Home        
     
Lesson Archive Links Beliefs Recommended Books About Us

 Intercession - What It Is

John Hoole October 17, 24 & 31, 2004


Luke 11:1 NKJV

1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."

From this Passage, we learn that both John the Baptist and Jesus taught people how to pray. In this passage, and many others we will address and read, we can conclude that prayer - like tying our shoelaces - is something we have to be taught. And it is something we should learn early on in our walk with the Lord.

Jesus taught about prayer on many occasions, one of which was on the Mount of Beatitudes. It was on this mount that Jesus' longest recorded sermon was given.

WHAT IS THAT SERMON MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS?

It is called The Sermon on the Mount. The most complete record of that sermon is found in Matthew 5, 6 & 7. In that lengthy sermon, Jesus addressed dozens of issues. I can think of only two topics Jesus addressed more than once during this sermon. One is the subject of righteousness:

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."

Matthew 5:20 "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (NKJV)

Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." NKJV

The other subject Christ addresses more than once in the Sermon on the Mount is the subject of Prayer.

In Matthew 7:7-12 (NKJV), we find these words.

7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, beginning with Matthew 6:5, and continuing through verse 15, Jesus also speaks of prayer. In the middle of this passage is where we find the Lord's Prayer, or the model prayer that Jesus gave in answer to the disciple's request to teach them to pray. Early in this prayer, we are admonished to pray that God's "will be done on earth as it is in heaven." And a huge part of God's will being done on earth was Jesus coming to be one of us.

So, to understand prayer more fully, we need to realize what it was that Jesus came to do. That will allow our prayers to express God's purpose as Christ revealed it.

To help us, let me summarize the whole of the Bible in eight statements.

1. God created man to enjoy earth and inhabit it as a king does his domain.

-- unhindered by any power that would diminish the quality of life God had given.

2. Mankind's rule over the earth - though it was God-given and God-ordained - was lost through disobedience.

The control of the planet was forfeited to Satan whose goal is to deprive man of God's intended purpose and destroy all hope of recovery.

3. God established Israel to teach man His desires for man's recovered rulership.

By renewed obedience to God, joyous and peaceful living may again be realized both personally and nationally.

4. Against a backdrop of man's failure to learn this lesson, God entered the human scene.

-- "The Word became Flesh!" The life, which was the light of man, shone into the darkness. The Word spoke!

5. He spoke consistently of a kingdom.

"The kingdom of God is immediately at hand," Jesus proclaimed. He spoke authoritatively of the fact that the earth's original ruler - God - was available. If man would receive his King, he could again enjoy a renewed dominion of peace and joy here and now.

6. For His claim to be God's Messiah, here to restore God's rule, He was crucified.

But by a power unknown to man, the very blood shed on the cross, became the means of breaking Satan's hold on the power of death.

7. The ultimate message of the Bible is that Christ will return to drive out the last vestiges of Satan's operations on earth.

BUT: in between #6 and #7 Jesus rose again and commissioned His forces - He called them "a church" - to restore God's life-giving rulership to bear upon Satan's life-destroying rulership.

8. While waiting for His return, His church has been commissioned to walk the pathway to restored rulership.

Jesus has committed the "key of the kingdom" to those who know and obey Him. These keys are fitted to:

a. Stop hell's worst and insist on heaven's best.

b. Unlock mankind's captives and shatter Satan's chains.

Almost everyone knows that the Lord Jesus Christ promised to return again. But too few of us realize that in the interim we are not merely charged to witness of His love while waiting for His return. The Sermon on the Mount is only one example of being commanded to introduce His rulership - The kingdom of God - into every circumstance of life. This includes circumstances in which man's lost rule has produces impossible situations.

Christ's whole life presents a clear picture of two kingdoms in opposition. That picture may be seen in instances where:

o Truth confronts the universal Liar - Satan
o Reality exposes the sham of religiosity
o Health crashes into the domain of sickness
o Deliverance unshackles spiritual Bondage
o Love overflows the depths of Human Fear
o Forgiveness expels the condemnation which Guilt produces
o Wholeness expands the constriction which Sin works.

