Lent & Intercession

Have you ever prayed on behalf of someone or asked someone to pray for you? To essentially stand in the gap for you? Why did you think that it would work? Why do we intercede for one another?

Scripture tells us that Jesus died so we can freely approach God. He eliminated the need to have another person go on our behalf but as I am sure we all know sometimes knowingly and unknowingly we need people to stand for us or with us.

sun light bygeezaweezer

I have gone through seasons of life when I felt like God was far not realizing that I was the one who had drawn away. My fears, my concerns, my worries, life in general kept me away from the throne of mercy. God is a constant and what I mean is He is always there but sometimes He seems out of reach.

That is where the whole idea of intercession comes in. It doesn't always mean that we are going through something tough it just means we would like someone to support us and pray with us. I had never thought of fasting and interceding as a way of blessing the people in our lives that we feel the need to stand in the gap for. The focus has always been me, me and me.

It has become rare for churches to ask people to fast as a way of interceding for one another. It's one of the greatest extensions of grace that we can show one another. Nehemiah interceded on behalf of Israel with some serious fasting. We see Jesus going forty days and forty nights with no food or water to intercede for us. How amazing is that? That's a long time, it's borderline starvation but the cause was so much greater than the sacrifice, Jesus probably didn't even notice. 

Can you imagine wanting the Lord to do something for a friend so badly you fast for forty days. A day seems fine to me forty whoa!!! That's commitment as well as love. Think also of the friends that took their paralytic friend to Jesus through a ladder on the roof. Would you scale a wall for a friend? Would you risk your life for a friend? How far would we go to intercede for one another? Verse 5 in Mark 2 says, "And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” His friend's faith caused Jesus to heal him.

Nehemiah 1:1 4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. He acted swiftly with weeping, mourning, fasting and praying. When was the last time you did this on behalf of someone?

That's such a great challenge. As we go through this season friends let stand in the gap for one another. We all are struggling with something at one point or the other. Let's think of fasting as a way of intercession. Whatever it is we are trusting the Lord for perhaps we need to assume this posture of lacking to truly be able to pray for it.

The love that we have for one another be it a friend or stranger will cause us to stand in the gap for each other. In fasting we recognize how much we truly want something and we also acknowledge that God is the only one who can provide.

Listening is loving...

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