thoughts on intercession and perseverance
When I read through the Bible I am always struck by something. I mean, let’s face it- the good book is rife with curiosities, not the least of which might turn you on your head and leave you with a more than slightly confused face- if at least for a moment. Albeit a huge volume of both history and courage, it’s contents are both valid as windows into our own struggles and triumphs, as well as the gleaning of hope in seemingly hopeless situations. The solid truth of the Bible is this- there have been many who have been called to stand in the gap for us in our lives; to help us through both prayer and fasting in those times in our lives when we needed it most. We may not have even been aware of it at the time, but if those individuals and groups of followers had not listened to YHVH’s call to persevere and stepped out in faith on our behalf then our history, our culture, our lives would not be the same amazing stories that we have today.
Moses stood in the gap for the Israelites when YHVH had resolved to destroy them for their unbelief in Egypt, in the desert, and in the wilderness. He saved the lives of countless men, women, and children by interceding for them. Abraham stood in the gap on behalf of all the occupants of Sodom and Gomorrah, asking that if there were just 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 5, righteous people would YHVH relent and not destroy the cities. He saved Lot and his family by interceding for them. He spoke boldly to the Lord on someone else’s account and neither Lot nor his family had any idea. Queen Esther instructed all of the Israelites living within the Medo-Persian Empire at the time of Haman’s evil decree to fast and pray for three days, as she herself did, to stand in the gap for the entire Israelite Nation in the hopes of preserving her people. She did this while even being forced to hide her identity from her own husband. Queen Esther’s actions led to something so monumental that there is now a holiday commemorating it. She interceded. King David stood in the gap as an intercessor many times, as did Jeremiah, Noah, and many others. Had these men and women not listened to YHVH and leaned on both His strength and their faith, over nine million Israelites would have been murdered in the streets after Haman’s word went out, the entire world would have been destroyed in the flood, and the Hebrews would have never crossed the Jordan into the promised land. And that only names a few of the instances that we have in the Bible!
Living in response to the asks of YHVH, The Great I AM, is both a privilege and a turning point in our own faith that spurs growth. Definitely, the best example of this is Yeshua, our Savior, and Lord. He intercedes for us right now. The Bible says that when we are saved by His name and plead forgiveness from the Father, He removes our sins as far from us as the East is from the West. When He looks at us he no longer sees us, with all our sin and shame, yet he sees Yeshua, His pure and perfect Son. Beloved and obedient. Think of that! When the creator of the Heavens and the Earth looks at us, He sees The Christ. Not our works. Not our shame. Not our bad decisions. Not our guilt, or grief. Not our regrets in this life. And when we are cleansed in the waters of Holy Baptism, we are MADE NEW IN CHRIST! Amen! Can you think of anything better in the realm of intercession than that? I can’t. This world is full of strife. This life is full of worry. And we need others to lean on sometimes, to walk with us and pray for us. We need more believers who are willing to stand in the gap, as Moses did, as David did. We need more of those who are willing to risk everything, like Esther and Jeremiah, to give their all and strain to hear the voice of the Almighty and stand in the gap for others. As a culture and brotherhood of people, we need others to stand for us when we cannot stand for ourselves- what an honor to advocate for those without strength!
Perhaps YHVH is speaking to you. Maybe it’s been a while since you surrendered your heart to him in praise or tried to hear His voice. Maybe you’re being called to intercede in honest prayer for someone who can no longer pray for themselves. Maybe you are being asked of YHVH to stand in the gap, as Moses did. Do it! Maybe it won’t just change their circumstances- maybe it will change the world!