The substance of His teaching is given force by the triumph of His cross. In becoming the ultimate casualty of sin - God dying for man - He reduced the impact of death in whatever form it may take.

o Death to the soul, which sin works,
o Death of hope, which despair brings,
o Death of love, which strife produces,
o Death of understanding, which bigotry accomplished,
o Death of comfort, with which pain torments us,
o Death of body, which is humankind's final blow.

All these forms of death are severely blunted and even reversed in Christ's work on the cross. Those operations of the kingdom of darkness and hell took the life of the King of all. If there were ever an ultimate impossibility, it was in a sealed tomb in Jerusalem 20 centuries ago. Every casualty of life - its frustrations, dilemmas, weaknesses, temptations, sinnings, sicknesses, pains, sorrows, heartaches and hopelessness - is to be served notice:

He happened for you!

Jesus, by being the ultimate casualty, has swallowed up all other hell-workings in himself and, triumphing over them in His cross, has risen from the dead. The total inability of hell's prince to contain heaven's King, unfolds and provides to us the practical implications of what Christ came to do. Jesus is proclaiming, "this world is not irretrievably trapped by its own limitations." He says, "since I have triumphed over death, you may learn and are now able to rule in life." --- not only in your own life, but you can become a source of triumph in the lives of others. There is a world waiting in the wings. It is in this context that prayer begins to take shape.

For the past 5˝ months, we have been investigating what the Bible says about prayer, and our responsibility in it. Early on, we identified prayer as more than a single-dimension of "asking" God for something. It becomes a multifaceted weapon through supplication, intercession, praise, thanksgiving, travail, petition and worship.

We have looked briefly at each of these facets, or forms, of prayer. But today I want to look more deeply into one of them. For our past three lessons, we have been addressing what it means to "pray for others." We especially looked at how to pray for other people, when they have a will of their own.

Today, we will be looking at one very important aspect of praying for others. We are going to look at the subject of INTERCESSION.

In Ephesians 6, we find the single greatest passage in the Bible on the subject of spiritual warfare. The final exhortation to those who will put on the "whole armor of God," is "Praying with all prayer and supplication for all saints…." It is clear from this passage and many more, including The Sermon on the Mount, that we will win the battle and being havoc on Satan's kingdom only through prayer.

No bastion will fall without a battle, but, I am also convinced no battle will be lost if our warfare is fought according to the Captain's commands.

o "Watch and pray."
o "This kind comes out only by prayer and fasting."
o "Men ought always to pray and not to faint."
o "Pray without ceasing."
o "Praying with all prayer….."

Prayer is the one thing that should come so naturally to Christians. Yet, it is neglected by many. When asked, almost every Christian will say he or she does not pray enough.

Prayer can be the most powerful weapon in the Christian's arsenal, but often it lies rusted and unused, last in his or her list of priorities. Prayer in the congregation is the root structure of the tree which God wants to grow in His Church. We like to see the upward visible growth occurring in our Church. But every upward growth must be balance with an increased downward root system. This downward root system is increased by intensified prayer & intercession.

Currently, the Body of Christ worldwide is growing at a rate of over 4-5% per year. That's 2 times the rate of our global population. Meanwhile, Islam is growing globally at a rate slightly over 2% a year. And almost all their growth is from their birth rate, not from new converts.

For Christians, those growth rates are encouraging. However, those statistics are not reflective of the situation in North America. In North America, the Body of Christ has not enjoyed notable growth in over 20 years. On the other hand, Islam is gaining rapid acceptance in many cities of North America.

What's the difference? There are probably many reason, but one obvious one is that Christians throughout the world are embracing intercessory prayer as a way of life and in those areas are experiencing powerful growth. I believe that, while Christians in North America still view intercession as a nice thing to do, it is not recognized as a necessity for survival.

