Love Powered Prayer

By Francis Frangipane

Love is the fire behind all intercession.  To perfect love, God unites us to other people; to empower prayer, He allows us to be vicariously identified with the sufferings of those we care for.  As it is written, "If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it" (1 Cor. 12:26).

If we cease to love, we will fail to pray.

Are you weary or vacillating in your prayer life? Return to the love God first gave you, whether that love was for your family or church, city or nation. Love will identify you with those you pray for; it will revive your intercession, and prayer empowered by love will "never fail.

Consider the prophet Daniel. Daniel loved the people of Israel. He loved the temple and the Holy Land. Although Daniel was not guilty of the sins of Israel, his prayer was an expression of his identification with the nation. Daniel put on sackcloth and ashes and sought the Lord with prayer and supplication. He prayed,
Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, and rebelled, even turning aside from Thy commandments and ordinances.  Daniel 9:4-5

Had Daniel sinned? No. But his love and identification with Israel made his repentance legitimate. Additionally, Daniel was faithful in his daily prayer for Israel he prayed all his life for the restoration of the nation. Consider: After a year or two our faithfulness begins to wane. But Daniel was faithful every day throughout his life!

When Darius passed a law forbidding petitions to any god or man other than himself, Daniel was not intimidated. We read,

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.  Daniel 6:10 nkj

Daniel was one of the first exiles from Israel to Babylon. We can imagine, in the terror and trauma of seeing one's society destroyed and its survivors enslaved and exiled, that Daniel's parents had firmly planted in his young heart Solomon's prayer, which embodied God's requirements for restoration:

When Thy people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against Thee, if they turn to Thee again and confess Thy name and pray and make supplication to Thee in this house, then hear Thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of Thy people Israel, and bring them back to the land which Thou didst give to their fathers.  1 Kings 8:33-34

Thus, Daniel prayed three times a day, every day, since his earliest years. He continued in prayer for nearly seventy years, until the time Jeremiah's prophecy came to pass!

You see, the work of God takes time. How long should we pray? We pray as long as it takes. Consider Anna, who ministered to the Lord in prayer and fasting in the temple for approximately sixty years, crying out to God until He sent the Messiah. Or Cornelius, whose "prayers and alms . . . ascended as a memorial before God" (Acts 10:4).  We do not understand how faithfulness in prayer releases the destiny of nations.  What sustained these champions of prayer? They loved God and loved the people of God.

Lord God, restore us to Your love. Your Word says that love never fails. Master, we know that we have failed often; we faint because we lose sight of love. Master, by Your grace, we purpose to identify those people that we love and then to be faithful in prayer until You touch them. We also purpose to follow Your leading until all the Christians in the city are united and crying to You in prayer. Help us, Father, to discern the power of love empowered prayer. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, "The Power of Covenant Prayer " available at www.arrowbookstore.com.