Intercessory Prayers Provide Invisible Lift

Christians often say they will ‘lift someone up in prayer,’ but what does it really mean? I can’t give you a theological answer, but I can offer you my experiences with the powerful lift of prayer.

lift

Startled Awake

“Pray for British envoy Terry Waite,” the voice startled me awake from a deep sleep around two in the morning my senior year of college. I’d heard about Terry Waite’s situation and about how he’d been taken hostage in Beirut a few months earlier.

I threw my legs over the side of the bed and knelt—not my usual position for prayer, but when a voice wakes you up and tells you to pray, you kneel. For the next ten minutes I prayed. I lifted him up in prayer. I prayed for his captors, for his physical safety, for his sanity, and for his family.

Did my prayers cause his captors to release him? No. That took another four years. I may never know the results of my prayers that night during my lifetime, but I know without a doubt that I prayed for a reason and my prayers played a part in a bigger plan.

Fourteen years later I had the opportunity to experience the lift of prayers during Pedro’s cancer year. I mostly moved around in a grace-filed haze, focused solely on doing all I could to help Pedro, protect our daughters, and survive. Hundreds of people who lifted us up in prayer played a part in the miracle of his recovery (I don’t call it a miracle lightly. His doctors—scientists, not men of faith, called Pedro a walking miracle). The constant and specific prayers helped me to survive what seemed unmanageable.

More Lifting

Two years after Pedro’s recovery I once again received a call to pray. “Pray for Becky Curtis.” Once again, the call came during the wee hours of the morning and I went into my prayer room and sat down and prayed. I knew she had been in some sort of car wreck earlier that evening, but I didn’t know the details. Later on, I discovered that my call to prayer came at a critical time when Becky’s life hung in the balance.

Just over a year ago I had another experience with prayer warriors lifting me up in prayer. Our daughter Sarah had ditched her grandparents in an airport and planned on living there for a week before her flight to London left. She had no debit card and no cash. I messaged my friends, who immediately started praying. One of them told me that she had startled awake early in the morning and felt the need to pray. Her urge to pray coincided with the exact time that Sarah had collapsed into unconsciousness at an airport train stop. Of course, I didn’t discover this until months later.

According to James 5:16 “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (NIV). Anyone who believes in Jesus has his mantle of righteousness—which means that the act of praying, by default, is done by ‘righteous’ people. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a sinner or a saint. If you pray, your prayer matters. It might even change a life.

 

What about you? Have you ever been called to lift someone in prayer?

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Tennyson, in his poem “The Death Of Arthur” (the last poem in the cycle “The Idylls Of The King”) compared prayer to golden chains, by which the whole world is bound ’round the feet of God.

    Your post reminded me of this, and made me most grateful to all those who have kept me uplifted in prayer through my illness. Without them, I’d be long gone. No question.

    #2 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/08/your-dying-spouse-192-ki-to-lift-fmf.html
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 192 – The Ki To Lift {FMF}My Profile

  • Prayer is such a powerful thing! Just last month, I was called to pray for an old high school acquaintance’s small daughter who drowned in their hot tub. Miracles abound and today is happy, healthy, and no signs of damage! It was amazing to come together with such a powerful prayer community.

  • I love hearing stories like these. So powerful! Thx.

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Anita, what amazing stories. I’ve been awakened in the night to pray for people too. And, like you said, sometimes we just trust that we are walking in obedience to God, without the knowing of how He chose to use those prayers. The beautiful thing about prayer is that we can be both the lifter and the lifted. I’m forever amazed that God hears every prayer.

    Great post, my friend!

  • Karrilee Aggett

    LOVE this! But you know that… because I am all about the power of prayer! xoxo

  • Kristina Notestine

    I love the power of prayer! I have experienced times like that too. It is soooo important to get out of bed and pray no matter what time it is. Sometimes in my pride I struggle but I know when it is that early in the morning and sudden, I got to pray.

  • Susan

    Love this!

    • Thanks, Susan :).

  • how encouraging:) love your post anita!

  • Anna Smit

    Tears reading this today, Anita: oh His beautiful love for us…pours out of this post of yours…Thank you so much for this.