Our guide to praying this month is along the line of our value to God. We take this from Ephesians 1:18, the continuation of what we were praying last month. We look at the larger passage as it begins with verse 15. Two prayers lead up to the one for which we are now ready.
Mine and Glenda's lives were changed immensely when, with a discipline, we took on the praying of these prayers. This was especially so with the number three prayer. Indeed, we have not been the same since we started this in 1982. When I took up this one, all I could do was quote the Scripture to God. I didn't have much understanding as to what I was praying. Paul's words were too lofty for me to grasp on my earthly level. One day, as I was praying for Glenda, I asked the Lord what I was actually asking of Him for her. He spoke to me, "You're praying she will know how valuable she is to me."
I was not aware of this, but from her youth Glenda struggled with a poor
awareness of her worth. Having been miraculously healed and saved and
called by the Lord to serve Him did not wipe out completely the deep feeling
that she could only have value if she deserved it or earned it. This came
over on her every relationship, especially with the Lord. Thus it touched
the matter of faith and whether or not He would provide for her in the
call He had placed on her. There was always the question: "Am I good enough
for His blessing and provision?" This leaves room for a nagging question like, "Will He forsake me if I
don't, or can't, perform things right?"
Souls ignorant of how valuable they are to God often hold on to insecurity and fear. They think, "I am of so little value to God, He holds no concern for my needs." Many think, "If I could ever become good enough, He would love me." Besides worry, thoughts like these become seed beds for things to grow like discouragement and fear of failure. Pressed to their limit in some, they engender things like doubt, a lack of self-confidence, a light regard for life, sexual promiscuity, and rage.
Even in the face of these things, we learn to pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten souls who do not know their value to the Lord. The very idea that "God cares for me" can be born of the Holy Spirit in the heart of anyone. Sometimes this comes on suddenly, without awareness of the Spirit's presence. It may come like the gentle dawning of a new day. The understanding that God cares, made alive by the Holy Spirit, will come in answer to the supplication of some soul, somewhere. Think of it.
Intercessory prayer opens the path for God's mercy to travel. When intercessors hold wayward souls before the Lord, they begin seeing their failures. Their sorrow increases for a while, but with continued prayer, mercy intervenes. From the trash heap of failure begins coming beauty and purpose -- and a new sense of value.
Sometimes I have wondered why God's light shined so brightly in my soul, and why He caused me to know I had value to Him. It came early in life, while I was a teenager. It seemed to come in response to nothing in me and I couldn't understand what was happening. It was a quiet work. Quite simply, the Lord visited me and made me know He valued me. That changed my life.
But why did the Lord make me an object of His choice to serve in His Kingdom? I was a simple boy from the farm, with a lot of poverty and insecurity—though I didn't know about the poverty; it wasn't a big word back then. One day, after telling the Lord I would be a preacher, I told my mother what was happening. Then I found out why God had visited me. She had prayed. She asked Him to visit me and make known His calling upon my life.
I had a grandmother who died when I was five years old. After nearly forty years of serving the Lord, I had an older cousin visit me and tell me of her. She said I was the apple of her eye and that she would hold me and pray for me. She probably knew well that her son could not give me all the guidance I needed as a young man, so she overstepped him by presenting me to the Lord.
I don't think those two women knew how to pray the prayers we are learning
from Paul. Maybe they did. But nonetheless, they prayed and a light came
on in my soul.
At this point the last two chapters of Acts are prophetic for us. In the midst of the storm, there was an Apostle, brought by the cruel hand of man into a situation that became sanctified by the presence of God. Through what seemed a combination of evil intention, wrong decision, and perilous circumstance, the writer said, All hope that we should be saved was then taken away (Acts 27:20). So, there will be many a dark circumstance at the end of this age. Evil intention against believers will increase. The freedom, or ability, to make right decisions will be taken away from us. But, it can be planted in the heart of everyone of us who is a believer that God cares and will never forsake us. We are His inheritance.
Thus, what we lay out in this article is prophetic. Let me state it again this way: as the age progresses, one of the tactics of the enemy will be to convince us God does not care and we have no value to Him. This is why we learn to pray one for the other. Even the simple prayer that someone will know how valuable he or she is to God will help settle that one into becoming an utterly believing believer in the face of the darkest storm. Then, when all hope of being saved is gone, the knowledge of the most High—on which the wicked look with contempt -- shall come to the fore and faith will do its wonderful work.
In the midst of turmoil and deprivation, a believer can say, with a burst of revelation, "I'm too valuable to the Lord for Him to forsake me! He paid too great a price for me!" In this, faith is born that reaches through darkness to find the light of His presence. Or maybe, it will be a faith that reaches through a crowd to touch His garment.
