It is nearing the end of summer and soon we will have football. One of the fundamental aspects of American football is the running game. A key to a good running game is blocking. The runner must have players to go in front of him to keep the defenders away. The picture shows a guard, who is only slightly smaller than a compact car, making a way for his runner.
Good blocking makes the running play possible. The running back, no matter how talented, cannot defeat all 11 of the defenders on his own.
In Romans 1:9, Paul informs the Roman Christians that he intercedes for them regularly. Paul also says this in letters addressed to other believers (see Ephesians 1:16, Philippians 1:4, 1 Thessalonians 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:3 and Philemon 4). In reading the passage in Romans, I struck me that Paul’s prayers were focused on others, while my prayers are often limited to my own circumstances.
This got me thinking about the role of intercessory prayer. Being one who enjoys analogies, the connection with football came to mind. Intercessory prayer is like spiritual blocking. By interceding for a brother or sister, I can be used by God to open a path to move forward.
Why does God choose to work through the prayers of the saints (no football pun intended)? I don’t know why, but I know that he does choose to work this way.
The question is, am I willing to hold up my end of the bargain and start doing it? Will I set aside the time to intercede for those I know around the world who are following the call of God on their lives? Will I spend more time praying for my government officials than I do complaining about them? Do I support the leadership in my church through sustained efforts at prayer?
I’m busted, how about you?