“Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.” Isaiah 59:15b-17 (NKJV)
Intercession-n. [L. intercessio an intervention, a becoming surety: cf. F. intercession. See Intercede.]
The act of interceding; mediation; interposition between parties at variance, with a view to reconciliation; prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of, or (less often) against, another or others.
But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which can not be uttered. Rom. viii. 26.
(Webster’s 1828 Dictionary-1913 definition)
“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. 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.” Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV)
During a recent conversation with my daughter, we talked much about prayer–how God answers and how God moves. Both of us have had a number of experiences with intercessory prayer and results which didn’t always turn out as anticipated.
We talked about one incident where the Holy Spirit moved on me to intercede in prayer for someone we both knew. He was going through a particularly difficult time and was struggling to hold on to the victory he knew was in Christ for that situation. I remember that day so vividly. I was standing in my kitchen ironing and praying about the situation (along with a few other issues). For some reason God seems to speak to me while I am doing the mundane things of life: ironing, vacuuming, washing dishes, taking a shower. This day was no different. God and I were having one of our “conversations,” when prayer rose from deep within my spirit. As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew this was a prayer which had transacted business in the spiritual realm. Sure enough, about three months later, that prayer came to pass, although not exactly in the way I had expected.
I have had this kind of experience before: so many years, so many prayers, but only a handful like the one mentioned above. God works in profound ways as a result of intercessory prayer; the Old and New Testaments full of examples of men and women who understood the power of prayer. Why is prayer like this not more frequent for us as believers today?
Do we just pray perfunctorily so we can check one more item off our Christian “to do” list?
Do we actually pray like we believe prayer has power and is heard in the very throne room of heaven?
How seriously do we take our commitment to intercede when we are asked to pray for others or see an obvious need?
Jesus Christ laid down His life for us on the cross at Calvary. He knew what it would cost and yet His great love moved Him to pay that price anyway. He now acts as our continuous intercessor.
It is an honor and privilege for us to follow His example, laying down our lives by loving others enough to intercede in prayer,
No matter what the cost,
No matter what the result.
“But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.” Hebrews 7:24-28 (NKJV)
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