Glenda is continually ministering to people on a personal level. I do on a lesser basis. Over and over we find those whose trouble is based in the feeling they have no value to God, or, for that matter, to anyone, except to be used and, maybe, abused. There was the woman who, the first time I saw her, I perceived had value in ministering to others. But she was still ruled by the little girl in her whose father left her and her mother to care for another woman and her children. Early in life the idea was born in this dear woman that she, personally, had no real value to anyone. She just existed and let her life of oppression unfold. Her turning point revolved around the simple reception of the knowledge that she was valuable, at least, to the Lord, whether anyone else valued her or not.
There was the man still ruled by the little boy in him whose father cursed him and told him to get out of the house. There was the woman ruled by the little girl in her whose father did not have time to listen and whose mother was always angry. There was the man ruled by the little boy in him who was called "stupid." On we could go. I think you get the picture. What happens early in life sets the way for how persons think about themselves, and thus, how they think God feels about them.
Intercessors learn how to take stuff like this before the Throne. From
behind the scenes, they pray prayers like this: "Father, cause him to
know how much You love him and what value You have placed on him."
At that point, the One Whom God ... hath appointed heir of all things, and by Whom also He made the worlds, stopped and said, Who touched Me?
He knew someone touched Him because virtue went out of Him. We learned before that this was dúnamis—the Greek word for "power, ability, virtue." It was the very kind of power that would pull off His resurrection. It was the kind of power that makes worlds run—and it came from Him to her to heal her. How valuable she was!
Do you get the picture? There are many souls whose desperation has worn their faith thin. The idea that God cares for them has taken its flight -- only to wait for someone to care enough to pray that they will see Him and know He is ready to give His attention to them.
The seed of this knowledge that God cares will grow well in the dry soil of trouble, especially when planted there by some intercessor who becomes bold in praying.
Many souls have failed God and have soiled their lives. Yet, He values them and holds His arms open to receive them. He is ready to stop running worlds to give attention to the most lowly person on earth who will but simply wake up and reach through the crowd to touch Him. He holds open an unusual place of purpose for people like this in His Kingdom. This is because the foundation of His Kingdom is mercy and not sacrifice —nor is it in performance. Only those who find mercy find the Kingdom. Often, it is those who need it most who find it in its greatest measure. Intercessors know this and cease not in holding souls before the Lord who have settled into their loss and whose sense of value is damaged.
Take time to pray for someone for whom you care that they will know,
in a way that defies contradiction, that God loves them immensely and
unconditionally. Even though they may be facing something so frightening
and dark that no ray of hope breaks through anywhere, it can still be
released in them that God is aware and He cares. In this knowledge a renewed
kind of faith can be born.
Does this mean He values those less who transgress?
No. The value upon us all remains the same. Our value is found in our
redemption. It cost Him the same to redeem the most holy as the most profane.
There is none who is good enough to effect his own salvation. There is
none so bad that he is outside the reach of God's grace.
We have looked at these words before and written about them. Justification means a straightening, a process that we find goes on even after receiving
God's grace as a new believer. Redemption means release through
payment of a ransom, a process that is set in order when one is willing
to repent and believe. Propitiation means the removal of wrath,
the realization of which often comes on slowly. Remission means forgiveness.
The freedom of forgiveness is something that usually comes on like the
gentle dawning of a new day, slowly at first only to burst bright when
the sun is fully risen. Together, what these words describe wipes out
our boasting before the Lord and brings us all to the common ground of
His grace. This makes us all of equal value to Him and gives much fuel
to the fire of supplication that intercessors make for believers who are
still weak in the faith. This means we learn to pray on the basis of the
hope these words present, even when we know of sin and weakness that is
Without trying to answer this with theological discussion, let us know that every sin has within it the seed of its own judgment. Whether one might stand before the judgment seat or not, every sin that mankind can commit, believer or unbeliever, will bring down the person who commits it and sully his or her knowledge of God.
It is here an intercessor can step in. This is one who cares enough to hold some soul before the Lord till that one sees his condition and gives it up before the Lord. One of the greatest values in the Kingdom is the person who cares enough to make supplication for someone caught in a downward spiral till that one stops and turns himself to the Lord with repentance.
Persistence in praying is needed here, along with a skill that only the
Holy Spirit can give. As we learn from Paul in Romans 8:26, sometimes
we don't know how to pray. Neither do we know what to do in relationship
with people whom we perceive are defiling God's inheritance.
The woman was shocked, but then burst into an agony of tears. "Oh, God, I've been praying someone would know and help me!" Then she said, "I'm so bound I could tell no one." Her sordid story unfolded of sexual promiscuity, and how in her childhood she had been abused by her father and her grandfather.
Becoming a Christian, marrying a Christian man, and committing herself to service for the mission field did not wipe out that stronghold in her that she held value only as an object for sex.
Glenda said to her, "You need deliverance and healing."
Knowing ministry like this should not be undertaken alone, nor should it become public knowledge, she suggested to her that a couple of other persons with whom she felt comfortable could be asked to help. The woman agreed.
They determined a day and a place and came together for her deliverance.
The precious woman was set free and along with her husband served the
Lord effectively for many years.
Prayer Starter: My Value Lies in the Redemption
© Berean Ministries