by Andrew Murray
What to Pray – For God’s Spirit on the Jews
I will pour out upon the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and supplications; and they shall look unto Me whom they pierced. -Zech. 12: 10.
Brethren, my heart’s desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved. -Rom. 10:1.
Pray for the Jews. Their return to the God of their fathers stands connected, in a way we cannot tell, with wonderful blessing to the Church, and with the coming of our Lord Jesus. Let us not think that God has foreordained all this, and that we cannot hasten it. In a divine and mysterious way God has connected his fulfillment of His promise with our prayer. His Spirit’s intercession in us is God’s forerunner of blessing. Pray for Israel and the work done among them. And pray too: Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
How to Pray – With the Intercession of the Holy Spirit
We know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. -Rom. 8:26.
In your ignorance and feebleness believe in the secret indwelling and intercession of the Holy Spirit within you. Yield yourself to His life and leading habitually. He will help your infirmities in prayer. Plead the promises of God even where you do not see how they are to be fulfilled. God knows the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Pray with the simplicity of a little child; pray with the holy awe and reverence of one in whom God’s Spirit dwells and prays.
What to Pray – For All Who Are in Suffering
Remembering them that are in bonds, as bound with them; them that are evil entreated, as being yourselves in the body. -Heb. 13:3.
What a world of suffering we live in! How Jesus sacrificed all and identified Himself with it! Let us in our measure do so too. The persecuted, the Jews, the famine-stricken millions of India, the hidden slavery of Africa, the poverty and wretchedness of our great cities – and so much more: what suffering among those who know God and who know Him not. And then in smaller circles, in ten thousand homes and hearts, what sorrow. In our own neighborhood, how many needing help or comfort. Let us have a heart for, let us think of the suffering. It will stir us to pray, to work, to hope, to love more. And in a way and time we know not God will hear our prayer.
How to Pray – Praying always and not fainting
He spake unto them a parable to the end that they ought always to pray, and not to faint. -Luke 18:1.
Do you not begin to feel prayer is really the help for this sinful world? What a need there is of unceasing prayer! The very greatness of the task makes us despair! What can our ten minutes intercession avail? It is right we feel this: this is the way in which God is calling and preparing us to give our life to prayer. Give yourself wholly to God for men, and amid all your work, your heart will be drawn out to men in love, and drawn up to God in dependence and expectation. To a heart thus led by the Holy Spirit, it is possible to pray always and not to faint.
What to Pray – For the Holy Spirit in Your Own Work
I labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily. -Col. 1:29.
You have your own special work; make it a work of intercession. Paul labored, striving according to the working of God in him. Remember, God is not only the Creator, but the Great Workman, who worketh all in all. You can only do your work in His strength, by His working in you through the Spirit. Intercede much for those among whom you work, till God gives you life for them. Let us all intercede too for each other, for every worker throughout God’s Church, however solitary or unknown.
How to Pray – In God’s Very Presence
Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Jas. 4:8.
The nearness of God gives rest and power in prayer. The nearness of God is given to him who makes it his first object. “Draw nigh to God” seek the nearness to Him, and He will give it; “He will draw nigh to you.” Then it becomes easy to pray in faith. Remember that when first God takes you into the school of intercession it is almost more for your own sake than that of others. You have to be trained to love, and wait, and pray, and believe. Only persevere. Learn to set yourself in His presence, to wait quietly for the assurance that He draws nigh. Enter His holy presence, tarry there, and spread your work before Him. Intercede for the souls you are working among. Get a blessing from God, His Spirit into your own heart, for them.
What to Pray – For the Spirit on Your Own Congregation
Beginning at Jerusalem. -Luke 24:47.
Each one of us is connected with some congregation or circle of believers, who are to us the part of Christ’s body with which we come into most direct contact. They have a special claim on our intercession. Let it be a settled matter between God and you that you are to labor in prayer on its behalf. Pray for the minister and all leaders or workers in it. Pray for the believers according to their needs. Pray for conversions. Pray for the power of the Spirit to manifest itself. Band yourself with others to join in secret in definite petitions. Let intercession be a definite work, carried on as systematically as preaching or Sunday School. And pray, expecting an answer.
