Genesis 44:18–34, Isaiah 59:15b–20, Hebrews 7:11–28, Romans: 8:26–39
It has been said the person who does not pray for their spouse will have their prayers bounce back. It has been said that a person who is not prayed for by their spouse will experience the same. It does seem to be a catch-22. It isn’t. This is to be a lifestyle of prayer, not once or twice. It is to be regular. One should know best what one’s spouse needs prayer for, maybe even better than their spouse. Prayer shouldn’t end there. People should pray for their parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, and other family members. People should pray for friends. People should pray for their #Framily. People should be praying…a lot. This sounds like a lot of shoulds, and it is. Intercession is an act of love toward and for others. Do you love people? Pray for them.
Not all intercession is prayer. In Genesis, Judah intercedes for his brother Benjamin on behalf of their father, Israel. Yes, there is a lot more to than just that. Intercession is often putting oneself in the place of another, just like Judah was trying to do with Benjamin. Understanding the “putting oneself” piece is put into a larger context when Jesus says, “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Life has many places where one can and should intercede for others.
While Judah was trying to avoid the breaking of his father’s heart, Isaiah speaks to the people of Israel. The leaders are not interceding on behalf of their people. They are not supporting and living out justice. Therefore God has to exercise salvation. Justice and salvation are part of intercession. Think about that for a moment, and go back to intercessory prayer. Justice and salvation are part of that, too. THANK GOD! That’s where Jesus comes in!
The author of Hebrews notes that Jesus’ intercession on our behalf means that we receive salvation. As Jesus continually (until the end of this world) is before the Father interceding on our behalf. Just as Judah interceded to keep his father’s heart from breaking, Jesus (from the Tribe of Judah) intercedes on our behalf so that God the Father’s heart is not broken by losing us. When Judah died, there could be no more intercession. Jesus is eternal so the intercession never ends.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf in the intent of the first piece, intercessory prayer. 2/3 of the Trinity is interceding on our behalf. Jesus and the Holy Spirit interceded in one heart/mind/spirit with God the Father, on whose behalf Jesus came for us. It is just amazing!
1) If that much of God is about interceding, should our response be any less?
2) God obviously views intercession as important. Do you view intercession as an important part of your walk with Christ as God views it?
3) Why is intercession for others so important? Does intercession change your heart regarding those people for whom your interceding?
FD) Have you ever defended somebody who didn’t “deserve” it? Why or why not?