Friday, September 4, 2015

PRAYING FOR LOVED ONES

Not long ago, a young man came forward during a prayer service at Times Square Church, shaking and crying. He told me he was from the state of Washington and that earlier that night he'd walked into our service accidentally. He had left and gone to a music concert, but then he left that event and returned to the church. Now he wanted prayer and so I asked him, "Are your parents Christians?" He answered, "Yes, sir. They keep praying for me."

I ask you: Was it an "accident" that this young man walked into our church? Hardly! He was having his own encounter with Christ. No one pushed or begged him; without question, he had been brought by Jesus. And I'm convinced it happened because of the prayers of his concerned parents.

In Mark 7:31-37 we are told the story of a deaf man being brought to Jesus. Jesus took him away from the crowd, "And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain" (Mark 7:34-35).

Jesus performed a private miracle for this man and then He spoke to him just to prove to him that he could hear. Imagine! The first voice the deaf man heard was Christ's! Oh, how that man must have talked when his tongue was loosed. Out of his mouth poured years of pent-up feelings because now he could express the inner cry that had no voice before.

I imagine him falling into the Lord's arms, weeping, "Jesus, You heard the voice of my cry" (see Psalm 5:2). Consider the poignancy and power of Psalm 5 to this healed man: "My God . . . unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee" (5:2-3). The love this man had for Jesus was now his own—because he had a personal encounter with Him.

Beloved, when you pray for your loved ones, keep in mind Jesus groans over them. He wasn't sighing over just one man in Decapolis. He was weeping over the stifled, inner cries of your children, your unsaved loved ones, and mine. Perhaps you need to change the way you pray over them. Pray that the Holy Ghost goes after them, woos and draws them, stirs and awakens them to a fresh desire for Jesus.