The need for Intercessory Prayers

 Anyone can be an intercessor. But who is an intercessor? An intercessor is basically someone who pleads or negotiates on behalf of another. Throughout Bible we learnt of great men and women such as Moses and Esther who stood in the gap for their people and sought the LORD for deliverance. And the result was that, the LORD heard their prayers and supplications and delivered them, because He said anytime we called upon him He would answer (Jeremiah 33:3).

The following Scripture firmly endorses the idea that anyone can be an intercessor.

“The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” ~ Ezekiel 22:29-30.

From verses 21 up to 29 of Ezekiel 22, God summarised the sins of the children of Israel. In prior chapters of Ezekiel, such as 16, 19 and 20, more details of the sins that the children of Israel have committed were documented. These were not any ordinary sins. These were sins that they took delight in. In fact, their sins were so terrible to the extent that the LORD even said that their sins have surpassed the sins of the heathen around them – even the sins of Sodom, (Ezekiel 16:44-47). The LORD could have destroyed them long ago, but for His name’s sake, He did not (Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 17, 22).

Ezekiel was in captivity in Babylon when God gave him these visions. The terrible things that the house of Israel did that led to their captivity were revealed to him. It wasn’t that Ezekiel was unaware of some of them. I am very sure prior to their captivity, Ezekiel was aware of the moral decadence in Israel. Maybe he just wasn’t aware of the extent. And I am very sure, he was shocked when God revealed to him the heinous sins committed by the priests who were supposed to stand in the gap between the people and the LORD and plead.

I’m certain most of the Israelites said to themselves, “Well, I am not a priest so I can’t plead on behalf of Israel”. Many Christians of today have similar thoughts – thinking that they can’t make any impacts. But we need to take comfort from the Creator of the whole universe, Who said that “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land”, Ezekiel 22:30. You see God didn’t say, “I sought for a priest”, or “I sought for a pastor”; but He said, “I sought for a man”. The implication here is that God doesn’t care about our status in society. God is more concerned about the attitude of our hearts. He is looking for people who are willing to seek Him not only for their personal needs but for the needs of others as well.

Brethren, just imagine, if someone could have responded to the call of God, do you think God would have sent them to captivity? I think not. I believe the situation might have been different. Even today, God is calling for you and me to stand in the gap for our families, friends and our countries at large. The sins that are being committed by our generations today are no different from those that were committed by the house of Israel.

Had it not been for Moses, there wouldn’t even be a nation called Israel today, because the LORD would have disinherited them. Do you know why? It was because Moses interceded on their behalf. Moses was the most unselfish person in the Bible. The sins of Israel were so grave to the extent that God wanted to make a nation out of Moses rather, but Moses pleaded on their behalf instead, (Numbers 14:12-19). The lessons we can learn from Moses’ character will be a topic for another day.

However, in verse 31, the Bible said,

“Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD” Ezekiel 22:31

You see the LORD wouldn’t have done this had somebody stood in the gap and pleaded for Israel. There is power in intercessory prayer. You and I have the same opportunity to be intercessors. I believe the LORD is still calling out for us to stand in the gap for our families, friends, colleagues and nations at large. Let’s make a difference by interceding for others.

May the good LORD who changes not (Malachi 3:6), grant you a heart of an intercessor and more understanding into the importance of intercessory prayers. Be an intercessor today and be blessed in the LORD!

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