HOW MANY OF YOU KNOW WHAT THE "10-40 WINDOW" IS?

The "10-40 Window" is a rectangular area of the globe extending from 10 degrees to 40 degrees North Latitude, across Africa on its west, to the Pacific Ocean on its east. In October of 1993, the United Prayer Track of the AD2000 movement asked Christians all over the world to pray for the 62 countries of the "10/40 Window." To the surprise of Christian leaders worldwide, over 21 million Christians from over 100 nations agreed to intercede daily for revival in these spiritually needy countries. That prayer effort has become known as Prayer Through the Window I.

Then in October of 1995, the United Prayer Track asked Christians to pray for the 100 gateway cities located within the 10/40 Window. It was believed that God wanted to touch entire populations of cities with His glory. In response to that request, over 36 million intercessors from over 120 nations prayed every day for a month for revival in these strategic cities. That was Prayer Through the Window II.

In 1997 they completed Prayer Through the Window III, where 40-60 million intercessors prayed every day for an entire month for the 1,739 least evangelized people groups in the world.

Each of these prayer efforts staggered the projections of missions experts because no one ministry has ever been able to coordinate so many intercessors on behalf of the lost of the world. Not only have these efforts focused more attention on the lost, but each effort has also been followed by notable spiritual activity throughout the 10/40 Window.

Just as one example, since the prayer effort began in 1994, the body of Christ in the Buddhist Kingdom of Nepal has doubled every year since. Not all the nations within the 10/40 Window have enjoy this explosive growth, but all have experienced substantive spiritual activity - largely because of intercessory prayer.

Unfortunately, these and other prayer efforts are more quickly embraced in other countries than in North American for a reason. We do not think we need prayer-intercession. We do not think it is necessary for survival. I hope that is changing - I think that it is.

Dr. C. Peter Wagner states in his book, Churches That Pray,….

"A prayer movement that greatly surpasses anything like it in living memory, perhaps in all of Christian history, is rapidly gaining momentum. In all the years I have ministered to pastors across America, I have never seen prayer so high on their collective agendas."

Dozens of prayer ministries are finally springing up all over North America, as well as around the world.

Cindy Jacobs' --- "Generals of Intercession" David Bryant's -- "Concerts of Prayer" Esther Ilniskey's -- "Esther Network International" Gary Bergel's -- "Intercessors for America"

Dr. Joseph Aldrich's Prayer Summits started in Portland, Oregon, are now being held in over 200 cities in America alone.

A few years ago, David Yonggi Cho, from Korea, made a statement which the Church in America needs to consider. He stated that in America he found the churches to be excellent in management, administration and music...but very poor in prayer. In Korea the pastors pray two to four hours a day and see great results. In America we sing, manage and administrate - often with very poor results.

What a challenge that places before us. But the Holy Spirit is on a mission of prayer revival.

Wayman Rudges states:

"The ministry of prayer is the most important of all the ministries in the church. Prayer creates the atmosphere and binds the powers of darkness so the gospel of Jesus can go forward."

Many of you have heard the following, but it is worth repeating. Today, in America, the church has:

Many organizers, few agonizers
Many players and payers, few prayers,
Many singers, few clingers,
Many pastors, few wrestlers,
Many fears, few tears,
Much fashion, little passion,
Many interferers, few intercessors,
Many writers, but few fighters.

WHAT IS INTERCESSION?

Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Intercession is "the act of petitioning God or prayer on behalf of another person or group." The word "intercede" is derived from the Latin word "inter" which means "between" and "cedere" which means "go". Therefore to intercede literally means to go between two parties.

Let me expand upon this definition of intercession. Intercession is an act of:

1. Putting yourself sacrificially in someone else's situation…by having compassion on their physical and spiritual condition, willingly sacrificing for others: your time, your effort, and pain - even physical life itself, if providence dictates - in like fashion as Jesus did for us. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend."

