This weekend we took 9 student leaders and 3 staff members to White Oak for the HUB weekend retreat that the SC Baptist Convention sponsored. We headed out an hour later than we had hoped…surprise! We got caught in traffic so we ended up Chickfila for dinner because we would not be able to make it to dinner at the conference center. YUM! Once we got there we went in to a worship service with the other campuses and afterwards there we’re break out groups.
I led a breakout session on cultivating a life of intercessory prayer. I had 35 students from across the state that were there to hear more about ways to intercede for their friends, campus and others.
What is intercessory prayer?
When you go before the Lord on behalf of someone else and pray for them. Best described as “standing in the gap” as we read about in Ezekiel 2. We can pray for people’s salvation, needs, protection, growth, etc. Most times you will be burdened by the Holy Spirit to commit to praying for leaders, friends, family, afflicted and even your enemies.
Why is intercessory prayer important?
Jesus calls us to pray for others. We see our best example in his prayer life as he prayed for the disciples and then even praying up until His crucifixion on the cross when he said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” We also see that examples in Daniel (ch 9), Moses (exodus and numbers), Paul (colossians and philippians) and James (ch 5). The more we pray for others the more our hearts are filled with love for others.
How do I do it?
This is all based on how the Spirit leads you and how you best remember to pray for people. The key to this is developing the discipline to intercede for people. To develop a discipline you have to choose specific people, place, time and needs then do it at every scheduled time. It is like working out your muscles…the more you do it the stronger it gets. I typically pray for others in the morning while I am getting ready for work. I make a chart with 4-5 people’s photo on each day of the week. I commit to praying for them every week on that day. Another friend of mine goes through their cell phone contact list and each week of the year would take the first person and call them for prayer requests then would dedicate that week to praying for them. There is no formula to praying for people. The important thing is that when you’re burdened to pray that you do it – this is your act of obedience unto the Lord.
This is just a quick overview of what I shared.
The rest of the weekend was more worship and a prayer walk through the classrooms that were set up displaying information, prayer requests, leaders, and more so that other campuses could learn about their campus(es) and pray over them. It was a really neat experience. I went in to one room and I could just feel the Holy Spirit moving. I don’t know if I have ever felt that before over people who I do not know anything about. I hope to continue praying for Spartanburg/Upstate campuses as they beg the Lord to raise up more workers!
CSU did have a time of planning so we began that process for the coming year. Just when you think a time like this could make it so simple to accomplish because the environment is structure to help you succeed in that..we are still in a place when the vision is having to be stated and re-casted over and over.
Aside from the moments when we felt like we might have come to a stand still on our planning I am still excited about what God is going to do in and through our student leaders (and myself) in the coming year. I really want to commit more time in prayer to what God would have for CSU in this coming year.
Ways you can intercede for us:
1. Pray for our leadership to rise up to see the vision, catch the vision and live out the vision.
2. Pray for God’s will to be done in all of the planning and services.
3. Pray for all glory to go to God…for He alone deserves it.
4. Pray for hearts to be mended and united.
5. Pray for resources and creative ideas to come to fruition.