How to Pray – Continually
Watchmen, that shall never hold their peace day or night. -Isa. 62:6.
His own elect, that cry to Him day and night. -Luke 18:7
Night and day praying exceedingly that we may perfect that which is lacking in your faith. -1 Thess.3:10.
A widow indeed, hath her hope set in God, and continueth in supplications night and day. -1 Tim. 5:5.
When the glory of God, and the love of Christ, and the need of souls are revealed to us, the fire of this unceasing intercession will begin to burn in us for those who are near and those who are far off.
What to Pray – For More Conversions
He is able to save completely, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession. -Heb. 7:25.
We will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the Word . . . And the Word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied exceedingly. -Acts 6:4, 7.
Christ’s power to save, and save completely, depends on His unceasing intercession. The apostles’ withdrawing themselves from other work to give themselves continually to prayer was followed by the number of the disciples multiplying exceedingly. As we, in our day, give ourselves to intercession, we shall have more and mightier conversions. Let us plead for this. Christ is exalted to give repentance. The Church exists with the Divine purpose and promise of having conversions. Let us not be ashamed to confess our sins and feebleness, and cry to God for more conversions in Christian and heathen lands, of those too whom you know and love. Plead for the salvation of sinners.
How to Pray – In Deep Humility
Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs . . . O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. -Matt. 15:27,28.
You feel unworthy and unable to pray aright. To accept this heartily, and to be content still to come and be blest in your unworthiness, is true humility. It proves its integrity by not seeking for anything, but simply trusting His grace. And so it is the very strength of a great faith, and gets a full answer. “Yet the dogs” – let that be your plea as you persevere for someone possibly possessed of the devil. Let not your littleness hinder you for a moment.
What to Pray – For the Holy Spirit on Young Converts
Peter and John prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost; for as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. – Acts 8:15, 16.
Now He which establisheth us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; who also gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. -2 Cor. 1:21,22.
How many new converts who remain feeble; how many who fall into sin; how many who backslide entirely. If we pray for the Church, its growth in holiness and devotion to God’s service, pray especially for the young converts. How many stand alone, surrounded by temptation; how many have no teaching on the Spirit in them, and the power of God to establish them; how many in heathen lands, surrounded by Satan’s power. If you pray for the power of the Spirit in the Church, pray especially that every young convert may know that he may claim and receive the fullness of the Spirit.
How to Pray – Without Ceasing
As for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you. -1 Sam. 12:23.
It is sin against the Lord to escape praying for others. When once we begin to see how absolutely indispensable intercession is, just as much a duty as loving God or believing in Christ, and how we are called and bound to it as believers, we shall feel that to cease intercession is grievous sin. Let us ask for grace to take up our place as priests with joy, and give our lives to bring down the blessing of Heaven.
What to Pray – That God’s People May Realize Their Calling
I will bless thee; and be thou a blessing: IN THEE shall ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH be blessed. -Gen. 12:2, 3.
God be merciful UNTO US, and bless US, and cause His face to shine UPON US. That Thy way may be known UPON EARTH, Thy saving health AMONG ALL NATIONS. -Ps. 67: 1,2.
Abraham was only blessed that he might be a blessing to all the earth. Israel prays for blessing, that God may be known among all nations. Every believer, just as much as Abraham, is only blessed that he may carry God’s blessing to the world.
Cry to God that His people may know this, that every believer is only to live for the interests of God and His kingdom. If this truth were preached and believed and practiced, what a revolution it would bring in our mission work. What a host of willing intercessors we should have. Plead with God to work it by the Holy Spirit.
How to Pray – As One Who Has Accepted for Himself What He Asks for Others
Peter said What I have, I give unto thee … The Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning … God gave them the like gift, as He gave unto us. -Acts 3:6; 9:15, 17.
As you pray for this great blessing on God’s people, the Holy Spirit taking entire possession of them for God’s service, yield yourself to God, and claim the gift anew in faith. Let each thought of feebleness or shortcoming only make you the more urgent in prayer for others; as the blessing comes to them, you too will be helped. With every prayer for conversions or mission work, pray that God’s people may know wholly they belong to Him.
