11 Mar The privilege of intercession
- Our prayers are powerful and impactful
“Break my heart for what breaks yours”, this is a line from Hillsong’s song: Hosanna, and it is a charged and strong statement. If you’ve ever prayed like this and you actually meant it, you know these are not words you can just throw around. God truly does start to make your heart feel what He feels. You begin to be more compassionate and act on it. When you see confused and lost people, you don’t look at them with contempt and ridicule them, instead, it hurts your heart, just like it hurts the heart of the Father. Whether you know someone personally or not, when the love of God deeply penetrates in your heart, you start to genuinely care about souls and when you see a person who is drowning in their sins and has no relationship with Jesus, your response becomes a prayer of intercession for them rather than mockery.
Intercession essentially means “the action of intervening on behalf of another”. Another definition is: “the action of saying a prayer on behalf of another person”. The emphasis is on the words “on behalf of”, because when we intercede, we are substantially pleading with God, not for ourselves but for another person. We are standing in the gap, almost being a mediator between God and that person in order for something to shift. We realize, they desperately need God’s intervention but in most cases they don’t know God personally, they don’t have a relationship with Him, so we call on the name of The Lord for them, that He might have mercy on them and extend His grace on their lives. Just like He had mercy on us while we were sinners. Did you know we are beneficiaries of someone’s intercession and outcry ? Did you know, your salvation is a result of somebody else’s prayers, it could be somebody in your life or somebody you will probably never know, somebody that may never get to see you in this life but had the boldness, had the audacity to believe that his/her prayers could positively impact a soul? Dare to have Faith to persevere and firmly believe that God can turn things around. Do it on behalf of your neighbor and your friends, on behalf of your family members who are not saved, on behalf of your city and your country, on behalf of your generation, do it on behalf of strangers and lost souls – your prayers are never in vain and God will surely reward you.
1 Timothy 2:1 “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…”
As born again Christians, we enjoy the privilege of having a heart-to-heart interaction with our Heavenly Father, we can passionately and earnestly engage in prayers on behalf of other people, we can negotiate with Him, we can present our case and our requests before Him based on His Word, in regards to any situation and He will answer us. Abraham pleaded with God on behalf of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Although their sin was grave and grievous to God, Abraham, having been called “a friend of God”, confidently and boldly dared to bargain with Him, knowing that He would have mercy and spare the city if He found righteous people. Intercessory prayer is a familiar language in heaven, even Jesus is currently sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us, isn’t that something?
Romans 8:34 “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
Hebrews 7:25 “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
2. Pray in the Spirit
Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
The Bible says to pray in the Spirit, therefore praying in the Spirit is a command and an indispensable part of the christian life. We may not know what to pray for, who to pray for and in some cases, we don’t know what to say. Sometimes we merely say a bunch of meaningless words just for the sake of talking – we say our prayers, but our heart is not in it. There is no passion, no connection, no fervour and no faith. But when we engage our heart and we pray in the spirit, our prayers will have a powerful impact – souls will be saved, bodies will be healed, burdens will be lifted, people will be edified and lives will be mightily transformed.
Jude 1:20 “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
3. God’s plan vs the Devil’s plan
While God’s will and plan consist of giving us hope, a good future, abundant and ultimately eternal life, the devil’s plan is the exact opposite. In fact, Satan’s evil plan is to steal, kill, destroy, devour and deceive the people that God loves. Thus, we get to choose which one of these two plans will be concretely executed in our lives. There are conditions though. On one hand, if we remain passive and complacent and assume that the will of God will automatically be done in our lives, we will be disappointed. God gave us free will and will not intervene unless He is invited in. On the other hand, if we diligently pray that the will of God be applied then The Lord will act on our behalf.
In order for the perfect will of God to be completed in the world, as His children, we must do our part. We have to be faithful and obedient to the call and be willing to be used by Him and partner with Him to bring forth Heaven’s mission on earth. If no one is willing, the work of the Lord may never be fulfilled.
Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
The only deciding factor between God’s will and Satan’s plan is your spirit-filled, heartfelt, consistent and unceasing PRAYER, so stay prayed up!