All prayers, including intercession and petition, are grounded and flourish in the unconditional love of God from which grace and mercy flow into all creation.
Petition and intercessory prayer emerge from a posture of humility and a willingness to listen to God.
Listening rather than informing opens us to the process of shedding our judgments, agendas, perceptions and ideas.
In listening we become more aware and attentive to what God is already doing.
Petition and intercessory prayer are doors through which we participate in what God is doing in the world.
It is expressing the little bit of love we may carry for the person or situation. We are joining the immensity of love that flows from the heart of God—a love that holds ALL.
How is God already praying?
In petition and intercessory prayer, we are offering the person or situation to our already present, caring God. These are too mysterious and complicated for me to carry as my responsibility. If it were up to me I would be mute.
In my experience, petition and intercessory prayer are practiced in a state of uncertainty, vacillating between a strong belief in God and doubt.
Petition and intercessory prayers are part of our journey in coming into line with the desire of God’s heart.
purifying our longings, desires and motivations
embracing and welcoming our suffering in God’s grace and strength
The crucibles of petition and intercession hold our true prayer, practiced most effectively in relationship with others and God.
Finally, petition and intercessory prayers are profoundly beautiful gifts that God receives as worship. As we pray, at some level, we are acknowledging God’s capabilities and asking for the faith to trust God’s heart of love.
These notes were prepared by Steve Imbach for a presentation by Steve Imbach and Brad Jersak at Highland Community Church’s Focus Series on prayer: “Does God?” ( May 16, 2010). Used with permission