During my quiet time several years ago I was reading a passage of scripture that kept using the word prayer over and over. Knowing how the Greeks, the language in which the New Testament was originally written in, had many different words to describe the word love I wondered if each time prayer was mentioned that it meant the same thing.
What I found was about eight different Greek words that we translate into the single word, prayer. One of the different variations of the word prayer the Bible uses means to beg. The Bible actually tells us that there is an appropriate time to beg God for something. Another word for prayer meant to wish. The intensity of our prayer in these circumstances is to let God know that it may be something we would like to see happen, but isn’t that important.
The variation I want to look at today is the word that means to intercede or to stand in the gap for. The Greek word is Entuxis, and is the variation of the word prayer that is used in James 5:15 “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”
To intercede is like standing between the person and God. Pointing at the person and asking on their behalf. It’s really more than requesting and more like petitioning. By petition I don’t mean to flippantly sign a petition, but to be that pest that keeps on asking on behalf of the victim until something is done.
With God we should never demand, but neither should we only flippantly pray for someone and move on. We should stand in the gap, fight for them, and seek aid for them.
Jesus told a parable about a widow and a judge that didn’t fear God. Because she kept petitioning him and would not stop the judge finally gave in to her. And then Jesus says these words, “Will God not bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”
We are to petition, not only for our selves, but for others in intercession!
With that in mind I need your help! I have been asked to intercede for someone and to pass the prayer request on to others. I know we all have needs, but this brother in Christ has remained faithful through so much that I believe that making this request of you is not only appropriate, but necessary.
Joey Murray was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) several years ago. It is a progressive disease that attacks the nerve cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement. I have known Joey for about ten years and although he suffered from this disease even before I met him, his faith has always been incredibly strong and something that I have truly admired.
Joey will be on a retreat this next week that will focus on intercession and healing. Basically, James 5:15 in action. I am asking you to take time everyday for the next two weeks and pray for Joey’s complete healing.
I can’t say it better than Joey himself, so I will share a portion of his e-mail to me with you:
I am grateful for the prayers you’ve offered up for my healing of ALS since 1996. I’m thankful to still be alive, but my health has continued to decline. The Bible tells us many times that Jesus came to forgive and heal all, for all time, and that there is much power in the prayers of many that agree. I will be going to a weeklong healing retreat in Thomaston GA. I am humbly asking for you, your church, and friends to pray this prayer in faith often for me for the next few weeks.”
The prayer he requests for us to pray on his behalf is: “Heavenly Father, deliver Joey from all demonic oppression, and restore his body and mind to complete long lasting health, in Jesus name, Amen.”
I encourage you as James the brother of Jesus encouraged us: “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says!”
I am petitioning you to join me as I intercede for our brother in Christ. Post “pray for Joey” around your home in places where you will see it and remember to pray. His wife needs her husband, his children need their father, and we need Joey walking this earth with us, as a walking miracle, to encourage us with his words and his life!