On 25th of July, Dr Bradley Stuart – founder and director of Yada International – came to New Life Restoration Centre to share about the importance of intercession and prayer to God, based on God’s Word. Yada International provides resources to help the Body of Christ to know God’s destiny for them through intimacy with Him.
Organized jointly by Malaysia National Prayer Nurturing (MNPN) and Malaysian Youth Prayer Gathering (MYPG), the event was held to raise intercessors and prayer warriors amongst the young people. About two-third of the 158 participants were under 35 years old with the youngest aged 12 years old.
Dr Bradley began by sharing that Jesus Christ is our high priest who constantly intercedes for us at the right hand of God. Scripture tell us, “Therefore He (Jesus Christ) is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb 7:25 NASB)
And during His ministry here on earth, Jesus was zealous for the Father’s house of prayer. (John 2:17) That is why Jesus made a scourge of cords and drove all the merchandisers away from the temple of Jerusalem, at the beginning of His ministry. In anger, He said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.” (Matt 21:12-13) He remembered the Word of God written by prophet Isaiah, which says, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” (Isa 56:7) Hence, we can see from Scripture how God desires for all men to come into His house of prayer even before Jesus came.
The Church of Malaysia needs to understand their responsibility in praying and interceding for this nation. Isaiah 59:1-2 tells us that God’s hand is not too short to save or His ear too dull to hear. Yet, the iniquities of a nation can make a separation between God and us, and our sins can hide His Face so that He does not hear. (Isa 56:2)
But God also says, “If ‘My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’” (2 Chronicles 7:14-15) Hence, may we not be like the Israelites during the time of Ezekiel, where God searched for a man who would stand in the gap before Him for the land but He could find no one. (Eze 22:30)
That is why God will be raising intercessors to stand in the gap in Malaysia! This is because God has plans for this nation, “plans for welfare and not for calamity,” plans to give us “a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11-12) He says, ““You will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to You. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer 29:12-13), and “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3) From His Word, we know that God the Father desires for us to pray and intercede, especially now for our nation.
Not only God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ also encourages and motivates us to pray. When Jesus went up on the mountain to teach the Beatitudes, He said to the crowds, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt 7:7-8) While teaching and healing in the cities and villages, Jesus was compelled by compassion to urge his disciples to pray for God to send out workers into the harvest field. (Matt 9:37-38) And before Jesus was arrested for His crucifixion, He said to Peter who was found sleeping, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt 26:40-41) From Scripture, we know that Jesus desires for us to pray.
Finally, God the Holy Spirit inspires and equips us to pray. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.” (John 14:16) He continued saying, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26) The Greek word for “Helper” is paraklētos, which is to be called to one’s side or one’s aid. In other words, the Holy Spirit want to lock arms and walk with us side-by-side. Paraklētos also means one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, like an intercessor or an advocate.
Hence, if we do not how to pray or have the words to pray, pray in the Holy Spirit because the Spirit will help us to pray. Romans 8:26-27 says, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Prayers is so important because battles are won on our knees in prayer and are rewarded by the Lord. Psalm 68:12 says, “Kings of armies flee, they flee, and she who remains at home will divide the spoil!” This verse means that the Israelite men of war would fight in the battle, while the women would intercede for the battle at home. And when the men win the battle and return home, the women would “divide the spoil” from the war. Hence, there is a blessing in interceding. And we can only receive as much as we intercede and pray on our knees.
Closing the topic, Dr Bradley stressed that everything must be born out of an intimacy with God because only intimacy – not works or deeds – can produce a relationship with God. Intimacy means that we know God’s heart so well from spending time with Him, that we would do as He does and speak as He commands. (John 5:19; John 12:49) Thus, when we are intimate with God, we began to pray according to His Will and see His Will is done. And through an intimate relationship with Him, we become partners in fulfilling His Will on earth. God desires for us to pray and intercede from a place of intimate relationship with Him.
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)
For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. (John 12:49)
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
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