Prayer And Intercession Friday, February 23, 2018
PRAYER AND INTERCESSION (KJV)
By James L. Thornton
2. God Disowns His People
3. Moses Intercedes for Israel
4. God Uses People
5. Intercession Is The Highest Form Of Prayer
6. Groaning In Prayer
7. There Is No Eloquence In Groaning
8. Have Others Join With You In Prayer
Separated between heaven and earth, Moses stood before the face of God on Mount Sinai. Forty days without food and water, the Glory of the Almighty was Moses’ strength. He was engulfed in the Presence of Jehovah and unaware of the sin below.
But Moses sensed a change in God’s attitude. Intensity was building around Him. God had had enough! His anger burned toward the people of Israel. They had made a golden calf in the presence of God and proclaimed it to be the source of their deliverance from Egypt, mocking the God of heaven.
Exodus 32:7. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:”
2. GOD DISOWNS HIS PEOPLE:
In our scripture reading (Exodus 32:7) God speaks to Moses in a way in which He seems to be disowning the congregation of Israel. Notice he speaks of them as Moses’ people. “Thy people which thou broughtest out” of Egypt. God speaks as though it was Moses’ doings.
Further more God spoke to Moses and said, “And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” (Exodus 32:9-10)
Any normal man would have fled in terror but Moses was not a normal man. From the humble beginnings of a burning bush, he had been transformed into a man who was deeply concerned for his people. Moses stood his ground and reasoned—Yes! Reasoned with the Eternal.
Didn’t Moses know that God is Sovereign? Didn’t he fear the Eternal? God said that he was going to destroy the Israelites, and that should have been the end of the conversation. He even asked Moses to leave Him alone. But Moses knew God more deeply than any on the earth. Instead he stood up and reminded God of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He expressed a concern for God’s reputation among the other nations.
3. MOSES’ INTERCESSION FOR ISRAEL:
Then Moses did an astonishing thing that must have warmed the heart of God. “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” (Exodus 32:32)
Moses was willing to lay down his eternal inheritance for a disobedient people. We can only imagine that this must have reminded God of His own Son who was to die for the sins of the world. God listened to Moses and relented on the disaster He had threatened.
What would have happened if Moses had not interceded for his people? We can be assured that God doesn’t play games. History would have been very different if Moses had not made a stand and reasoned with God. Some may say that God had His plan laid out beforehand and was testing Moses’ commitment to Israel. That may be partly true, but we see no indication of that in the Scriptures. He had destroyed wicked nations before and He would do it again. But Israel had a faithful Intercessor.
“Say sera sera, whatever will be will be, the future is not ours to see, Say sera sera.”
Many Christians take such an attitude about prayer. After all, God is sovereign; whatever is going to happen will happen. He has a master plan that is fixed and cannot be changed by little old me, they say.
When we look at how God operates, a pattern develops—if God wants to send a message, He uses an angel. Couldn’t He send the message Himself? Yes! But just as He chooses to use angels to do His heavenly work, He chooses to manifest Himself through you. Couldn’t God appear 50 feet tall with thunder and lightning, with a mighty earthquake, with angels descending at the foot of the bed of every man, woman and child on the face of the Earth?
4. GOD USES PEOPLE:
Certainly! But He chooses to use you. God loves to work with His creation. You see it all through the Bible. He shares His authority and power with us so that we can take part in His sovereign will. In intercession, our voice is harmonized into His eternal sovereign song.
Your prayers can move the heart of God—can change His mind! He will listen to what you say. Your prayers can change the course of history. You can participate in the operations of Heaven.
The Eternal God searches among men. He searches for broken hearts. He calls; Who will pray for my people? Who will weep with the wounded and the suffering? He sees man too busy to pray, to stop, look and care.
5.INTERCESSION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF PRAYER:
You forsake your inner warfare, and through love, attack Satan’s kingdom head on. With the authority given to you by the blood of Jesus, you tear down spiritual strongholds, and fight for the deliverance of another precious soul. You stand shoulder to shoulder with angels, mighty warriors of God and Jesus Himself who is continuously interceding for us in heaven.
He delights in hearing something other than bless me Lord. When we intercede through fasting, it is a period of time set aside exclusively for someone else’s need. This has a great credibility before God and is a powerful force against Satan.
