The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 31 of 207
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Christian Attitudes
pp. 13 - 15
"Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving" (Col. 4: 2).
Stuart Allen, in the Editorial of the May 1981 issue of the Berean Expositor quoted
this text and point out that intercession was a vital part of Paul's ministry. Several times
Paul writes that he prayed "without ceasing" for others. The Editorial continues:
"When one thinks of the immense burden he carried, can it be that he is exaggerating?
No, for he had learned that prayer is the lifting up of the mind through Christ to the
Father and this can be done at any time and in all circumstances."
In other words, while it is good to set aside time for prayer, we can only pray
continually if we have the attitude of mind that lifts itself up to God in prayer at all times.
Nehemiah was the king's cupbearer. He stood before the king, took up the wine and
gave it to him. But he was sad and the king noticed it. When the king asked, "Why is thy
countenance sad, seeing that thou art not sick?" Nehemiah was afraid (Neh. 2: 2). He
told the king of the desolation of the city of Jerusalem and the king replied "For what
dost thou make request?". And we read, "So I prayed to the God of heaven, and I said
unto the king . . . . ." (Neh. 2: 4, 5). There was no time to kneel down and pray. Only a
moment in which to lift up the mind to God in prayer and then to reply to the king. This
is an excellent example of the attitude of mind which we should endeavour to maintain.
There are several words for prayer conveying different aspects.
"I will exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
giving of thanks, be made for all men" (I Tim. 2: 1).
The word for supplication indicates a beseeching prayer, while prayer means the
pouring out of prayer. Intercession is when we pray for others and intercede for them.
In several passages we find that prayer and supplications are linked:
"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" (Acts 1: 14).
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto
with all perseverance and supplication for all saints, and for me . . . . ." (Eph. 6: 18, 19).
"Be careful for nothing;  but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Phil. 4: 6).
While it is important that we should pray (or intercede) for one another, even as Paul
prayed for the saints (and asked them to pray for him) we often feel our inadequacy. "We
know not what we should pray for as we ought" (Rom. 8: 26). Let us be comforted by
the fact that the Spirit makes intercession for us (Rom. 8: 26, 27). Furthermore,
Romans 8: 34 tells us that the risen Christ also makes intercession for us.