2. Laying claim to the Promises of God,…which will so richly answer the problem. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom." (Col. 3:16)

3. Persevering in faith until the petition is answered. As Jacob said: "I will not let thee go, except Thou bless me." (Gen. 32:26)

4. Making oneself available to be a channel unto the Lord,…to pray for His burden and His concern, through our spirit by the Holy Spirit. We are to work with God in what is a burden to Him.

With these added statements about Intercession, let's again define what it is. Intercession is the self-sacrificial work of ouring one's self out for others in prayer.

Full Life Bible (Margin Notes)

"Intercession may be defined as holy, believing, persevering prayer whereby someone pleads with God on behalf of another or others who desperately need God's intervention."

An intercessor is one who takes the place of another or pleads another's case before God.

THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF INTERCESSION

The Biblical basis for the New Testament believer's ministry of intercessory prayer is our calling as priests unto God. The Word of God declares that we are:

o A holy priesthood (I Peter 2:5),

o A royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9),

o And a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:5).

The background for understanding this calling to priestly intercession is found in the Old Testament example of the Levitical priesthood. The priest's responsibility was to stand before and between. He stood before God to minister to Him with sacrifices and offerings. The priests also stood between a righteous God and sinful man bringing them together at the place of the blood sacrifice.

Hebrews 7:ll-19 explains the difference between the Old and New Testament ministries of the priest. The Old Testament Levitical priesthood was passed on from generation to generation through the descendants of the tribe of Levi. "The Melchizedek priesthood" spoken of in this passage in Hebrews, is the "new order" of spiritual priests of whom the Lord Jesus is the High Priest. It is passed on to us through His blood and our spiritual birth as new creatures in Christ.

CHRIST - THE MODEL INTERCESSOR

The Bible records that God's purpose in sending Jesus was for Him to serve as an intercessor. Isn't that what we find in Isaiah 53?

Isaiah 53:12 NKJV

12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Jesus stood before God and between Him and sinful man, just as the Old Testament priests did. On the cross, He was our intercessor.

BUT, DID JESUS STOP BEING OUR INTERCESSOR WHEN HE WENT BACK TO HEAVEN? Absolutely not.

The High Priestly office of Christ consists of two parts.

1. The offering up of the sacrifice for sins.

2. Making continual intercession for us.

1. The offering up of the sacrifice for sins.

One difference between the Old Testament priest and Christ was that Christ is of a different order of priests. The Old Testament priests, as well as priests like Caiaphas and others in the New Testament, were all part of the order of the Levitical priesthood.

OF WHAT ORDER OF PRIESTHOOD IS CHRIST?

According to Hebrews 7:17, Christ is "...a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." Another huge difference between the Priesthood of Christ and the O. T. Levitical priesthood, was that Christ not only offered up a sacrifice for sins before God, but He became the sacrifice.

Hebrews 9:11-12 NKJV

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Not only does He offer up to God a sacrifice for sin, and thereby acts as our intercessor, that function of acting on our behalf didn't end when He left earth.

2. He makes continual intercession for us.

Stay in the same chapter we just read from in Hebrews.

Hebrews 9:24 NKJV

24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

He is today appearing before the presence of God in Heaven on our behalf.

CAN YOU THINK OF SOME SCRIPTURES VERIFYING THAT CHRIST IS AN INTERCESSOR TODAY?

I John 2:1 (NIV)

1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. (KJV = "advocate")

Today, Jesus is our advocate - our attorney before the bar of heaven - on our behalf (in our defense). When Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren, points his finger and says to the Father, "Did you see what John Hoole did - he deserves death!" Jesus then steps forward to give my defense, and says "John's sin has been covered by My own blood. Therefore, John should be granted life, not death." He intercedes on my behalf.

Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)

25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

He is praying and interceding for you and me to the Father. Intercession is part of Christ's mediatorial work.

1 Tim. 2:5, "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

Ephesians 2:18 (NKJV) For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

In John 14:16, Jesus said He would "pray (intercede) the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter that He may abide with you for ever."

