Intercession According to Paul

Paul was a great prayer warrior and was always interceding for others.  Here are three passages having to do with Paul’s intercession. Then please take note of the three things I have observed from Paul about what intercession is:

Romans 1:9-10

For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.

Colossians 1:3-5

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;

Philippians 1:3-11

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

 1. Intercession is unceasing. In Romans 1:9 Paul writes to the Roman church, “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers…” Here we see from Paul that intercession (at least Paul’s intercession) is something that is unceasing.  It is a constant burning desire to stand in the gap for another.

2. Intercession is usually for those whom we love and have a ministry with. This was certainly true of Paul and for those he ministered to; for because he had developed a love for them in the Lord, they were always on his mind. When Paul heard that the Colossian believers were growing in faith and in their love for the saints, he was especially inspired to pray for them (Col. 1:3-4).

This should be our motivation as well.  We should not only pray for the sick and the lost, but like Paul, we should pray mainly for those who love the Lord as we do, and especially for those who are leaders in the church and for those who participate in the gospel with us (Phil. 1:3-11).

3. Intercession has a great purpose—of saving the lost. I believe that Paul prayed mostly for the people that he had a ministry with, not just because of the common fellowship he felt with them, but because of the strategy of it. Thus he concentrated his prayer effort not so much on the sick, but on those whom he was training to spread the gospel.

I pray that we also catch the vision of Paul and of Christ as we concentrate most of our prayer efforts on those who participate with us in the gospel.  For it is essential for the spreading of the gospel.

 

 

 

 

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My Writing: Rewriting and Writing More

Stephen Nielsen

I’m not sure exactly what I expected in terms of sales for my books. I thought that I would get some sales, at least for my e-books that I was selling on the Lulu website for just two or three dollars. But nothing! —for months and months. Finely, I decided to make them free. That way at least people wouldn’t have the excuse of not being able to afford them. Well, right away people were starting to order the free e-books. And I felt better, because now the books were at least getting out there.

I know there is a lot more I could do to sell my books, but I hate that part of it—the marketing part, which takes money, something I don’t have. But maybe someday. In the meantime, I will just keep writing. My first project was to rewrite, or edit my prayer books. After reading a…

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Blue Jays Adding Color to the Trees

Stephen Nielsen

This pair of Blue Jays added some color the trees on this day.

I was hoping that they would stay around for a while. That They wouldn’t be afraid of me looking at them through my window.

I was surprised and thankful for how long they amused me. I’ll be looking for them again.

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My Writing: Smaller Books, Self-Publishing

Stephen Nielsen

These books can be seen on my Lulu website.

Even before I had completed writing Prayer A to Z, I was contemplating also putting the entire work together as six smaller books. I had gotten some comments about how large the book was and so I began to think that people might be more willing to purchase it as a series of smaller books. So, I began the process.

First, I started brainstorming on possible book titles. I needed six titles that would take in all of the topics I had in Prayer A to Z—forty-three topics, plus the five chapters on all the prayers of the bible. It didn’t take too long. After only a few hours I came up with six book titles: Basics of Prayer, Purpose of Prayer, Principles of Prayer, Joy of Prayer, Service of Prayer, and Zenith of Prayer. The next…

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10 Uses for Prayer A to Z

Stephen Nielsen

It took me about 20 years to finally finish writing Prayer A to Z (from 1992 to 2012). I won’t bore you with any of the details here. It would be too long even to try to summarize it. But if you will go to my blog, https://studyingprayer.com/, you will see not only a summary, but sections of the book itself. Most of the book is on the blog site—in short excerpts with just a few extra comments. I’ve gotten some very nice blog comments, and I have a suspicion that many have ordered the book, either the hard copy or the pdf free eBook version. Thanks to all who did.

Now in this post I will list all of the 52 chapters so you can get a good overview of the book. Then I will give you ten suggested uses of the book other than just reading it…

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An Eye for An Eye – Matthew 5:38-42

Stephen Nielsen

I have been blogging from the book Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The book is actually a copy of his sermons and well worth reading. Today we will cover this familiar text and see what Jesus says about it.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. (Matt. 5:38-42)

This Mosaic teaching about an eye for an…

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My Writing: My Progression, My Ritual

Stephen Nielsen

As soon as I had all my topics decided on, the next step in the process of writing my book Prayer A to Z was easy. I just took one topic (a chapter) at a time, did whatever reading and bible study I thought was sufficient for that topic, and went from there. I always highlighted important material as I read, took some notes, and then made an outline.

At first my idea was to make the chapters short—about two typed pages. I was still using the material as an insert in the church bulletin, so I didn’t want it to be too long. Eventually, after about the first ten chapters, I changed my mind about the length. I could see that there was much more I could write on each topic. So, I made a big decision to go back and re-write all that I did before moving on…

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How My Writing Adventure Began

Stephen Nielsen

At my desk. I generally always write everything out long hand first.

My writing adventure began about 1992, while I was attending Majestic Oaks Community Church. At the beginning, I was immersing myself in many books on prayer for the purpose of prayer ministry for the church. And I was content to read just the books I had on my shelves which I had collected over the years. Later, when I was thinking about the possibility of writing a book on prayer and when I was trying to put an outline together, I found that I had to look elsewhere for more books. The place that I looked most was at the Bethel Seminary library. I wasn’t a student there, but when I told them that I needed books for a book I was writing, they agreed to get me a library card.

I remember so well when the idea…

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Prayer Ministry

Stephen Nielsen

Not long before we were divorced, we got a flier in the mail advertising Majestic Oaks Community Church. We decided that since it seemed like a very good church and was closer than where we were going, we would start going there. I really liked it, but she was skeptical. So, as soon as we were divorced, I stayed and she went back to where we were previously going.

Majestic Oaks was a very praying church, thanks to the pastor’s heart; and the church kept me in their prayers. I think it was just a few weeks into my divorce that I began to get a desire to do more in the area of prayer—like maybe organizing pray requests or something. One day, while helping the pastor build his house, I expressed my desire about a prayer ministry with him. And he immediately wanted me to take over and develop…

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America At A Turning Point

Stephen Nielsen

The Washington Monument.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

The Lincoln Memorial.

A memorial for our servicemen who fought in North Korea.

I have never been that much of a reader of history. Growing up I was one of those who was asking the question, “Why do we need to study history?” Though I do see the value of it now, I still wonder why most history writers have to make it so boring. Most history text books I think ought to be piled up and burned! It’s just too much for a kid to digest. But I do think there are better ways to learn history. For instance, I have all the books by Bill O’Reilly on Lincoln, and Reagan and Kennedy and Patton and more. They are so good, because he makes it into a story. And his book, Killing England is all about the history of America; and ten…

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