|Use the "back" key on your browser|
I asked the Lord today if there was anything he wanted me to do that I wouldn't
otherwise do. It is the day after the U.S. Presidential election,
November 5, 2008. I created this web page in one sitting.
1. What is an intercessor?
The Webster dictionary says an intercessor is one who intervenes on behalf of another. This includes prayer and prayerful actions.
A current example might be a renter who lives in a foreclosed home being forced to leave that home although he or she did nothing wrong and possibly didn't even know the house was in foreclosure. A sheriff may refuse to deliver the 3 day notice to move out as he or she could see this action is not helpful to resolving the massive problem of bank foreclosures on houses which is happening in the U.S. The renters have a place to stay, the bank has income, and a long-term solution can be worked out due to the sheriff's refusal.
An intercessor is someone who sees a situation, tries to give up his or her own perspective, reminds God of what he has said and done in the past, and prays asking God to intervene in a way that applies his presence to remedy the real problem.
An intercessor is not to be feared since God always has the option to say no or answer he spirit of the prayer in an unexpected way.
2. A Bible example
An early example of an intercessor in the Bible was Abraham. Genesis 18:20-33 Amplified Bible shows the interaction of God with Abraham when God told him He was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham asked God if He were going to destroy the righteous along with the wicked. Abraham did not wait for God's answer. He argued this is not a thing God should do since God must exhibit righteousness even as God judges. So Abraham proceeds to ask God if He not would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if there were a mix of 50 righteous people and the rest were unrighteous. God agreed. Abraham proceeded to successively lower the number of righteous people to 40, 30, 20, and lastly 10. God agreed if there were only 10 righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, He would not destroy those cities.
What's going on here? Is Abraham more righteous and more loving than God? Or does God tell Abraham, an intercessor, what judgment He plans to execute on Sodom and Gomorrah exactly so Abraham will intercede? Did God bring it up exactly to elicit intercession for a more merciful outcome? That's for you to decide but I think so!
As it turns out there were not even 10 righteous persons in Sodom and Gomorrah. It would seem that there was only Lot, Lot's wife, his two daughters each of whom had a husband for a total of 6 people. 6 is less than 10. The angels warned Lot to leave town. The 2 husbands thought Lot was joking so that left 4 people. These 4 were told to escape for their lives. When they did not get moving the angel explained that he couldn't do anything until the 4 of them were safe elsewhere. They left and then towns were destroyed.
Legally, God could have destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with Lot's family still there. But Abraham's intercession was from the heart and God's answer was from the heart. Lot was Abraham's nephew (Genesis 12:4 AMP) who maybe shouldn't even have been with Abraham. You can see God did tell Abraham ahead of time exactly so that Abraham could affect the outcome. God did more than Abraham requested. God did more!
3. You are not alone
Stephen in Acts 7:55-56 AMP "full of the Holy Spirit and controlled by him, gazed into the heaven and saw the glory (the splendor and majesty) of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand; and he said, 'Look! I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at God's right hand!'" Stephen was being stoned to death and one might think it was his worst moment. But Jesus was there, waiting to take him into heaven. Jesus was acting on Stephen's behalf at the moment Stephen needed him the most. You might think Jesus would have saved his life but this is not what happened. But it was the best moment of Stephen's life.
Hebrews 7:25 AMP makes it clear that Stephen was not the only example of Jesus' intervention. "Therefore, he is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally for all time and eternity) those who come to God through him, since he is always living to make petition to God and intercede with him and intervene for them."
Romans 8:26-27 AMP assures us that the Holy Spirit is interceding to the Father on our behalf. "So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads on our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to the and in harmony with God's will."
Those who have come to God through Jesus Christ and are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit may be praying for you unknown to you. They may be praying for you out of obedience (I Timothy 2:8 AMP). They may be praying for you because you live in a place where it is difficult to share the Gospel (Psalm 2:8 AMP). They may be praying for you because God woke them up in the middle of the night and described you to them and told them urgently to pray for you. They may be praying for you because someone who knows you have a need and has described your situation to them. You may never meet them but you are being prayed for by them. Christians often pray for "unspoken" prayer requests.
4. God is sovereign
Some people ask God to save a family member from death such as in cancer. When the person dies, they turn away from God in anger. This section is for such misunderstandings.
God is sovereign. This means He gets to make the final decision (yes, no, wait). You may talk to him as Abraham did and he doesn't do what you thought he would. You can
1. accept He is God and you can't take him to court and get the outcome changed, so you "let it go" over time while minimizing your involvement with God (nurse a grudge toward him)
2. give God the benefit of the doubt and back down and accept that this wasn't His will even though you don't understand it while you keep talking with God, getting to know him better, sharing your feelings
3. continue to struggle for the rest of your life while partly trusting God and partly not trusting God, never resolving the situation, so you end up sometimes really happy and other times really complaining that He doesn't care
4. explode around anyone associated with God
Here are several stories with different outcomes to consider that 2. might be the best choice.
II Samuel 12 shows King David fathered a child with Bathsheba, a woman married to an active duty soldier in David's army. David attempted to get her husband to sleep with her so he would think it was the child of their marriage. When that didn't work, David maneuvered her husband into an unprotected place in a skirmish and the enemy killed him. You would think that was that, the cover up was good. But God saw it and sent Nathan the prophet to David with a story that reflected what David had done, but was different enough that David wouldn't recognize himself in it. David declared the judgment and Nathan said, "You're the man." God struck David and Bathsheba's baby and he was very sick.