Romans 8:34, "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us."

You and I do well to desire to become like Jesus, and pattern our life after His. But we never will unless we become like him in praying -- interceding for others.

Jesus is the Ultimate Intercessor. In the beginning, man and God has a close relationship. But, when Adam and Eve sinned, a great gulf separated man from God. On the cross, Jesus bridged the gap, so that we could have a restored access and fellowship with God.

In becoming our intercessor:

1. Jesus left the comfort and glory of Heaven.

2. He took our nature and our place in life.

3. He became a servant.

4. He allowed himself to be subject to death. In other words, He completely poured out himself for those He interceded for.

5. He got results - and is bringing many to glory as a result of what He has done.

The word 'pray/prayer/praying' are mentioned 375 times in the Bible. But the words 'intercede/intercession' are mentioned only 13 times. However, true intercession on the part of people occur many more times than it is actually referred to as such. That being said, it is still true that genuine intercession appears to be a rare jewel.

CAN YOU THINK OF THOSE IN THE BIBLE, OTHER THAN CHRIST, WHO WERE INTERCESSORS?

The Bible has many cases of people standing up for others before God. In the Bible, the first mention of the word "to intercede" was when Pharaoh is under God's righteous judgment and a plague of frogs covers the land. Pharaoh asks Moses to plead with God on his behalf.

Exodus 8:8-9 NASB

8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, "Entreat the LORD that He remove the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD."
9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, "The honor is yours to tell me: when shall I entreat for you and your servants and your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, that they may be left only in the Nile?"

In this translation, the words "Entreat the Lord" or "entreat for you" is used. But it is the same Hebrew word that is elsewhere translated "intercede." The New King James Version actually uses the word "intercede." In verse 9, the words in the NKJV are, "I will intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people."

And in verse 12, we read, "And Moses cried out to the Lord concerning the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. So the Lord did according to the words of Moses."

From this particular story, we can learn a little more about "intercession." We can see certain key principles:

1. There is a "gap" between the subject (Pharaoh) and God.

2. The intercessor can identify with the subject. Moses had been raised in the household of Pharaoh for 40 years.

3. The intercessor can identify with God. On 6 occasions, Moses is called a man of God, so he could identify with God and he had the ear of God.

4. The intercessor "cries" out to the Lord, entreating Him on behalf of the subject (Pharaoh).

5. And the intercessor attains a place of authority in the situation (see also Deut 9:19).

Actually, there were many occasions where Moses stood in the gap between the people of Israel and God. In Exodus 32, we read how the children of Israel had fallen into idolatry by worshiping a golden calf. God told Moses, "let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them…"

Instead of leaving the Lord, Moses reminded God of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He pleads for God's mercy instead of His wrath and anger. In Exodus 32:32, Moses pleads with God to forgive the people's sin, even if it meant the blotting of Moses' name out of God's book. Thankfully, God didn't take Moses up on that part of his offer.

Here we see the heart of an intercessor laid bare. Moses was willing to take upon himself the consequence that was due the people.

Psalms 106:23 (NKJV) describes this incident.

23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, To turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them.

The ministry of intercession is summed up in the statement that Moses "stood before Him in the breach." Israel's spiritual defenses had been breached by their sin. But Moses interposed himself and stood in the breach, and by doing so, He held back the judgment of God.

God delights to show mercy, but He is reluctant to administer judgment. Therefore, in each situation where judgment is due, God looks for an intercessor who can hold back the judgment.

Look at Ezekiel 22 for a passage that corroborates the fact that God holds back judgment if He finds an intercessor. One of the best known description of the intercessor is Ezekiel 22:29-30. NKJV

29 The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger.
30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

God was willing to show mercy if one man of God could have been found who would stand before Him on their behalf, but He could not find even one.

Early in Isaiah, chapter 59, we find a detailed list of the sins of the people of Israel. But the climax to it all comes in verse 16. Isaiah 59:l6 tells us, And He [God] saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor:

The fact that there was not even one person to intercede actually caused wonderment to the heart of God. The fact that there was no one to stand in the gap seemed to grieve God more than all the sins previously listed.

