Prayer Partner Ministry

A Lesson in Intercession

Parable of the Needy Friend–Luke 11:3-13

The elements of true intercession are illustrated in this parable told by Jesus. A man received a surprise visit from a friend in the middle of the night. His friend was starving but this man had no food in his house. Notice the elements involved in praying for others:

1-Urgent need: The friend was hungry and needed immediate food.

2-Willing love: The poor man loved his friend and wanted to supply his need.

3-The sense of inability: ‘I have nothing to give!'’

4-Faith in asking: ‘But I have a rich friend who will be glad to give.’

5-Persistence that prevailed: The poor man met an unexpected obstacle. The rich friend objected to being disturbed at an inconvenient time. But the same love that sent the poor man out at midnight to find bread for his hungry friend would not let him give up. He kept on asking until the rich friend gave what he asked for.

6-Certainty of a rich reward: Unlike the rich friend in the parable, God delights to answer prayer. Sometimes He delays the answer to increase our faith or we do not readily recognize the answer. But the door is always opened and the bread given.

So I say to you: Ask (and keep on asking) and it will be given to you; seek (and keep on seeking) and you will find; knock (and keep on knocking) and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks (and keeps on asking) finds; he who seeks (and keeps on seeking) finds; and to him who knocks (and keeps on knocking) the door will be opened. Luke 11:9, 10, NIV, with additions from the Amplified Bible.

Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work. Prayer alone gives work its worth and its success. Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do his work in us and through us. Let our chief work as God's messengers be intercession; in it we secure the presence and power of God to go with us.

…In the darkness of midnight, at the most unlikely time and in the greatest need, when we have to say of those we love and care for, ‘I have nothing to set before them,’ let us remember that we have a rich Friend in heaven. The Everlasting God and Father only waits to be asked aright. Andrew Murray, The Ministry of Intercession, page 33-34.

How did God the Father speak to His Son when He became a human being? Did Jesus hear an audible voice or did He hear with the inward voice of the Holy Spirit as we do? All that we can know of this is what we read in scripture.

The Bible records three times that God spoke audibly to His son:

  1. At His baptism
  2. On the Mount of transfiguration
  3. In the outer court of the temple just before Gethsemane

The third time, Jesus told the people around Him that the audible voice was for their benefit, not His (John 12:30). Evidently Jesus received as much strength from scripture and the inward voice of the Holy Spirit as when He heard His Father's audible voice.

How did Jesus daily hear His Father's voice in answer to His prayer?

In just the same way that you and I do–from reading scripture and from the inward voice of the Holy Spirit.