The past two Pray in the Rain posts have been about ASKING, and the importance of advocating answers that agree with the Lord. This post fits the same prayer type, but is different from ‘ordinary’ asking.
How is intercession different?
As with all prayer, there’s an element of mystery to intercession. The word has taken on broad meaning, from a specialist prayer calling to just another name for prayer. Some see supplication as asking for our own needs, while intercession is about asking on behalf of others. The downside of using it broadly is we can miss its powerful main point.
It’s more than a focus-shift from self to others. And it isn’t an exclusive prayer level reserved for a select few who are called to it. Every carrier of Christ’s name holds an intercessor’s license. Whether or not it’s used is a choice of the heart.
Christ, the Intercessor
The enthroned Jesus is an intercessory presence in heaven (Rom 8:34). His life is a constant incense on behalf of mankind, a fragrance of what he accomplished as Redeemer-Mediator: reconciliation (Heb 7:25). His intercession is an unbroken witness before the Throne that he has done everything necessary for the distant to be brought near and the disconnected to be restored to the full blessing of life with God.
Intercessors, in Christ’s name
Our intercession is based on his. We are an earthly echo of Jesus the Intercessor. In his name we live in the gap between the Lord and needy humanity, praying the fullness of the reconciliation blessing won by him.
The gap-person’s heart connects to both the Lord and the needy party. The intercessor can’t prioritize the one without representing what’s best for the other.
The intercessor looks beyond the crisis, beyond the circumstances of the need, to the state of the relationship (or lack of -) between God and the needy party. Intercession appeals for the Lord to be the first Mover in bringing a change in the relationship.
The reconciliation blessing is at the heart of God’s purpose and is crucial to the life-quality he desires for men. It was won by the Redeemer, is mediated by the Intercessor, and he has licensed us to join him in the gap.
While Moses is on the mountain-top, the camp below are celebrating idolatry. The Lord is about to re-boot his nation-building plan with his friend, Moses as the new head. But, in the crisis, Moses recognizes a God-given gateway and steps through it into the intercessory gap:
But Moses sought the favour of the Lord his God. (Ex 32:11)*
The relationship between God and the people is fractured by their sin. Moses appeals for mercy; an undeserved reconciliation. In v11-13, he gives the Lord three reasons: God’s desire for relationship with them, the honour of his name, and the promises he had made. The intercession is successful!
Our turn to Pray in the Rain
- Make ‘gap time’ for a needy party. An unreached people? A community in crisis? Someone (a group or individual) that has stepped away from the love of Christ, and is reaping the consequences of that disconnect? Name the party and describe the crises/trouble to the Lord (lament the situation).
- But Moses… The situation seemed hopeless; the people were on a slippery path to imminent disaster. But God opened a gateway for an intercessor to bring change, and Moses stepped into the gap. As you step into the gap for your needy party, ponder those words from verse 11, but insert your own name: But (your name) sought the favour of the Lord. Join Christ in the intercessory gap for that needy party, believing that he has done everything necessary to bring about a change.
- To the best of your knowledge, how would you describe their relationship with the Lord (if any)?
- Focus on ONE truth about Christ’s redemption. Appeal to it as you intercede for a change in the God-them relationship.
- Read Ex 32:11-13. In your appeal for that shift in relationship, use the 3 reasons given by Moses (but in their New Covenant frame) to advocate the answer from God. As the Lord moves toward them in love, what evidence/fruit of the reconciliation miracle are you expecting to see?