Often times we wonder if our prayers are being heard. We wonder if God is going to answer our prayers. Perhaps you have prayed for a lost loved one for years, or even decades, and you are tempted to give up. Don't! Do not give up on the power of prayer. Do not give up on the faithfulness of God. Consider the example that Scripture gives us. Do you remember the story of Abigail?
Abigail receives very little attention in the Scriptures. In fact, she basically is limited to this one chapter, 1 Samuel 25, but her part in redemptive history is extremely significant. She essentially saved her family from the wrath of David, and consequently, saved David from sinfully seeking his own vengeance.
In my sermon, Trusting the Power of Prayer, I laid out 5 truths that Abigail's intercession teaches us about prayer:
Prayer is God's Intent
Prayer Requires Action
Prayer Demonstrates Humility
Prayer Depends on Faithfulness
Prayer is Effective
How is your prayer life? Do you actually trust the power of prayer? Do you trust the God you are praying to? Are you interceding for those that you know and love that are facing the justly earned wrath of God?
Consider the gospel preview that Abigail gives us. Nabal is guilty and deserves the wrath of David. An innocent (relatively) mediator shows up, demonstrates humility, and intercedes on behalf of the guilty party (v25). Do you see it? Do you see the gospel? A sinless Jesus humbly comes to earth to intercede on behalf of the guilty party (me and you!). He pleads mercy for us, that we might not receive the wages we have justly earned; death (Romans 6:23). The difference though, is that in order to defer the wrath of God against sinners, Jesus offers himself as a sacrifice, absorbing God's judgment against sin.
Wait a minute. Now consider the idea of Christianity that Paul puts forth in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. He uses a unique term to describe Christians; Paul calls us ambassadors for Christ (v20). No, you are not the mediator, you are not the means of reconciliation, you are not the atonement for sins. Our role though, as those who trust that Jesus is the mediator, the means, and the atonement, is to be his ambassador and his representative. If you're not interceding, then what are you doing? GO! Go intercede. Pray to the one who executes wrath. Tell the guilty party of the wrath to come. Tell them of the grace available. Tell them to repent of their sin. Tell them trust in Jesus.
Spend some time this week meditating on the way that Jesus purposely came to intercede on your behalf. Pray for your lost loved ones that have yet to trust his intercession. Pray that they would see the Savior humbly stretched out before the wrath of God.
You can watch Trusting the Power of Prayer here, beginning at the 35:03 mark.