March 30 2010[ comments ]
The Prayer of Intercession
In principle, no one can get saved unless someone prays for him. Many of us can testify that we were saved because someone—a parent, relative, or friend—faithfully prayed for us. In the same way, the only reason we are still here and going on is that Someone is interceding for us (Heb. 7:25). Today, not only are we the beneficiaries of the prayers of the interceding Christ, but we can also join Him in His interceding for others. As this post by one of our interns explains, this kind of prayer, the prayer of intercession, is one of the greatest privileges of the Christian life.
The Prayer of Intercession
We know an interceding Christ. "He is able to save to the uttermost those who come forward to God through Him, since He lives always to intercede for them" (Heb. 7:25). As our High Priest, the Lord Jesus knows our need and situation in the greatest detail, and He continually prays that we would be saved in His life.
The Lord's intercession is His perfect heavenly care for us. For Him to intercede for us is for Him to intervene on our behalf. In His heavenly ministry, the Lord Jesus is overseeing our situation and praying that we would be saved wholly, completely, and in every way—forever.
With such an interceding life in us, it is only normal that there be some response in us, a desire to cooperate with the interceding Christ on behalf of our family, friends, and those around us.
Of course, it can be difficult to know just what to pray or how to focus our prayer. We may feel too inadequate to know a person's actual need, or we may feel that we lack the capacity to pray diligently and effectively. Yet we can be encouraged that the Spirit "joins in to help us in our weakness, for we do not know for what we should pray as is fitting, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26).
The Spirit in us is full of specific feelings, and it is the Spirit Himself who intercedes within us to carry out our part in this ministry of intercessory prayer. To pray in such a way is simply to echo and "amen" the inner anointing—to follow the direction of the Spirit's leading and feeling.
"Whenever we open our mouth to pray at the incense altar, the prayer that will issue forth will not be personal, individual prayer. It will be intercessory prayer. Here we no longer have any interest in ourselves or in our welfare. Instead of concerning ourselves and praying for ourselves, we intercede for others. At that time we shall be in our experience a real member of Christ, a genuine part of the Body-Christ, the corporate Christ. Furthermore, that will be the time when we cooperate with Christ in His minstry of intercession. He intercedes in a particular way, and we cooperate with Him in His way of interceding. This means that we carry out His intercession in our prayers of intercession. This is marvelous! Here we are truly one with the Lord." (Life-study of Exodus, p. 1635)
The supply inherent to the Body flows among and between the members in such prayer. To participate in the Lord's heavenly ministry of intercession is one of the greatest privileges of the Christian life.
"The prayer of the Body renders the life supply to members in need. God dispenses the life supply to His members through many other members. If the finger wants the supply of the blood, it has to receive it through the shoulder and the arm. Similarly, as members in the Body, we receive our supply through the other members." (The Mystery of Christ, p. 23)
Learn to heed the inward urging of the indwelling, interceding Christ. Learn to participate in this marvelous flow of life supply in the Body by turning every thought to prayer.