We Need Intercessors
I mentioned in a recent meditation on prayer that as Christians, we are at war against Satan and his evil powers of darkness. In Ephesians 6:10-18, we are introduced to the concept that as Christians we are at war and that we need to use the different pieces of equipment that God has provided. In verse 11, we read, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.”
As Christians, we need to see ourselves as soldiers confronting and conquering the powers of darkness. In Luke 17:14-20, we read of Jesus and His disciples coming to the foot of a mountain where a huge crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Him and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So, I brought him to your disciples. But they couldn’t heal him.” Jesus replied, “You stubborn, faithless people! How long must I be with you until you believe? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to Me.” There Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment on the boy was well.
Afterward, the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon in the boy?” Jesus told them, “You did not have enough faith. I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ’move from here to there. And it would move. Nothing would be impossible’.”
Do you have any mountains in your life? Are you having trouble moving them? Is it possible that your mountain is caused by Satan and his agents? If they are, then human means won’t move them. You need to commit to the intercession and even fasting.
In Luke 2:25-39, we read about Simeon and Anna who faithfully served the LORD in the temple. Both were convinced they would live to personally see the Messiah. Simeon was an intercessor and we see in him some of the qualities that an intercessor must possess.
1. He was devout. He gave himself to prayer.
2. He was patient. We read that he waited for the consolation of Israel.
3. He was full of the Holy Spirit. This quality is absolutely essential for a person to be an intercessor.
4. He trusted what had already been revealed to Him in God’s word. He was confident he would see the results of his prayer, before he died.
5. He was a man of vision.
For years before the birth of Christ, Simeon and Anna had been faithful intercessors. They had spent many years fasting and praying for the coming of the messiah. The Holy Spirit had revealed to them that they would live long enough to see the messiah. Can you imagine what they felt on the occasion when Mary and Joseph showed up at the temple to dedicate baby Jesus. In Luke 2:28-32 we read:
“Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God saying, ‘Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and He is the glory of Your people Israel’.”
In verses 36-38, “Anna, a prophet was alone there in the temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, and was very old. She was a widow, for her husband had died when they had been married only seven years. She was now 84 years old. She never left the temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking to Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about Jesus to everyone who had been waiting for the promised King to come.”
The thrill that Simeon and Anna experienced as they beheld the Christ child, must have been close to indescribable. Their prayer and fasting had been blessed and honored by God.
I believe the Bible says that we, as Christians, must see who we are in order to realize why we need to be intercessors.
1. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.”
· Salt can be used as a preservative.
· Salt can be used as a healing agent.
· Salt can enhance the foods we eat.
In John 6:6 we read, “Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt?” Christians are to function on this earth as salt. As we look at what is taking place in our world, we have to wonder, are we ceasing to function as salt?
2. The Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:20, reminds us that we are “ambassadors for Christ.” We are being deployed throughout the world as agents of the kingdom of God. Jesus, in the LORD’s Prayer prayed, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When a war is imminent, the ambassadors are usually called home. The fact that we haven’t been raptured but are still here must mean that God is still using everything He can to withstand the powers of darkness and let the good news about Jesus still play out in the world.
The Scriptures show us that there are doors of opportunity that God wants to open to us to advance His kingdom — BUT these doors only are opened as a result of committed intercession.
Acts 14:27, “And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”
1 Corinthians 16:9 “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”
2 Corinthians 2:12, “Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the LORD …l”
Colossians 4:3-4, “Withal, praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”
There are doors that God wants to open to us as individuals and as a church, but it seems to me that those doors only open as we, as Christians, engage in intense prayer.
Some of the disciples kept falling asleep while Jesus agonized in prayer in the Garden. Are we awake, alert and engaged in interceding for that which is closest to the heart of God — the salvation of many precious souls?
I pray that we will rise to the challenge and partner with Jesus in intercession.
For his Glory,
Excerpts from President Trump’s proclamation for the commemoration of honoring our veterans …for the entire month, not just on Veterans Day.
“The United States is a beacon of hope, freedom, and opportunity to people around the world. The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who fight to defend our liberty embody courage, patriotism, and loyalty. These patriots safeguard the values that keep our great Nation strong. During National Veterans and Military Families Month, we honor and express our deep appreciation for these brave men and women and their families.”
“Each warrior who fights for our Nation, along with their families, has earned our eternal gratitude, and I ask that all Americans thank and support them. Together, we remain committed to fostering a national community of support for these brave heroes and their families.”
A Special note from one of our members …
Why A Grief Group?
After the loss of a loved one, it is perfectly normal, with our human nature to experience a number of different feelings and thoughts: some healthy, some not so much.
· Did I do enough?
· Did my loved one know how much I loved him/her?
· Was I a good enough partner/parent/friend?
In times like these, our LORD longs to comfort us, guide our thoughts, and remind us of the things we need to be reminded of. Many times, the answer is “yes”. Sometimes, however, the overwhelming feeling of loneliness, sorrow, and sadness leaves us in despair. In those times, it is helpful to visit Jubilee’s Grief Group, led by Certified Grief Counselor, Paul Lenderman.
In a totally confidential group of others sharing the same despair, feelings can be shared and encouragement can be offered. Yes, the LORD will comfort us. Our faith is helpful in surmounting feelings of helplessness at such a time, but the support of others cannot be underestimated.
There is no time limit to feelings of grief and mourning. Sometimes, years go by as we try to push those feelings away in our everyday living. However, unexpected times of tears often occur during the day. Night times are long and lonely, and restless tossing doesn’t take away those feelings.
If you have lost a loved one, recently or years ago, consider attending a counseling session. Regardless of age, everyone experiences grief and sorrow on the passing of a loved one. Talking about it eases the pain, especially in a mutually supported environment.
I encourage you to join in … Paul leads our Grief Group at 4 PM on the second Tuesday of each month.