What to Pray – That all God’s People May Know the Holy Spirit
The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world knoweth not; but ye know Him; for He abideth with you, and shall be in you. -John 14:17.
Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost? -1 Cor. 6: 19.
The Holy Spirit is the power of God for the salvation of men. He only works as He dwells in the Church. He is given to enable believers to live wholly as God would have them live, in the full experience and witness of Him who saves completely. Pray God that everyone of His people may know the Holy Spirit! That He, in all His fullness, is given to them! That they cannot expect to live as their Father would have, without having Him in His fullness, without being filled with Him! Pray that all God’s people, even away in churches gathered out of heathendom, may learn to say: 1 believe in the Holy Ghost.
How to Pray – Laboring Fervently in Prayer
Who is one of you, saluteth you, always reverently you in
prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in aII the will of God. – Col. 4:12.
To a healthy man labor is a delight; in what interests him he labors fervently. The believer who is in full health, whose heart is filled with God’s Spirit, labors fervently in prayer. For what? That his brethren may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God; that they may know what God wills for them how He calls them to live, and be led and walk by the Holy Ghost. Labor fervently in prayer that all God’s children may know this, as possible, as divinely sure.
What to Pray – For the Spirit of Intercession
I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it to you. -John 15:16.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name, In that day ye shall ask in My name. -John 6:24, 26.
Has not our school of intercession taught us how little we have prayed in the name of Jesus? He promised His disciples: In that day, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, ye shall ask in My name. Are there not tens of thousands with us mourning the lack of the power of intercession? Let our intercession today be for them and all God’s children, that Christ may teach us that the Holy Spirit is in us; and what it is to live in His fullness, and to yield ourselves to His intercessional work within us. The Church and the world need nothing so much as a mighty Spirit of Intercession to bring down the power of God on earth. Pray for the descent from heaven of the Spirit of Intercession for a great prayer revival.
How to Pray – Abiding in Christ
If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done to you. -John 15:7.
Our acceptance with God, our access to Him, is all in Christ. As we consciously abide in Him we have the liberty, not a liberty to our old nature or self-will, but the Divine liberty from all self-will, to ask what we will, in the power of the new nature, and it shall be done. Let us keep this place, and believe even now that our intercession is heard, and that the Spirit of Supplication will be given all around us.
What to Pray – For the Holy Spirit with the Word of God
Our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. -1 Thess. 1:5.
Those who preached unto you the Gospel with the Holy Ghost sent forth from Heaven. -1 Pet. 1:12.
What numbers of Bibles are being circulated. What numbers of sermons on the Bible are being preached. What numbers of Bibles are being read in home and school. How little blessing when it comes “in word” only; what Divine blessing and power when it comes “in the Holy Ghost,” when it is preached “with the Holy Ghost sent forth from Heaven.” Pray for Bible circulation, and preaching and teaching and reading, that it may all be in the Holy Ghost, with much prayer. Pray for the power of the Spirit with the Word in your own neighborhood, wherever it is being read or heard. Let every mention of “The Word of God” waken intercession.
How to Pray – Watching and Praying
Continue steadfastly in prayer watching therein with thanksgiving; withal praying for us also, that God may open unto us a door for the Word. -Col. 4:2, 3.
Do you not see how all depends upon God and prayer? As long as He lives and loves, and hears and works, as long as there are souls with hearts closed to the Word, as long as there is work to be done in carrying the Word – Pray without ceasing. Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving. These words are for every Christian.
What to Pray – For the Spirit of Christ in His people
I am the Vine, ye are the branches. -John 15:5.
That ye should do as I have done to you. -John 13:15.
As branches we are to be so like the Vine, so entirely identified with it, that all may see that we have the same nature, and life, and Spirit. When we pray for the Spirit, let us not only think of a Spirit of power, but the very disposition and temper of Christ Jesus. Ask and expect nothing less: for yourself, and all God’s children, cry for it.
How to Pray – Striving in Prayer
That ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. -Rom. 15:30.
I would ye knew what great conflict I have for you. -Col. 2:1.
All the powers of evil seek to hinder us in prayer. Prayer is a conflict with opposing forces. It needs the whole heart and all our strength. May God give us grace to strive in prayer till we prevail.