Prayer is the medium that bridges the gap in communication between God and His people. When His people don’t pray, it brings serious repercussions upon the cities, states and the nations and affects all the people who live in them. As a result, the gap between God and His people widens and presents the need for someone to intervene and be a bridge to cover the gap. This situation can only be overcome by intercession.
Intercession or Intercessory prayer is the act of praying on behalf of oneself or others. The duty of the intercessor is to pray and claim the unfulfilled promises from the Lord on behalf of others.
Can we become an intercessor?
Many a times, we feel inadequate to pray for others. This feeling is not from God or His Holy Spirit. When we feel weak, God says we are strong. Romans 8:26 says, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning that cannot be expressed in words.” Also, Romans 8:34 says, “Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” God has not condemned us but has accepted us and made us righteous by His blood to stand before His presence to pray. So you and I are qualified to become intercessors who will cry out and plead, standing in the gap before the Lord.
Like the priests of God, you and I can also weep between the porch and altar as we pray for the Lord to have mercy upon our nation and our people. When we pray selflessly focusing on the burdens of God’s heart, He hears us and answers us. The popular verse for prayer from 2 Chronicles 7:14, 15 says, “14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” We are the children of the Living God, and when we humble ourselves before the throne of grace of the Lord and pray, seeking the face of the Lord, He will hear us and forgive our sins and shortcomings and grant to us all that we prayed for.
Intercession brings Healing
I would like to highlight a couple of instances where relentless prayers of intercession brought astounding results and healing for the land.
Elijah’s prayer – Elijah was one of the most renowned prophets and instrumental in some of the greatest and most well-known miracles in the entire Bible! Elijah called down fire from heaven, was fed by ravens, multiplied oil and flour, and even raised the dead. When at a time, the whole nation was believing that it was the weather god, Baal which was giving them rain and the increase in harvest and prosperity, Elijah obeyed the Lord and was brave to pray even the impossible to happen by the power of the Holy Spirit! When the Lord prompted him, he prayed for the rains in the nation to stop and again, three years later, he interceded for the rains to come back on God’s promptings. God answered his persistent prayers for the rains! Elijah was a man like us with sorrows and struggles. Yet his heart burned with passion for the burdens of God’s Kingdom and his prayers shook the heavens and the earth.
Honi, the Circle Maker – This is a legendary story from the Book ‘Circle Maker’ by Pastor Mark Batterson. During the first century BC, a devastating drought threatened to destroy a generation. All the prophets of God had died and miracles became a distant memory. God was silent and nowhere to be found or heard by people. But there was one man, an eccentric sage who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem, who dared to pray anyway. His name was Honi. Even when people could no longer hear God, he believed that God existed and could hear them. Honi was the only hope for bringing rain during the drought. One day, he drew a circle around him with his six-foot staff as the people witnessed him and got inside it and began praying for the rain on his knees and with raised hands. The same spirit of prayer and intercession that was on Prophet Elijah could be found on Honi. In Page 315 of the book, Pastor Mark mentioned “With the authority of the prophet Elijah, who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain:
“Lord of the universe, I swear before Your great name that I will not move from this circle until You have shown mercy upon Your children.”
Honi’s prayer was resolute yet humble, confident yet meek, expectant yet unassuming, and there was absolutely no hint of doubt in his prayer. As the prayer ascended to heaven, rain drops descended to the earth. Honi persisted in prayer until the sprinkle turned into such a torrential downpour that eyewitnesses said no raindrop was smaller than the size of an egg.”
How are we, today?
Today, our nation and people are in sickness and bondage, needing true deliverance. The condition is similar if not worse than what was faced during the times of Prophet Elijah and Honi, the Circle Maker. They were willing to make themselves available to stand in the gap and intercede for the nation and people.
How are we reacting to the situation that is standing in front of us? Do we have that passion for our nation and the people who are far away from God? Are we longing and praying with sackcloth for a day of deliverance where our land would know that ‘Jesus alone is the true and living God and the answer for every issue’?
If our prayers are birthed out of that passion and burning desire, they will definitely align with God’s will because our Lord does not desire even a single soul to be lost. But HE is looking for that one man who would Stand in the Gap and cry out, owning the sins of the nation and pray with sackcloth, relinquishing the worldly pleasures and position. Let us analyze what our prayers are for! Feeble prayers secure no results and bring neither glory to God nor good to man. So, today, if God asked you and I as in Isaiah 6:8, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”, I encourage you to step up like Isaiah and say to the Lord, “Here am I. Send me!”
When prayer and intercession become like the very breath we breathe, healing, deliverance and restoration of life will become our inherited portions from the Lord. We will see breakthroughs; we will see miracles happen in the north, south, east and the west! There will be a mighty move of the Lord on this nation, and the people will rejoice in the presence of God! Amen.