David in II Samuel 12:16 AMP fasted and prayed all night repeatedly that God would spare the baby. The servants couldn't get him to stop. When the baby died, they were afraid to tell David because he might do something rash such as kill himself or kill one of them or become a hermit. But David acted quite differently than they had expected. He got up, took a shower, went to God's house and worshiped, then came home and ate. The servants asked him about the change in his behavior. To David, it was simple: "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live?' But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." (II Samuel 12:22-23 AMP) Then David comforted Bathsheba. David remained close to God which closely resembles 2. above.
II Kings 18 and 19 AMP shows King Hezekiah had to deal with a proposed military attack by Sennacherib, king of Assyria, which was preceded by public mocking of Hezekiah's trust in God. Hezekiah prays to God asking for protection while pointing out that the Assyrian king is mocking the living God Hezekiah is trusting. Isaiah the prophet is sent by God to assure Hezekiah that He will take care of it. The result was that the Angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers during the night as they slept. Sennacherib was shortly thereafter killed by his own sons as he worshiped his god after he returned home with just few soldiers.
The story continues in II Kings 20 AMP on a more personal level when God directs Isaiah to tell Hezekiah to get his affairs in order because the sickness Hezekiah has is going to kill him. Hezekiah again prays to God to spare his life just after Isaiah leaves. God tells Isaiah to go back to Hezekiah and tell him that because he prayed, God would give him another 15 years to live. God would also give Hezekiah a sign so he would know it was true, but Hezekiah refined the nature of the sign and God worked the sign Hezekiah devised as opposed to His own. You would think that Hezekiah is an excellent example of intercession! But maybe God was removing Hezekiah from the scene to prevent something else from happening. As Hezekiah enjoyed his extra 15 years, he made a political blunder which would adversely affect his and the whole country's sons. Hezekiah showed his self-centeredness by calling the bad word "good" as his lifetime would not be affected but his sons' lifetime. This might be a combination of 2. and 3.
John 9 AMP shows Jesus walking past a man who was blind from birth. His disciples wanted to know who sinned, the man who was blind or the man's parents. They wanted to assign blame. "Jesus answered, 'It was not that this man sinned or his parents sinned, but he was born blind in order that the workings of God should be manifested (displayed and illustrated) in him'." (John 9:3 AMP) To show that this blindness just happened, Jesus spit on the ground and took the mud and put it on the man's eyes and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. The blind man did so and came back able to see. Who knows, could it have been a birth defect, a mutated gene, bad water with disease in it that the mother got? But Jesus fixed it. And he fixed it with dirt plus His spit, dirt and water. We came from the dust of the earth, we are mostly water, and Jesus who came to dwell with us put some of his spit, which today we know contains DNA, onto the man's deficient body parts and they were back in working order.
David's prayer was not answered, while he cared very much he continued to live his life with God. Hezekiah's second prayer was answered but his sons were affected. Hezekiah didn't care. The blind man had enough to worry about without the disciples trying to determine cause and effect of sin. He did nothing wrong and didn't even ask Jesus to heal him. Jesus just healed him to teach some things about his mission to be the world's light. By his behavior upon multiple questionings how he was healed he may have been a 2.
5. You are to intercede for others
Do all your family members know Christ? Do all your friends know Christ? Do all your coworkers know Christ?
Did your neighbor lose his or her job?
Is your company going through a difficult time?
Do you need a solution for an issue on your job?
Is someone in the hospital or home sick or convalescing?
Did someone just die leaving individuals in shock?
Write down all the concerns you have. Others will have the same concerns.
You may not know what to do but you can go to God on their behalf and ask for them what you would hope someone would ask for you if it were you. If God shows you something to do, go and do it.
I really say this: "I used to say 'there but for the grace of God go I, but I looked again, and it was me.'"
6. You are to intercede for your government
We in the U.S. just had our every 4 year Presidential election amidst many problems. To solve these problems we need every hand on deck. We need everyone to fish or cut bait. We need all Christians to be obeying 1 Timothy 2:2-4 AMP. "First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men. For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quietly and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine truth]."
If you haven't done so already, list the offices in your country, state, county and city and put the job duties and name of the person in each office next to each office. Then pray for them.
In the U.S. we should be praying for a smooth transition between the executive offices of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (This is obviously dated)
You are allowed to pray and ask God and God is allowed to answer yes, no, or wait. If God were to answer every prayer instantly yes, we would have pure chaos. The movie Bruce Almighty dealt with this. So you may feel there are quick answers to some prayers, answers you can only see years later for others, and/or no apparent answer to some prayers. Some have died before their prayers were answered but they were answered.
Benefits of praying
Pouring your heart out to God should bring peace to you in that you have talked to Barack Obama's higher up (as well as George W. Bush's higher up).
It is difficult to complain when you are actively praying for God to intervene. You may find ways to act that are constructive such as letting your voice be heard on a specific issue rather than just grousing that things are out of control.
You are able to respect the office and its occupant as the one God allowed into that office. That occupant may not reflect God's perfect person, but in this country enough of us voted for him, that corporately, he is our choice. The same was true for George W. Bush.
Even Paul respected the office of High Priest although the High Priest rejected Jesus.
God is pleased when you obey Him.
7. You are to intercede for the nations
The nations today are more intertwined than ever. We are wondering what Iran is going to do. We need to balance our wondering with intercession. We are wondering if we are going to end up with a global economic disaster. We need again to balance our wondering with intercession. The TV and/or newspaper should help guide our prayers by bringing us up to date on the issues.
As Christians our number one interaction with the nations should be sharing the Gospel and acting in compassionate ways that accompany the message so that it can be embraced. Offer yourself to God and see what happens.
Last updated: 05/10/2017
Background Music: Jubilate