One night last year I was about to climb into bed when I felt an urgent need to slip to my knees and pray fervently for my uncle, Don. I had actually had a gnawing feeling all week that God was speaking to me about him and had tried calling him so we could pray together, but I wasn’t able to reach him.
I knew in my spiritual “knower” that I needed to intercede for my uncle.
Has the Lord ever dropped the name of a person in your mind or flashed someone’s face before you? Sometimes He will tell you directly to pray for a person, and at other times He uses a different method to grab your attention. Either way, I believe it is God beckoning us to pray for others.
Intercessory prayer gives us the unique privilege to stand in the presence of a holy God and affect change in someone’s life. Jesus is the perfect role model for intercessory prayer. The Word says, “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34, NKJV).
Jesus is sinless; He’s holy and perfect in every way. But we must make sure we’re in right standing with the Father before we go before Him. The Bible says if we regard iniquity in our hearts (secret sin), He will not hear us (see Ps. 66:18). Thank God for His Son! Jesus made it possible for us to boldly and with confidence pray to the Father.
I cannot imagine what my life would be like had it not been for intercessory prayer. The lyrics to Somebody Prayed for Me, an old African-American hymn, says: “Somebody prayed for me / They had me on their mind / Took the time and prayed for me / I’m so glad they prayed / I’m so glad they prayed / I’m so glad they prayed for me!”
That night a car hit uncle Don and sent his body soaring in the air. When he landed on the ground, he had fractured bones and other injuries, and the ambulance attendant didn’t think he would make it. But the Father gave my uncle a gift that night—a second chance at life. I believe He answered my prayers.
So the next time you feel an urgency to pray, don’t ignore it. You may save the life of someone you love.