Week 5: Love
Welcome to our study of the first fruit of the Spirit–LOVE. Let’s allow the Lord to plant seeds of love for others in the fertile soil of our hearts this month. Let’s begin by digging up verses of truth in the Word…
Read: Luke 8:40-42; 49-56
Topic: Intercessory Prayer
Memory Verse: “But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well’” (Luke 8:50 NKJV).
Examine: God plants seeds of love in our hearts for others who are sick or suffering. He calls us to pray for others and intercede on their behalf.
But how powerful is intercessory prayer?
During Week 2, we studied about Jairus, who had persuaded Jesus to come to his home to heal his dying twelve-year-old daughter. As they pressed through the throngs of people, Jesus suddenly stopped and addressed a woman with an issue of blood who had been healed by touching the hem of His tallit or prayer shawl.
After they had resumed their walk, one of Jairus’s servants came running with a report that Jairus’s daughter had just died and not to trouble the Teacher any longer. “Do not be afraid, only believe and she will be made well,” Jesus answered (verse 50), and “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping” (verse 52).
Although the mourners ridiculed Jesus for His words, the Lord took His three closest disciples and the girl’s parents into the room where she lay. “But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.’ Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat” (Luke 8:54-55).
Discuss: Does someone you know have a situation or illness that appears hopeless?
Intercessory prayer tills the soil where God plants miracles Others may express disbelief, but we should model Jesus who ignored the naysayers. His miracles always bring glory to the Father and prove His identity as the Son of God.
Notice how faith works concerning both pleas for healing in Luke 8. The woman with the issue of blood reached out to touch Jesus’s tassels on the edge of His tallit. Hers was an example of direct prayer on her own behalf–not of intercession. Many people were pressing against Jesus in the crowd, and He hadn’t been aware of her presence until after He had felt power go out of Him. She had seized and received her healing through her great faith.
“And He said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace'” (Luke 8:48 NKJV).
But the little girl couldn’t reach out–Jesus came to her bedside and touched her on behalf of her father’s intercession.
Isn’t it wonderful to realize that we, as intercessors, have the power to bring Jesus to the bedside of those for whom we pray?
Does a situation look impossible? That’s no reason to be discouraged or to give up.
Our job is to keep praying and interceding on behalf of others. Jesus may be ready to perform miraculous healings in answer to our prayers, according to His perfect will. What a glorious day of rejoicing when we witness His healing touch!
How has your life been changed through intercessory prayer?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for showing us Your perfect love through answering intercessory prayer. Erase our doubts by helping us grow in our faith so that we believe in Your miracles. May we not only reach out and touch the hem of Your garment for our healing, but may we faithfully intercede on behalf of others. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.