The Importance of Intercessory Prayer
"And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." --Ezekiel 22:30
“[The Israelites] are a stiff-necked people. Leave me alone, so that I can destroy them! Afterwards, I will make a great nation from you.”
“No,” Moses pleaded. “Please, don’t kill them. Remember your covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Then the Lord relented and didn’t destroy them as he had threatened.
(Paraphrase of Exodus 32:9-14)
Imagine if Moses never interceded. The Israelites would’ve died because of their sins. Some people have disregarded intercessory prayer. Yes, I behaved similarly a year ago. “A person ought to pray for himself,” I said to myself. That’s true because each individual should approach God for whatever reason. However, what if that individual isn’t able to entreat the Lord? Wouldn’t it be generous for another person to pray for that individual who isn’t able to?
I. Everyone is an Intercessor
Anyone that prays to God continually can be an intercessor. You, the reader, have the ability to appeal earnestly for the sake of another person. A special blessing or holy calling isn’t required, but only that a strong passion, little courage, and much faith accompany you. “As I loved you, you must also love one another.” (John 14:34) In the same way Jesus endured pain and death to save many souls from perishing, Christendom ought to act analogously, intervening between evil forces and the individual. Intercession is standing in the gap to absorb the bullets so that people will live.
II. Motivation for Prayer
My simple rule for intercession is this: “Pray more for someone else.” Excellent that an individual is able to earnestly ask God according to his own needs, but with more supplication appeal to the Lord when praying for the needs of another person. As with all requests to God, stray away from habitual beseeching because it’s only screech to God’s ears (read Matthew 6).
The greatest motivation of is compassion. Loving your neighbors, friends, and enemies are the greatest encouragements for intercessory prayers.
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