Imagine you’re sitting at a red light watching other vehicles drive past. Not only does pausing at an intersection teach patience, it also mirrors the invitation that the Lord gives us when we participate with Him through prayer. Prayer is releasing what God has intended to do and calling forth today what God has spoken from eternity. It’s being the vessel that is standing at the divine intersection of so many things and praying His will in existence.
The Importance of Prayer
Prayer greatly influences God. Moses, for example, could not do God’s great work without much prayer and communication. Moses could not govern God’s people and carry out the divine plans without having his censer filled full of the incense of prayer. The word of God cannot be done without the fire and fragrance always burning, ascending to the throne of God.
We regularly stand at an intersection of life with Lord on one hand and the world (relationships, situations, pains/hurts) on the other. God desires that we to build a bridge through our prayers to see His will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). A key way we partner with the Lord is through intercessory prayer.
Jesus is interceding
“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
Jesus is currently making intercession on our behalf. The word intercession means “to intercede on behalf of another” and was used to refer to bringing a petition before a king on behalf of someone else. In its most prime form, intercession is not a prayer but the action of bringing two parties together. Because of Jesus’ ongoing intercession, there is no longer condemnation or separation! Hebrews 7:25 tells us Jesus, “always lives to make intercession for them.” The Old Testament word for intercession is, Paga. It shows up 45 times and means to encounter, meet, reach, or entreat. Even when we sin, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” because in Him “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 1:9; 2:1). When we sin, our Lord intercedes on our behalf and comes to our defense against Satan and any others who might bring charges against us (see Rom. 8:33).
The Holy Spirit is interceding
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
We do not know what we should pray, but the Holy Spirit makes a bridge and gives us His prayer agenda. He knows the will of God and helps us make a connection between our will and what God wants. The word helps means that two parties mutually bear a burden. The Holy Spirit wants to help you carry your burdens to God, and prayer is simply the transference of a burden. We are not created to be burden bearers, we are created to take our burdens to Jesus and leave them there with the Spirit’s help.
We are interceding
We build bridges between God and others. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1). The word intercessions comes from a root word meaning “to fall in with someone,” or “get involved with them”. This describes a person that identifies with our needs and becomes involved in our struggles.
Intercession is a word not only of advocacy, but also of empathy, sympathy, compassion, and involvement. Intercessory prayer is not cold, detached, or impersonal, it’s building a bridge from heaven to earth. At times of inward dryness and depression, praying for other’s salvation, sanctification, prosperity can bring your soul into a place of renewal. Prayer unites with the purpose of God and lays itself out to secure those purposes. Not only is prayer the medium of supply and support, but it is a compassionate agency through which the mercy of God has an overflow. Prayer influences God greatly.