as Intervention — Sunday, April 3rd

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After you’ve lis­tened to the podcast, read below for a study to take you deeper.

No one doubts we are called to pray for God’s inter­ven­tion in the world – “Your kingdom come!  Your will be done on earth, just as in heaven!”.  But there are reasons why, par­tic­u­larly in the West, we do not take this call seri­ously.  In this session we’ll do some ground clear­ing, looking to uncover some of the assump­tions that hold us back.

First, con­sider your prayer life as it cur­rently is.

  1. How often do you ask God to act?  What kinds of inter­ven­tion do you ask for?  What do you never ask for?
  2. What do you imagine God doing when He hears your requests?

The first assump­tion many of us have is that God doesn’t need us to pray.  He has other, more mighty, praying people to call on; and surely He will if I don’t pray.  In any event, if He is Sov­er­eign, He’ll get His will done regard­less, right?


3. What are the con­se­quences for the world if you don’t ask God to intervene?
4. Do you believe your prayers strengthen God’s power to act in the world?  Why – or why not?

The topic of God’s sov­er­eignty is a bit big to follow here; but it may make best sense to think of God as Sov­er­eign not in causing what happens but in redeem­ing it.  And for that work of redemp­tion – of turning evil into good, and good into best – He needs us to pray; for He has created a world in which the choices of people, and of transper­sonal spirits, really affect what happens on earth.  By calling for God’s inter­ven­tion we open the door to His Spirit, strength­en­ing His power to bring about God’s will and His kingdom on earth.

5. What sit­u­a­tion – local or national or inter­na­tional – weighs on your heart as one where God’s will is clearly not being done?

We’ll pray soon (together, if you’re with others) for the sit­u­a­tions you’ve iden­ti­fied.  But first, con­sider one other assump­tion that keeps us from con­fi­dently enter­ing the work of prayer.  It’s that we don’t really know what God wants to do, such that we can ask con­fi­dently for it.

6. What are some things you are sure God wants to do?  How do you know?

Read Romans 8:26–28.  There we find Paul agree­ing that we don’t know how to pray as (in fact) we must, but that it doesn’t matter.

7. Why doesn’t it matter?  How does the Spirit help us?

Some take the non-lin­guis­tic “groan­ing” of verse 26 to be a ref­er­ence to the gift of tongues as prac­ticed in prayer (rather than as a way of con­vey­ing a message from God – 1 Corinthi­ans 14:5).  Such a gift is a very useful aid to prayer, but it doesn’t make you a supe­rior Chris­t­ian.  Just saying.  Mean­time, be reas­sured that your effec­tive­ness in prayer does not depend on getting it exactly right; the Spirit will take care of that.

8. Do you speak in tongues when you pray?  How does it help, if so?
9. If not, why not?  If you cannot pray in this way, would you like to?

Ask the Lord to equip any who wish it with the ability to pray in tongues; if you’re on your own, ask the Lord directly.  Then pray for the sit­u­a­tions you iden­ti­fied earlier, using tongues (if those you’re with are happy) as well as ordi­nary speech.

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