Doing The Hard Work of Intercessory Prayer

The past two weeks, we have talked about the work of prayer. Two weeks ago, we talked about overcoming our common hindrances to prayer, especially the hindrances of time and content. Last week, we explored some practical ideas for performing both the private and public work of prayer. In this week’s final post on the…

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Deborah Haddix

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The past two weeks, we have talked about the work of prayer. Two weeks ago, we talked about overcoming our common hindrances to prayer, especially the hindrances of time and content. Last week, we explored some practical ideas for performing both the private and public work of prayer.

In this week’s final post on the work of prayer, I’d like to turn our attention toward the specific work of intercession.

The A.C.T.S. Model for Prayer

While following a model for prayer is not a requirement, many find it helpful.

Perhaps you use the H.E.A.R.T. model (Honor God with your praise, Examine your life, Ask for help/needs, Request on behalf of others and their needs, Thank God), have taught the Five-Finger Method to your child (family/friends, teachers, leaders/authority, sick/poor, self), or engaged in some other model for prayer over the years.

I grew up with the A.C.T.S. model and have continued to use it over the years of my life. If you are not familiar with it, here it is:

          Adoration – Acknowledging who God is

          Confession – Telling God you are sorry for wrongdoings

          Thanksgiving – Expressing gratitude

          Supplication – Asking God for help, healing, provision, or guidance for ourselves and others

Sometimes I sit and work my way through the entire model in one sitting. However, there are times when I concentrate my prayers on only one aspect of the model. For instance, I might begin a bright, new Monday morning with a prayer of Adoration. And, full disclosure, sometimes I don’t employ any part of the model for my prayer.

Supplication

As many of us are currently participating in the 30-Day Prayer Challenge for Grandparents and looking forward to this year’s Virtual Grandparents’ Day of Prayer (September 13, 2020), I thought this would be a good time to look a little more closely at the fourth part of the A.C.T.S. model, supplication.

I notice in looking at the H.E.A.R.T. model that the extra letter in the acronym allows for the separation of prayer for one’s own needs from prayer for the needs of others.

When I use the A.C.T.S. model, I like to think of supplication as having two parts. I identify the parts as:

Supplication – Asking God for help, healing, provision, or guidance for myself

Intercession – Asking God for help, healing, provision, or guidance for others

And following the Five-Finger Model we teach our children, I pray supplication (prayers for myself) last.

Interceding for Our Grandchildren

Many passages in the Bible tell us of the importance of praying for others. Among them, we learn in Romans 10:1, that we are to pray for the unsaved. Ephesians 6:18 talks of praying for the saints, and in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, we see that we are to pray for all people.

These verses certainly apply to our grandchildren, but take a look at Lamentations 2:19 –

“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your [grand]children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.”

Do the Work

Yes, God instructs us to pray for our grandchildren. And as I read Lamentations 2:19, I do not picture weak and wimpy prayers.

Phrases like “Pour out your heart” and “Lift your hands to him for the lives of your [grand]children” evoke images of work, hard work. Theses phrases from the Lord tell me I am to make the time, put forth the effort, know my grandchild’s needs, and do the work.

But my loving Father doesn’t stop there. He tells me even more about how I am to pray on behalf of my grandchildren.

1 Chronicles 4:10 – I am to pray BIG.

Matthew 7:7 – I am to pray with intensity.

Isaiah 62:6-7 – I am to keep praying – never giving up and giving God no rest.

How about you? How will you work to develop your intercessory prayer muscles this week on behalf of your grandchild? For what BIG thing will you pray with all your heart, giving Him no rest from your asking?

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Comments

4 comments

  • Wow – the passion in his prayer in that passage in Lamentations. That’s what God wants from me.

  • My one grandson is almost two and another is on the way, so I typically pray rather generic prayers for him/them, Deborah. So, you’ve given me a lot of ideas for improving the way I pray for them. They certainly need all the prayers, living in this very turbulent world! Pinning this, my friend!

  • We are so blessed to offer our prayers before the throne of God. This morning we had two specific prayer requests. Our daughter asked for prayer for a meeting that she was having. Our church prayer chain asked for prayer for a husband that needs medical procedures. When we get these requests my husband and I sit down together to pray. And then our women’s Bible study leaves at least a half hour of our time together to pray. I like the A.C.T.S. acronym and the reminder to give praise, adoration and thanks.

  • I certainly get that! Spent more time than I’d like to acknowledge praying vague, generic prayers for our precious grands. Still fall victim from time to time! So glad you found some of the ideas helpful. I’d love to hear how things go as you implement a few. Thank you for pinning, my friend!

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About the Author

Deborah Haddix

I am a child of God, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, niece, and friend who loves nothing better than spending time with those I love.

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