Intercession. It’s a word that’s a bit intimidating, isn’t it? Maybe it sounds like something that really good Christians do. But it’s something we’re all called to, and more than that, something we have the privilege to do.
So, what exactly is intercession? It’s warfare. It is praying fervently on behalf of others and claiming God’s will in certain situations. Why can we intercede? Because we were redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ in order to be reconciled to God and to become his children. Why should we intercede? Because in his mercy and kindness our Father wants us to be part of his plan to make his Kingdom come to Earth. As we come into agreement with God’s will and entreat him to move, things really do change. God’s Kingdom is going to come and his will is going to be done no matter if we intercede or not, but what an honor it is to be part of it through asking him to move!
The command to intercede is one we can’t ignore, especially in the current day. Everywhere you turn, the world seems to be coming apart at the seems. Crisis after crisis calls us to rise up as a people of God whose intercessory prayers change the spiritual climate of not only our culture, but the entire world.
Looking at all the tragedy that surrounds us on a daily basis can be paralyzing. We want to do something, but we don’t know what will actually help. But as followers of Christ, we have been promised that our prayers will be heard and that they will answered. We can ask God to move in this world and he will! And in addition, as we intercede, we will begin to be directed to ways that we really can do something.
If we’re being honest, though, sometimes we do pray and don’t see anything happen, and it’s discouraging. If we don’t see any fruit from our prayers, we may stop praying all together, whether that’s a conscious decision or not. Though the Lord may just be working in ways we cannot see or understand, it could be beneficial to evaluate just how much we’ve really asked God for something. Could it be that we give up praying before we see the miracle? That is not at all to say that the Lord doesn’t perform miracles if we don’t pray, it could just be that when we aren’t actively praying for something we take our eyes off of it and don’t notice when God moves.
The story of the persistent widow should inspire us to “to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). A widow went to the town judge repeatedly begging for justice, and because the judge was so annoyed by her tenacity, he finally decided to help her. The point of the story is that our God is not at all like this unrighteous judge—he does not give in because we’ve worn him down with our asking! God will answer us and give us justice “speedily” if we but ask, because he is a good Father.
So when there’s mountain in your life that needs to move, when another tragedy strikes, when you have a friend or family member who doesn’t know Jesus, you can intercede. You have been given the authority in Christ to go boldly before the throne of grace and ask the creator of the heavens and the earth to invade this world with himself. We must not give up and we must not lose heart! We are begging for something this world desperately needs—God’s Kingdom to come, his will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. And there is nothing more that the Father wants to do than make this a reality.