Intercession for Ukraine
Multitudes of people physically brought people to Jesus during the time of his earthly ministry. When we pray for others, we bring them to Jesus through intercessory prayer.
During my prayer time today, I formed images of suffering people and destroyed cities in my mind. I used Psalm 142 to express to God their suffering and appeal for mercy.
Please express the words of this Psalm for the sake of the suffering in Ukraine.
I cry out loudly to God,
loudly I plead with God for mercy.
I spill out all my complaints before him,
and spell out my troubles in detail:
“As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away,
you know how I’m feeling,
Know the danger I’m in,
the traps hidden in my path.
Look right, look left—
there’s not a soul who cares what happens!
I’m up against the wall, with no exit—
it’s just me, all alone.
I cry out, God, call out:
‘You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!’
Oh listen, please listen;
I’ve never been this low.
“Rescue me from those who are hunting me down;
I’m no match for them.” (Psalm 142.1-6 The Message Translation)
The Spirit’s Wisdom
The wisdom of the world’s system is focused on money, sex, and power. That was the topic of yesterday’s article.
The wisdom of a Jesus-kind-of-life can only be understood as the Holy Spirit reveals it to us.
— 1 Corinthians 2.9-13 – But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him” —
These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.
The world’s system never imagined that God would transform humans through the crucifixion and resurrection of his Son.
Humans are unable to comprehend the gifts that God has for those who live like Jesus. Only the Holy Spirit’s revelation makes such understanding possible.
The Spirit does not reveal some kind of esoteric knowledge that elevates one class of Christians above the others.
The Spirit makes living a Jesus-kind-of-life attractive and attainable to “ordinary” Christians.
How can we cooperate with the Holy Spirit?
I have borrowed the phrase, “the Jesus-kind-of-life,” from Dallas Willard. I believe he has the best prescription for how people can cooperate with the Holy Spirit to begin living like this.
(1) Vision – To everyone who is willing, the Holy Spirit will reveal a vision of living a Jesus-kind-of-life.
If we don’t have an idea of what living like Jesus looks like, we won’t be motivated to pursue it.
A prayerful reading of the Gospels is a great place to start when trying to obtain a vision of what living like Jesus is all about.
(2) Intention – Jesus commanded the church to make disciples, “teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28.20).
Dallas Willard asks in his writings and lectures whether people actually intend to obey everything Jesus commanded.
When we live a Jesus-kind-of-life, we set the course of our lives to adopt Jesus’ attitudes and behavior.
Jesus’ disciples frequently failed to do this, until they were filled with the Holy Spirit. We have the Spirit, and he will help us with our intentions and actions.
(3) Means – The Holy Spirit will both give us a vision of living like Jesus and enable us to fulfill it.
I have already mentioned prayer and Bible reading as essential means. In all of our prayers, let’s ask the Spirit to reveal to us what a Jesus-kind-of-life is all about.
Let’s ask the Spirit to give us the power to think and act like Jesus.
The Holy Spirit will also reveal the inner workings of our thoughts when they are out of alignment with Jesus. That revelation will allow us a course correction.
Rudy Ross and I are continuing our prayer emphasis for Ukraine. Rudy adds an excellent insight to the study of Corinthians. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.