Ponder that statement: "(He) wondered that there was no intercessor." Is the same true today. There are plenty who complain, or condemn, or criticize about the things they see, but where are those who will intercede?

Is God seeing the sins of America, and how, as a nation, we are moving away from Him? And is He, because of America's sins, about to pour out judgment on us? But before he releases it, he first looks for an intercessor(s), who will cause Him to withhold His anger.

WHO ELSE IN THE BIBLE WERE INTERCESSORS?

Abraham

On one occasion, Abraham intercedes for his firstborn son, Ishmael, where he pleads with God to let him become the heir of the promises given to Abraham (Genesis 17:18).

Another example of Abraham was where he interceded with God on behalf of Sodom. He cared enough to do it, even though he knew how thoroughly wicked Sodom was. He could not save Sodom and Gomorrah from God's judgment, because he couldn't find 10 righteous people in the city. But, Lot and his family were saved because of the efforts of Abraham.

Esther

Esther stood in that dangerous gap for her own people. And in her intercession, she gained a place of authority before the King.

Isaiah

Isaiah prayed with King Hezekiah to save the nation from defeat and destruction at the hands of Assyria. The Assyrian armies were suddenly turned back (Isaiah, ch. 36 - 39)

Stephen

His last words were imploring God not to lay the charge of his death to his persecutor's account.

Paul

Paul prayed constantly for the early struggling church.

Epaphras

I want you to consider this person. He is probably not a well-known character of the Bible. But Paul holds him in high regard.

Colossians 4:12 NIV

12 Epaphras, who is one of you…

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN - "WHO IS ONE OF YOU?"

Most likely, it meant Epaphras was a member of the Colossian congregation. Some scholars believe, because of Colossians 1:7-8, that Epaphras might have been the pastor of this church.

Let's continue our reading.

Colossians 4:12 NIV

12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

Epaphras was a "prayer wrestler" in behalf of the church in Colossae. He interceded for others. From the prayer of Jabez, we learn how to pray for ourselves. From Epaphras, we learn how to pray for others.

I have one more Scriptural example of an intercessor.

The Holy Spirit

We need to be aware that when we intercede, we never really pray alone. When you intercede for God to act to strengthen, heal, defend, change, or bless them, there is someone else praying with you - The Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:26-27 NKJV

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

The Holy Spirit is an intercessor on our behalf.

WHO IS TO BE AN INTERCESSOR?

In a very strict sense, Jesus is the only true mediator between God and mankind (1 Tim. 2:5). So, unless we are in Christ, we cannot intercede in prayer for others. But while Christ is the only true mediator, we do read of Paul's prayers where he was interceding on behalf of the churches. He also told us to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

I believe 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NIV), teaches us all to be intercessors.

1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--
2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

Among other forms of coming to God's throne, intercession is mentioned. We are instructed to plead the cause of another person or group of people. Another way to look at it is that intercession might be defined as love on its knees in prayer for others.

The Bible tells us that Jesus needs us in this partnership of intercession.

Ephesians 6:18 NKJV

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints -

Isaiah 58:6 - "Is not this the fast that I have chosen [for you to observe]? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke." This is talking about intervening before God on behalf of others.

Isaiah 1:17 - "Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."

This is the last verse of the passage that lists the Christian's armor, which we are all to put on. He ends with the instruction to pray "for all the saints."

Intercession can be one of the most exciting, creative and rewarding experiences in your Christian life. In your prayer closet, you can pray around the world. Although intercessors are not often publicly rewarded or recognized for their service, they are a vital part of any growing church or ministry. Their faithful dedication to intercession creates a foundation that allows the Lord to work in mighty ways.

   
New Life Church Website
   
Questions, comments & suggestions to John Hoole

Last Updated: Thursday September 08 2011
©2001 John's Notes