Satan constantly comes before God with accusations against His church. All they care about is themselves. If you remove all your spiritual niceties and blessings, they would drop You like a hot potato. Their whole life revolves around making themselves feel good.
Let us give God something He can be proud of—children of God that radiate the selflessness of His Son.
6. GROANING IN PRAYER:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know for what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our heart knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-28)
There are times when we are weak and don’t know what we ought to pray. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what to pray for because He is not weak! There are times when we are blind and confused to our inner needs, but our Guest is not because our heart is an open book to Him. He searches hearts, not to condemn, but to pray and intercede.
You may think, if only I could pray like the Holy Spirit, what wise words He must use, what great theological truths He must express. Not great truths, but deep groans that words cannot express. Sounds of groaning, coming from suffering like a woman bearing a child. Picture the Holy Spirit groaning in prayer on your behalf before God, and you will have the perfect picture of intercession.
7. THERE IS NO ELOQUENCE IN GROANING:
Intercession must go far beyond eloquent prayer. It is not comfortable to enter into a suffering soul. But you have something the other person needs—clarity, where for him, there is confusion. Strength and faith—where for him, there is only weakness and doubt.
Have you ever watched a sister or brother flounder in the faith? It is so easy for us to judge. Yet what we should be doing is falling on our faces, interceding with tears for a soul that is walking down the path to destruction.
As your interceding becomes deeper, God will begin to allow you to enter into that man’s heart. You will sense his pain, confusion and suffering. You allow it to become your pain, your suffering, your confusion, wrestle through it for him before the presence of God, so he may be free. You are investing part of yourself in his situation. If he triumphs, you triumph, if he fails, you fail. His suffering is no longer held out at arm’s length, it becomes personal. Our groans mingle with the groans of the Spirit. We become one with the sufferings of Christ.
The whole body works in fighting and healing infection. For the body of Christ to function the way God intended, we must all work together to bring healing and wholeness to even the least important parts. If infection runs unchecked, it will kill the rest of the body.
You cannot carry self into the deep realms of prayer. It must be laid aside like old baggage, freeing you to go to the cross for another soul’s need, a great blessing because you are letting go of all that hinders from entering into God’s heavenly places. You will mount up on the wings of an eagle, soaring with another man’s soul into the very throne room of God. Becoming endued with power, shaking the foundation of the heavenlies, you will move the Sovereign hand of God. Unshackled, unhindered by any selfish motivations.
Therefore intercession has a double blessing; it touches a suffering heart and realigns the intercessor’s heart before God.
8. HAVE OTHERS JOIN WITH YOU IN PRAYER:
“Where two or three are gathered together in My name..” (Matthew 18:20).There is a momentum that builds when a group of people pulls together as one. This is how riots and revolutions begin, like a wave in the sea that begins small, then builds until it becomes a tremendous force. Political leaders have nightmares about such a power. Satan also shudders at the thought.
The Pharisees were terrified of Jesus because they knew the potential of such a leader. When people are mobilized by a single cause, the momentum is enough to plow down anything that stands in its way. God desires His church to be a mighty force against the kingdom of darkness. Satan, on the other hand, has done all he can to defuse that force through division and strife. What kind of power can a group wield when people come together to fast and pray for a common goal?
At church functions we have coffee and dainties before the main meal, which is laid pleasingly on a platter of indulgence. After eating to capacity, dessert, I really shouldn’t. Sitting back in the chair with a look of complete satisfaction, the guest speaker leads everyone in a song in which we are barely able to gasp for air. Afterwards, a well-prepared message that cannot penetrate the sleepy fog that accompanies a full stomach.
Oh how the Holy Spirit must delight in the opportunity of moving, when Christians come together. Just think of it, all those gifts and talents in one room at the same time. The place ought to be shaking with the presence of God. Yet, the tragedy is that, in most cases, the focus is more on satisfying stomachs.
When we fast and pray together, each one of our gifts become unified in a common focus. What power, authority and clarity of sight we can have under such conditions. Prophets, teachers, evangelists, the gifts of healing, all working together, nothing would stand in the way.
I hope you enjoyed this study on Prayer and Intercession and will read the other studies on our web pages.
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By James L. Thornton