WHENEVER YOU GO to the Lord in prayer, do these two things: pray with eternity in mind and intercede for keeps.
Nehemiah was burdened when he heard that the walls of Jerusalem had broken down for more than half a century (Neh. 1:4).
ABRAHAM was sitting at the entrance of his tent on a hot afternoon when the Lord appeared to him.
He saw these three men and ran to meet them.
O Lord, if I've found favour in your sight, do not pass by your servant.
He ran to the tent to get Sarah. He took a young calf and gave it to a young man who quickly prepared it.
Then, Abraham took curds, some milk and a calf that was prepared and set it before them.
He stood by them under the tree while they ate.
Where is Sarah, your wife?
"She is in the tent," he replied.
"I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah, your wife, shall have a son.
Abraham and Sarah were both advanced in age. The way of women had ceased with her.
Sarah laughed, saying, "After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?"
When the men said she laughed, Sarah denied it because she was afraid (Genesis 18:1-13).
AS THE MEN got up to leave, Abraham walked with them.
And the Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?" (Gen. 18:17-18)
God wanted to share his plans with him.
He told Abraham why they were on their way to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Whenever God impresses something on you or tells you what he wants to do, it's because he wants you to pray.
He wants to get you involved in what he wants to do.
And the Lord will not do anything without first revealing it to His servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7).
Everything you do starts with a burden
AN AMAZING EXCHANGE ensued between God and Abraham.
He stood before the Lord and interceded for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Abraham knew the atrocities in those cities, but that did not stop him from pleading with God.
He understood that the lives of people were at stake.
Abraham had walked with God long enough to know that he needed to press in with the mercy of God.
He wants you to see the souls of men as precious.
THE SITUATION became a burden to him—and the only way to relieve it was to lay it before God.
He began to plead for souls.
You need to understand that everything you do as a believer in Christ starts with a burden.
And burdens come in various ways: God can put a burden on you spiritually to stand in the gap for someone, a people, a place, or a nation.
He may bring the name of a friend or someone you do not know to your heart.
God shares these burdens so that we can have an idea of how he feels.
What does he expect you to do with this burden? He wants you to pray till it is lifted.
There may be times when you notice something in someone's life and feel the need to help, or someone may share a situation with you, and you feel a burden to do something.
Obadiah saw a pressing need, he hid one hundred prophets in two caves when Jezebel went after them, and he fed them (1 Kings 18:4).
We are commanded to bear each other's burdens (Gal. 6:2).
Are you concerned about a bad occurrence within your family that keeps repeating itself?
These burdens are only removed in intercessory prayers.
The best time to start praying for a child that you’re expecting is when they’re still in the womb.
Pray that the child will walk in the Will of God.
Pray about that man and that woman you’ll marry.
God wants you to pray about everything.
When you intercede in prayers, you call God into your affairs. And he will go before you.
GOD does not give us burdens to weigh us down. Therefore, all burdens that we receive from Him must be given back to Him. This we do in prayers.
"When [our plans] are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable)." Elisabeth Elliot.
There is no time spent with God that is wasted.
Bringing it Together
PRACTICE the pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray – Anonymous.
Nothing teaches us about God like the emptiness of ourselves—and the place to relieve burdens is in prayer.