Intentional Intercession

Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.”—Daniel 2:17–18 (NIV)

I love today’s verse. It’s a great lesson that every single Christian, myself included, needs to learn (or relearn), embrace, and walk in. But before we get to it, I want to ask you a question: What’s the first thing you do when you encounter a crisis? What’s your first move when you come face-to-face with trouble and trials? 

For many, when a challenge hits and a trial comes, they’re first instinct is to try to handle it on their own. I’ve known a great many people who encounter a crisis and keep it to themselves. Instead of telling anyone, they internalize it and seek to deal with it without the help, encouragement, or advice of anyone else. I have seen people who receive a scary medical diagnosis and fail to share it with anyone because they didn’t want to worry or burden the people around them. I’ve seen family members fall into financial troubles and hide it from everyone because they’re embarrassed and prideful, not wanting “hands outs.” 

But today’s verse shows us a different approach to encountering difficulty. You see, Daniel was given this distressing news that all wise men of Babylon—he and his three friends were considered amongst the wise men—would be killed if they couldn’t tell the king his dream and interpret it for him. A seemingly impossible task for anyone. And what did he do? Did he go sulk? Did he get angry? Did he try to solve it on his own? Nope. Instead, he showed us what we must all do: He asked his friends, his ride-or-die fellow faithful brethren, to pray. 

Friends, there is no better move for us when we are faced with trouble than to seek the Lord’s will and direction in prayer and ask others to intercede for us in prayer. James 5:16 (NIV) encourages us to “pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Why? Because “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Ephesians 6:18 invites us to make supplication for all the saints.  

This is what the body of Christ is called to do: to bring our burdens to the saints, to bring them to our brothers and sisters and ask for intercession and fasting so we can seek the Lord’s will and way for us in our trials. Don’t try to solve your problems on your own. Don’t internalize them; leave your pride or your embarrassment at the door. Humble yourself before the mighty hand of the Lord, seek after Him, and ask your faithful friends to lift you up in prayer. God is faithful and He will hear you!

DIG: What is your first instinct when you encounter trials?

DISCOVER: Why was Daniel’s action in asking his friends to pray and intercede in this such a wise move? How have you seen the Lord move in the prayers of others to impact your life?

DO: Is there a trial or difficult circumstance you’re walking through right now? Seek out some godly friends and ask them to intercede. Do you know someone walking through a storm? Lift them up!