Wednesday, 13 November 2013

THE INTERCESSOR


If prayer of intercession means “standing in the gap“, then an intecessor is simply the one who stands in the gap. I indicated in the previous post that generally every Christian is an intercessor. One of the classic examples to learn about an intercessor and the qualities they should have is Genesis 18, where Abraham interceeded for Sodom and Gomorrah.

1. AN INTERCESSOR MUST STAND BEFORE GOD

And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. (Genesis 18:22KJV )
The NIV translates the above as “...but Abraham remained standing before the Lord“. When I say an intercessor must stand before God, I simply mean an intercessor must have a right standing with God: Be blameless. Now does that mean an intercessor should be perfect? No! It simply means an intercessor should be rigtheous with God. Note this: Before Genesis 18 when Abraham stood before God, he has already been decleared righteous by God through faith. 
  • And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6).
If prayer of intercession means "standing in the gap", then an intecessor is simply the one who stands in the gap. I indicated in the previous post that generally every Christian is an intercessor. One of the classic examples to learn about an intercessor and the qualities they should have is Genesis 18, where Abraham interceeded for Sodom and Gomorrah.

2. AN INTERCESSOR MUST DRAW NEAR TO GOD --- HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

 
And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?( Genesis 18:23 KJV).
Then Abraham approached Him... (NIV).
Every intercessor should be a person who has built a thriving relationship with God. You must draw near to God---Approach Him. It is in relationship that God reveals His plans to us. "... Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do..." (Genesis 18:17).

3: AN INTERCESSOR MUST KNOW THE MIND OF GOD.
And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do (Genesis 18:17)
God revealed His intentions to Abraham and that's what gave him the opportunity to stand in the gap on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. To engage in intercession, one has to be able to know God's mind; His plans, counsel, agenda, intentions and purposes concerning situations. Bible clearly indicates God reveals to redeem. The mind of God can only be discerned spiritually, not by natural senses, but spiritual senses through The Holy Spirit. (Read1 Corinthians 2)

The Holy Spirit speaks to us through 1: The Word of God.
2: Inner Witness (Promptings, feelings, sensing, instincts etc)
3: Other believers including spiritual leaders 4: Things that happen around us.

It is our responsibility however to develop our spiritual senses to be able to hear God. The way to developing our spirit is mind renewal: “... be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2). We also have to yeild to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead us in our daily lives: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the [Children] of God. (Romans 8:14).

However, lets understand in our humanity, we cannot fully know the mind of God.“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!“ (Romans 11:33). In such moments of limitations also when “...we know not what we should pray for as we ought: ... the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.“ (Romans 8:26).

4. AN INTERCESSOR MUST EMPATHIZE WITH PEOPLE/HAVE PEOPLE SKILL
And he said, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake(Genesis 18:32).
For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God... (Hebrews 5:1).
Intercession is not a super heroic activity or carried out by angels. Intercession is a divine  activity carried out by humans on behalf of humans and therefore demands intercessors are in touch with people and observe everyday occurences for hints on what to pray about. Abraham continously prayed for Sodom and Gomorrah: from fifty rigtheous people down to ten---He kept pleading. Don't forget he had family in Sodom and Gomorrah:Lot and family. Note that intercessors can also be referred to as watchmen “For thus hath the LORD said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.“ (Isaiah 21:6). A watchman in biblical days keeps watch over a city and announces an impending danger. In contemporary times, a watchman is a security personnel placed on guard to protect a place from danger. That is equally the work of an intercessor---He/she watches over the lives of a group of people, individuals, nations, a church etc and announces an impending danger and take steps to avert the danger through prayer. 


If we are not in touch with people as intercessors, we cannot understand them and offer needed intercession. Jesus our perfect example had people skills---He dinned with sinners (see Mark 2:15-16). Jesus walked this earth and He understands us. He is in touch with our humanity--- He understands us: while on earth, He got hungry(Matthew 4:2), He got thirsty(John 4:7), He got tired(John 4:6), He got sleepy and dozed off(Luke 8:23), He was tempted with earthly power, authority and fame(Matthew 4).
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour[aid, help] them that are tempted.(Hebrews 2:18).
Ministry is people centered--- Intercession is ministry, therefore anyone engaged in intercession must learn to be people friendly and be in touch with the plight of people/groups they intercede for.