Are you praying frequently and fervently for someone who needs help from the Lord? Do you need some encouragement as you continue to intercede?
Matthew (15:30) tells us a story providing great encouragement. Jesus sat down on a mountainside, and people came to Him bringing others who needed His touch, placing them at His feet. “And He healed them.” Is this not a perfect picture of your intercession? Jesus now sits at the Father’s right hand. You bring your family and friends who are in need of His touch to His feet and place each one there. You’re doing your part. Now just keep them there. He knows what to do when. And He will work in answer to your intercession. He always does.
How about another shot of encouragement for us as we intercede… Paul talks of his intercessory burden in Romans 10:1: “My heart’s desire and prayer to God is that they might be saved.” And that’s our heart’s desire, as well. We’re all praying for lost friends and loved ones. Paul strengthens his own praying with this encouraging quote from the Old Testament, “I was found of them that sought Me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me” (verse 20, from Isaiah 65:1). God will show Himself to those we’re praying for with loving conviction, mercy, and grace. We can stand on that promise. When we come, bringing others to His feet, pleading with Him to heal or save or touch in some way those who aren’t seeking Him on their own, He responds.
Let’s do some digging on this subject of intercession and being intercessors.
According to Webster, to intercede means to move or pass between; to act between parties in order to reconcile those who differ or contend; to plead for.
Aaron, the high priest, was an intercessor. At God’s instruction, Aaron wore a stone on each shoulder, and on each stone was engraved the names of six of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Scripture states (Exodus 28:9-29) that he was to bear their names before the Lord on his shoulders. He also wore a breastplate with twelve stones, each engraved with the name of a tribe of Israel that he might carry the children of Israel upon his heart when he went before the Mercyseat – carrying them right into the very Presence of God.
Intercession in the Hebrew is a much stronger word than in the English.
In the Hebrew, an intercessor is one who “falls against.” A perfect example is Haman when he pleads with Esther for his own life (Esther 7:7&8). New Testament stories exemplify this “falling against”:
- The Syrophenecian woman crying out to Jesus for her daughter falls at His feet with pleas and worship (Matthew 15:21-28).
- Jarius, in interceding for his daughter, “fell at Jesus’ feet and besought Him greatly (Mark 5:22&23).
- The leper, seeing Jesus, fell down and besought Him for his own cleansing (Luke 5:12).
These and many other stories show us the meaning of being an intercessor – to fall against the One to Whom we pray.
Intercession, in the Hebrew, means “to strike against,” and carries a meaning of strong action, even violence. A perfect example is Jacob telling the Angel, “I won’t let You go until You bless me (Genesis 32:26). Other exemplifications include these stories in the New Testament:
- The judge being so pestered by the widow’s daily visits that he granted her request (Luke 18:2-5).
- The friend who is given bread by his neighbor in the middle of the night, not because they’re friends, but because of his unceasing demands that leave the neighbor no rest (Luke 11:5-10).
These two just kept “striking against” their benefactors with their requests until they received what they asked. “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7&8).
Moses was an intercessor. He fell against God for Israel and pled His forgiveness for their worshipping the golden calf (Exodus 32:31&32). Then He struck against God’s justice by pleading – “And if You won’t forgive them – blot me out, too.”
Abraham was an intercessor. He fell against God for Lot and his family in Sodom, pleading for the cities to be spared for 50, 45, 40, 30, 20, and for 10 righteous persons (Genesis 18:20-33). He struck against God’s justice by asking, “ Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Jeremiah wept and prayed, falling against God for the people of Israel: “My eyes run down with rivers of water without intermission till the Lord look down from heaven. My eyes do fail with tears, my insides are troubled for the destruction of my people” (Lamentations 3:48-50).
David wept with intercession: “Horror hath taken hold of me; rivers of water run down my eyes; I’m grieved because the wicked forsake Thy law and keep not Thy Word” (Psalm 119: 53,136,158).
Paul fell against the Lord for his fellow Jews with great heaviness and continual sorrow in his heart (Romans 9:1-3).
We intercede, carrying our loved ones on our shoulders, on our hearts, falling against the Lord in behalf of their various needs. Our tears run down like a river day and night as we cry out to Him. We give the Lord and ourselves no rest, pouring our hearts out like water before Him. This is what it means to intercede; to be an intercessor.
Knock, knock, knock night and day before the Lord for those who need His touch.
Intercede for our children. “Give yourself no rest. Arise, cry out in the night. Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up your hands toward Him for…your…children” (Lamentations 2:18&19).
Intercede for each other. “Epaphras, one of you, a servant of Christ, laboring fervently in prayer for you that you may stand perfect and complete in the will of God (Colossians 4:12).
Intercede for our pastor – those who have spoken to us the Word of God (Hebrews 13:7), helping together by prayer for them (2 Corinthians 1:11), pray for him that he may speak boldly to make the gospel known (Ephesians 6:18&19).
Intercede for our government, “that we may live quiet, peaceable, godly lives (1Timothy 2:1&2).
Intercede with “whatever it takes” fervency, for eternity is forever.
“And shall not God answer His own elect who cry day and night unto Him?” (Luke 18:7). Who fall against Him without relenting? Let’s be intercessors, falling against God, knocking until He answers from heaven in behalf of the lost, the hurting, our children, each other, our pastors, and our own lives. Intercede, Dear Ones, for “the fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much” (James 5:16b). Hallelujah!