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What is true intercession?
When we talk about prayer, we need to understand that there are many types of prayer. sometimes there is misunderstanding because we do not recognize the many types. Since prayer is communication with God, it can be accomplished through praise, confession, thanksgiving and forgiveness.
Today I want to focus specifically on intercession. This is usually considered “praying for others.” But what is it really? Let us look at some examples, both biblical and personal.
The Hebrew word to Intercede is “paga” which means to meet. Intercession creates a meeting between us and God. We are friends and co-laborers, prayer is a conversation between us and our Father. And like all conversations, you must listen and talk. It is not a very good conversation if you are in a one-sided realtionship where you do all the talking or all the listening.
Intercession involves several things but there are 4 distinctives in each case of intercession.
1. A POSITION… intercession is not about what you say but the place where you stand… you are before God, you have the ability to appear before God’s throne (Heb 4:16)
2. In this position, an intercessor STANDS IN THE GAP, a place of mediation, as a go between, to reconcile between opposing parties. This term is often used in a courtroom with an attorney. This is like mediating between the heart and mind of God on one hand and the reality of the struggles of this world on the other hand.
Also, an intercessor stands in the gap between heaven and earth, between God and a person in need.You are like an attorney representing a person's case to a judge.
3. There is also an IDENTIFICATION with both God and Man, understanding and empathizing with the one in need, identifying their grief, need, desire, etc. At he same time, an intercessor identifies with God and His purposes and desires.
An intercessor can identify with both sides… and can communicate in their language. One who has favor with God and understanding with a man. Sometimes you must identify with the one in need in order for your prayers to be heard.
4. When in postion and identification while standing in the gap, an intercessor speaks WORDS OF PRAYER to God on others’ behalf… not for your own benefit. These words reveal a true desire or passion to help another.
These PRAYERS may be ones of BATTLE which enforce the work of Jesus Christ before the enemy/Satan.
Note that intercession is less about words and more about the PLACE you have before God and man.
Intercession praying is similar to ministry that is incarnational…living the life of Jesus to impact others…This must happen so that others may witness the love and mercy and justice of Christ. Both are being mediators… both offer the care and help others need to see and feel the presence of God.
Let us consider some examples:
A. Courtroom: God is judge, intercessor is the attorney, Friend is the guilty party needing grace. The intercessor pleads for mercy, defends you, on your side, knows you and the judge, the devil is the accuser.
B. Watchmen on the wall; Isa 62:1,2,6,7,10
C.Crossing the Creek--- to get from one side to another, one must stand in between and help the others across.
D. Friend depressed…from here to there, from sickness to health,from life to death, from sadness to hope, etc.
E. Friend of the disciples who took the sick to JC. Mark 2: 2-12
F. Sometimes physically standing next to one in need helps remind you that you as the intercessor stand in the gap before Christ.
G. Intercession is like being in the import business: Kingdom transfers taking goods from one land to another.
H. Intercession can take place with people or also lands, nations, business, governments, schools, ministries, churches, etc. Stand in the gap for them!
I. Consider Esther, Moses, Paul, Daniel, all excellent models of intercessors. So do they all have the 4 determining factors?
You may be asked to actually take the position of intercession. Go to the place onsite. Go to a school, a government building, a courtroom, etc.
SO WHO IS THE GREATEST INTERCESSOR?
Jesus Christ… consider the 4 defining terms:
+ Heb 4:15 Identification
+ Heb 7:25 stand in the gap between man and God
+ Position of both divine and human, on earth with heavenly perspective
+ Spoken prayers in quiet times and before men
And now, we can have the same ministry of intercession!