Sent: Monday, February 04, 2002

Subject: Your Prayer Partners

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

God blessed us with a very meaningful Prayer Emphasis weekend at the church, beginning with a prayer breakfast on Saturday morning and ending with a Prayer Rally last night.  Pastor Lee Botzet from Eau Claire, WI, was our prayer leader and had a very effective message yesterday in the morning service as he reminded us that we were created to glorify God and that effective praying is all about glorifying Him, praying in the name of Jesus, and anticipating the power of God’s answers…regardless of the outcome.  He defined “praying in Jesus’ name” as:  “praying in Jesus’s place…always facing the reality of the cross but with the expectation of the resurrection.”  Think about that for a while…it’s awesome.  He was accurate in pointing out that some Christians have trouble and give up praying because they don’t see answers to their prayers…or at least not the answers they expect.  But he reminded us that sometimes the best answer from God is “No” because He has something better for us.

He summarized that for many Christians today, God has become merely a “divine bellhop” or “cosmic Santa Claus” with prayer only the means for making their “wants” known.  Another significant statement he made was that “instead of changes in circumstances, we should be praying for changes in character…that we have no obstacles…but opportunities (for God to answer and reveal His will).”

But this morning, I would like to highlight one other point of emphasis from our weekend emphasis.  And that is to remind you that Jesus Christ, our wonderful Savior, prays for us and prays with us, interceding on our behalf before the throne of God!

In John 17, we hear Jesus praying:  “‘I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony.  My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father…that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.'” (vv. 20 – 21)

And in Romans, Paul in talking about who can condemn us, declares vigorously that Jesus Christ does not condemn us :  “…for He is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading (interceding) for us.”  (vv. 33 – 34)

Earlier in this passage in Romans, Paul also reminds us of another prayer partner available to all who know the Lord.  “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress.  For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray.  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words….the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (vv. 26 – 27)  And the verse following is one of the greatest in all the Bible:  “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Ro. 8: 28)

With Jesus, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit, our indwelling counselor and guide, as our prayer partners, we are in good company.

Just remember, as you pray you are never alone and even when you feel you have no words to say…or cannot express how you feel…or don’t even know what you should pray for…your prayer partners do…and are there before the throne of God interceding and praying eloquently for you and on your behalf…and all in accordance with God’s will for your life.   Wow!!

With this in mind, have a wonderful day and make it a habit to pray often with your prayer partners.

All my love,