We have all been praying for peace on the Korean peninsula. Until recently I felt that my intercessory prayer game was pretty strong. Will you join us in prayer for reunification or at least lasting peace that would see the end of suffering? I pray for peace and reconciliation and look for ways to be at work with respect to this goal.
A daily email subscription that shares scripture, reflection questions, and prayer examples clued me into a distinction that I had not made before. There is a great divide between interceding and intermediation. I’ve taught fourth and fifth-grade school children about intercessory prayer for many years. I always explained what it means to intercede, but I’m not sure I really understood it in a literary sense. I guess I had been living in a figurative intercession space that was easy to be in. I was teaching that we’re praying for God to fix the issue, or help me fix the issue. That’s not the complete picture.
An intermediary seeks to ask God to stand by us or the subject we’re praying for as we pray. We’re asking God to intercede is what I’ve always thought. That’s not to say that when I pray for God to intercede I’m asking God to only put me into the situation so that I may become the answer to the prayer. A fully functioning intercessory prayer jumps into this idea that a table is set. In prayer, we create an open and ready opportunity for God to release the Holy Spirit via love, compassion, justice, mercy, and whatever means necessary. To release as necessary upon the situation the Holy Spirit to work to affirm, guide, reconcile, or resolve the subject or your prayer.
So whether you’re trying to end Hunger, find Peace in Korea, stop human trafficking, or make new disciples, it’s not wrong to ask God to make you an agent for change and to pray for the strength as you act in a spirit of love. However, it’s very important that we also pray that the spirit moves and be ready to hear it and follow it.
Join me on August 13th as I pray for peace on the Korean Penninsula.