“Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” – Hebrews 7:25.
The Bible tells us that Jesus speaks to the Father on our behalf. Romans 8:34 (ESV) says that Jesus “is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” In 1 John 2:1 (ESV) we read that Jesus is our “advocate with the Father,” and from Hebrews 7:25 we learn that Jesus “lives forever to intercede” for us.
If you are a follower of Jesus, He is interceding for you right now. When was that last time you praised and thanked Jesus for His work of intercession? Better yet, when was the last time that you thought about the glorious truth and reality that Jesus prays for you? This is a neglected truth about something truly amazing: Jesus prays for us; He intercedes for us. A beautiful display of Jesus praying for His disciples is in John 17. Twice Jesus says He is not praying for the world in general, but is praying for those who belong to Him (John 17:9, 20).
There are two sides to intercession. Jesus is making intercession for you and you can be an intercessor for others. God wants us to intercede for each other. God has given each believer the privilege and responsibility of being an intercessor.
Have you ever felt a heavy burden on your heart to intercede or pray for your local community, a nation, or the world as a whole? Have you felt the urge to lift others up in prayer? Intercessory prayer is where a person stands in the gap for another person and pleads with God (on their behalf) through persistent prayer.
This is our wonderful opportunity to approach God on behalf of others who are in need. In 1 Timothy 2:1–2, Paul writes: ”I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”
We are to pray for the opportunity to speak the Gospel boldly wherever we are: “Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains.” (Colossians 4:3). We are to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send forth laborers into His field (Matthew 9:38).
The work of intercession is never completed. It is an ongoing and persistent task. The subject matter changes often, but the call to pray is ever the same… and always necessary.
- What does intercessory prayer mean to you?
- Do you pray for other people? Do these prayers work? What do you do when a prayer is not answered (as you thought it would be)?
- What lost friend or relative can you intercede for today?