Today’s Scripture: 1 Samuel 12:23a
God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.
President Barak Obama, speaking at the American National Prayer Breakfast, attended by more than 3,000 people from some 140 countries made up mostly of ambassadors, congressmen, and government officials, shared more personal stories about how prayer has impacted his life since becoming president.
He said that Kaye Wilson, godmother to Malia and Sasha (his children), began praying for him during his campaign to be president after seeing him being attacked on cable television. But she soon was overwhelmed by the amount of prayer Obama needed and started organising prayer circles nationwide to pray for the president. This was intercession.
Other words for intercession are negotiation, arbitration, mediation and intervention. To intercede in prayer is to stand in for another before God. It is a call from God to Christians to pray for our family members, neighbours, followers, leaders, cities, etc. The call to intercession is reiterated in Isaiah 62:6-7: “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
The Bible is replete with stories of men and women, who stood in the gap for their family members, nations, the church and its leaders. Abraham stood in the gap for Sodom and Gomorrah; Moses interceded for the people of Israel and Aaron; Isaac stood in the gap for Rebecca, his wife concerning the fruit of the womb; the Church prayed for Peter, when he was arrested by Herod, to mention a few. In practically all these examples, God responded positively to the intercessors.
Our scripture for today shows Samuel heeding the call of God to intercession for the people over whom he was a judge. He considered it a sin not to pray for them. In the same vein, we must take it upon ourselves to remain in fervent prayers for the leaders of our country. Apostle Paul admonishes Timothy to make this type of intercession a priority (1 Timothy 2:1-2), and so we must.
I encourage you today to begin to intercede as God has commanded us to. The truth is, if we take it upon ourselves to intercede for others, God will raise people to pray for us.
Memorise & Meditate:
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour….” 1 Timothy 2:1-3
Teach me to intercede for others, Lord. I pray for …. (Go on and pray for as many people and institutions the Lord lays in your heart.)