Intercessory prayer is also a daily service Christians owe to God and one another. Those who deny their neighbors prayers of intercession deny them a service Christians are called to perform.
Furthermore, it is clear that intercessory prayer is not something general and vague, but something very concrete. It is interested in specific persons and specific difficulties and therefore specific requests. The more concrete my intercessory prayer becomes the more promising it is...
All this proves that intercessory prayer is a gift of God's grace for every Christian community and for every Christian. Because God has made us such an immeasurably great offer here, we should accept it joyfully. The very time we give to intercession will turn out to be a daily source of new joy in God and in the Christian congregation.
"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you." 1 Samuel 12:23
Questions to Ponder
Is it a contradiction to say that intercessory prayer is both a "daily service Christians owe to God and one another" and "a gift of God's grace for every Christian community and for every Christian"? Why, or why not?
Could the lack of joy evident in many Christians and in many Christian communities be a sign of a lack of specific, concrete, intercessory prayer? Explain.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
so that those who love your name may exult in you. Psalm 5:11
Write about how you feel when praying for others in your community of faith.
Is intercessory prayer "a daily source of new joy in God and in the Christian congregation" for you? Why, or why not?
Pray that your community of faith in particular, and all communities of faith in general, would experience the joy in God and in each other that comes from the service of daily prayer on behalf of their members.
Prayer for Today
Holy God, thank you for the joy of bringing people into your presence this day and every day.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.