Sunday, July 27, 2008

Prayer of Intercession

Prayer of Intercession

By Abraham Israel

Intercession is nothing but praying back the Heart of God back to Him. To intercede means ‘to stand in the gap between two persons’. God always seeks a man to stand in the gap to ask Him for mercy (Ezekiel 22:30; Micah 7:18-20). God does not seek for public audience but for a private intimate audience. Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant, we as His Body and members of his Body which works on earth, we act along with Him. Oh! What a Privilege! Moses pleaded God to restrain his hand from judgment and asked God to forgive the Israelites. If Moses had not acted by interceding for the people of Israel, God would have surely destroyed the Israelites for their sin of Idolatry (Psalm 106:23; Exodus 32:11-14). God gave in to the honest heartfelt plea of Moses and restrained His judgment.

In the book of Ezekiel God’s heart was broken and he cried out because of His merciful heart saying ‘Is there not even one person to stand in the gap to avert My judgment, I find no intercessor even though I search for one because I passionately want to forgive My people’. Here we see the merciful heart of God crying out to shower His mercy upon His people. Still He could not show mercy until He finds His man who understands God and His merciful heart which is like a father’s heart towards his children (Ps 103:13, 17-18). Even in the book of Hosea God’s heart was crying out with mercy toward His backsliding people who were bent on backsliding from God. God Himself says in Hosea 11:7-9,” My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, None at all exalt Him. How can I give you up, Ephraim [people of God]? How can I hand you over, Israel [prince with God]? ....My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror”.

Only people of God who can feel this heart beat of God will ever respond to God to be an Intercessor and thus avert God’s wrath and His judgment. The reason God is calling many of His people these days to become an intercessory priests like never before is because intercession will make room for God to act mercifully towards humanity as a whole which is becoming wicked and fully evil ready for God’s judgment day by day as in the days of Noah and Sodom (Luke 17:26-30). If the priestly Intercessors will faithfully pray for the Mercy of God to be shown to the wicked people, by God opening their eyes with the light of the Gospel, so that because of such heartfelt intercession when Jesus comes back at His second coming to the earth, He will find faith on the earth (Luke 18:1, 8). Are we ready! You are asking me for what? To be Priestly Intercessors!

The word of God says that all the believers are called to be a priest of God to offer spiritual sacrifices [Intercessory prayers which is a sacrifice to God] through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5;Rev 1:5,6). The moment we start praying to God, to show mercy to the unbelievers based on what Jesus has achieved for them on the Cross, we are offering spiritual sacrifices which is acceptable to God. When ever and where ever we see unbelievers in the cities, towns and villages that we live, we can immediately pray to God from our heart, “Lord have mercy on these precious people for whom you have shed your blood…and so on!”. We need to have the heart of God imparted in to us to pray such prayers, until that happens we cannot pray such prayers. Ask God to impart His heart in to you and He will do it. God says it is a blessed category of people who have such a heart in them, “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt 5:7). When you have such a heart, you will receive abundant mercy of God upon your life and family as the Word of God says. Oh what a Blessed mercy!

Prayer of Intercession is a personal intimate heart to heart relationship between a man and God. Our example is Jesus Himself who is interceding at the right hand of the Father for us. How much more we as His friends and bride of the bridegroom should out of love intercede for others who are being destroyed like we were destroyed once in the time past, before Jesus has delivered us (John 15:14-17; Matt 28:18-20;John 3:29). If we truly are His friends we will know that He is intensely desiring all the unbelievers to be saved from the wrath that is coming upon the whole earth very soon after the rapture [getting caught up to heaven] of the Church happens. This is the reason the Bible says that the gospel will be preached in the entire world and then the end will come (Matt 24:14). Do intercessory prayers for the lost world to be saved, as a real friend and Bride of Jesus Christ our Savior (1 Tim 2:1-4).

Prayer of Intercession is a prayer of love (1 Peter 1:8). Prayer is a Spirit (Zechariah 12:10). The intercessory prayer of mourning that comes from the Spirit of the Lord will cause us to be comforted when we see people turning to the Lord in multitudes leaving their evil life style aside (Matt 5:4). Holy Spirit Himself will comfort us by filling us with His joy unspeakable which is a sign that our prayers are being answered (Isaiah 61:1-3). It is the Spirit of God who intercedes through us. We cannot do it ourselves and God is also not at all interested in our fleshly prayers (Rom 8:26-27). The word of God says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6). True intercessions are birthed in our spirit by the Holy Spirit of God. We cannot produce it ourselves apart from Him, because God searches our heart to find out our motives that has been birthed by the Spirit which is called as the mind of the Spirit in the Word of God (Romans 8:26-27). The mind of the Spirit is that which is based on the Word of God which is the will of God for us. These true intercessions will have only the Word of God [the Bible] as its foundations in which they [intercessor] will hope. These intercession as it goes deeper and deeper, literally groans and moans will come out of us because of the burden that God puts in our soul for the unsaved. These are not meaningless emotions but are words that only God understands and will answer. This is a deep heart cry that David experienced as he says, “….. Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?” (Psalm 22:1). The groanings that come out of us are words as shown in the preceding Word of God. These intercessions will be filled with anguish in the spirit and grieving (Matthew 26:37-39;Mark 3:5;John 11:33-35). After we experience such emotions that directly come from God through the Holy Spirit, we will experience Joy and comfort as a sign that all our prayers has been heard and will be answered at the appropriate appointed time (Psalm 30:5,11; John 16:24). These joy that we express towards God are sacrifices that we offer because not only we are praying the heart desire of God to be fulfilled, but also are believing it will come to pass through us and before us. This is what David understood and has said, “And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me [statement of faith] ; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.” (Psalm 27:6).

Intercession is also a prayer of agreement, we agree with the Holy Spirit and He prays through us. God is pleased and delighted when He hears his people pray such prayers. In fact, He longs to hear such prayers. When we pray with heavy burdens and it heaves heavily on us that we cannot take it anymore, then the Holy Spirit takes over completely and groans in and through us. Then we find true rest in taking the yoke of Jesus and sharing His burden along with Him (Matt 11:28-30). When we share His burden, He gives us His true rest through the Holy Spirit in our Souls. In the Old Testament also the Prophets carried the burden of the word of the Lord for His erring people, so God gave rest to them (Malachi 1:1). Even Jesus carried the burden [sin] of the whole world looking towards the future joy that He will experience as a reward for that obedience (Heb 12:2,3). Never forget, God is a rewarder. On the payday the retribution and reward will always be infinitely greater than the price you have paid for the work of God and the will of God to be fulfilled in your life and others life (Matt 20:15; Heb 11:6).God sees the motive with which we work, is it only for the reward we are doing His work or with a passion, love and zeal we are working for Him (John 2:17).

The Holy Spirit is the initiator of all true intercession. As He initiates, we respond and are moved by Him (Psalm 80:18-19). Another great example for the prayer of intercession is John the Baptist. It started with a groaning and a cry in the desert place and ended in the greatest visitation of God of all time (Mark 1:4-8; Luke 11:1). By Interceding for others our hearts will be filled to the full with the love of God for others (Rom 5:5; 2 Tim 1:7; 1 John 4:17-19). Will you too dedicate yourself and your time to pray as a priestly intercessor for the unsaved to be brought in to the kingdom of God. If yes, start today and ask God to impart in you a heart cry for the unsaved. I promise you, your life will never be the same again. You will experience the abundant mercy of God in your life and in your family’s life because of your merciful heart toward others. God bless you. Praise the Lord!


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