Musings on Worship and Intercessory Prayer
by Peter Black
Keynote: God moves us to prayer so that He can move through our prayers.
Sometimes it’s a difficulty, some challenging circumstance that our Heavenly Father uses to motivate us to engage or re-engage in a deeper level of prayer.
Take Isaiah, for example, in Isaiah chapter 6. During a very difficult time in his nation’s history the prophet, while in the Temple, was granted an astounding visionary experience of the Lord God.
What was Isaiah doing there? His concern for his people was heightened on account of the death of King Uzziah, so likely, offering up worship and intercessory prayer were main reasons for his being there at that time. If so, then Isaiah’s revelation of God in His resplendent glory came while under the cover of prayer.
In this experience he was given a view into the heavenly realm – a pattern of which was expressed in the design, furnishings, and functions of the Temple. Although his physical being was in the material temple building, his spirit was open to heaven and given a revelation of the Lord in His awesome holiness, enthroned in heavenly glory. Isaiah was alarmed and felt great dread, was deeply convicted of his own sinfulness, and confessed his and his nation’s guilt before God.
Prayer is two-way. It is communion. It is communication.
Our cry to God and His call to us.
Isaiah’s anguished cry was tantamount to prayer (v 5 NIV), “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
The prophet was subsequently assured of cleansing (vv 6-7) as one of the attending seraphs touched his lips with a live coal taken from the altar, declaring, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Next came the call from the Lord Himself (v-8), “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
Isaiah’s response was immediate, “Here am I. Send me!”
This resulted in his commissioning (perhaps more correctly, recommissioning) to divine service in God’s behalf to His people (vv 9-10ff).
When God moves His faithful ones to pray, His Spirit empowers them for this work (Rom. 8:26-27). He brings others under the cover of their prayers in His redemptive plan.