Series: General | Title: God Seeks Intercessors | Sermon by: Pastor Balan Swaminathan | Location: House of Intercessory Prayer Ministries, Halifax, NS Canada | Date: Sunday November 05, 2017
This morning, I am going to talk about prayer. You know, as we have seen prayer has been a key focus as we come to the end of the month. There is no doubt, God wants us to focus on prayer. Most of the time when we think about prayer, we pray for our needs, family’s needs and we go little more further to pray for our church. At times we pray for our parents, our beloveds and sometimes even our friends when they go through difficult times. But this morning, God is calling us to pray. So I thought, I would talk about “Intercessory Prayer”. So I would like to title my message as “God seeks Intercessors”.
What is Intercession/ Intercessory prayer?
Intercession is simple :
- When we pray for someone, when we pray on behalf of somebody, it is known as Intercession.
- It is mediating or pleading for another person. Most of the time we pray for our needs and moment it comes pray for someone else, it takes energy from us to pray for someone else.
- Intercession also means intercepting or stopping the enemy’s plan in their lives. Enemy has an agenda in their lives and when you intercede for somebody, you are stopping enemy’s plan in their lives.
- It is also making an attempt to deliver the souls, so that souls may not go into the eternal hell.
Today we may not realize that God loves intercessors. God has a special place in his heart for people, those who are interceding, those who standing in the gap for somebody. God loves intercessors. Not because they are somebody superior than someone else, its just because they are able to intercede. Because they are able to cry out to the Lord on behalf of somebody. God passionately desires that we partner with God in this initiative of intercession. God wants us to take it further.
Section-1: Biblical basis for Intercession:
God is seeking for intercessors:
- Watchmen – Isaiah 62:6 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.
Have you come across watchmen. What is their duty? They sit awake day and night to make sure the house is protected or the business is protected or the country or the city is protected. God says you and I are called as watchmen. We are supposed to protect.
- Intercessor – Isaiah 59:16 He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.
God looked for somebody who can intercede, who can pray on behalf of somebody. When we talk about intercessor, God has special heart for somebody who can intercede, someone who can pray for somebody.
- Upholder – Isaiah 63:5 I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me.
God is looking for somebody who can uphold. Somebody who can take something and hold it, someone who can pray for somebody holding them together. There are families going through difficult times. When such situation comes, that is in your mind always. You take that wherever you go. Somebody is in hospital, somebody is going through time of sickness, somebody is going through difficult moment. God expects us to pray for them. God expects us to think about them, what they are going through in their lives. It is not all about us. It is not every time what we have and what we need? It is also about somebody.
- One who takes Hold of God – Isaiah 64:7 And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us, And have consumed us because of our iniquities.
Intercession is taking hold of God. What does it mean? Just praying to God and telling God, Lord, You need to do this. I love my brother the same way I love myself. He/She is going through tough time. Lord, do it for her/him.
- One who stands in the Gap – Ezekiel 22:30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
You know what is your and my responsibility, to stand in the gap. Where is the gap? Holy God and people who are living in wickedness, that’s where the gap is. People are not able to come to God because they think, they are living in the wickedness and so sinful. What is your role today? Not to come and always worship & rejoice in the Lord but you responsibility is to stand in the middle, between God and man. What exactly Jesus did. He was hanging at the cross as a mediator between God and a sinful man or woman like us. That is the expectation of God in our lives. Jesus was taken up into the heaven that you and I are called to stand in the middle of a holy God and unclean men. Today somebody walks into your life and you do not really like him, you hate him because he is not a godly man. He always hates God. What is our reaction? If we are true intercessors, we are the one who are standing in the gap, you try to bridge the gap by standing in the middle and telling him God loves you. God is seeking for a person like you. You are so precious to God. You look ugly, what you do doesn’t align with Bible… forget it. You are so precious. Are we able to find life, are we able to consider him, are we able to attach him to the holy God? That’s the reason Jesus came to this world. Many people look ugly in their lives. Are we able to stand in the gap, introducing them to the holy God? God doesn’t hate them, God loves them. We may hate them but God loves. That’s the secret. That’s the reason we see today many of the men of God, who are used by God, a year ago, two years ago, ten years ago, they were just living in the streets. Night times they drank so much, they were just living in the streets. There are testimonies today. Because God loves them, we hated them, we cursed at them. We said that do not walk into my doorsteps, don’t come on my way, don’t come to our church. Because our church is so holy. But God loved them, he picked them up from that place & lifted them up. God is looking for somebody who can stand in the gap.
God seeks intercessors :
- 49 Million people already died in this year alone in this world, majority of them went to the hell without Christ – God is seeking for intercessors.
- Many times we put all our efforts in Christmas event or some other event thinking that we can introduce somebody to Christ. Many times such a big budget go in vain if we do not really pray about it. If we do not really intercede before such things happen.
- Many times missionaries are sent to the land but missionaries are not able to do anything in the land because there is nobody who is praying for them. They are sending but without prayers.
- The efforts we are putting in God’s kingdom at times goes waste. Intercession is important. God is seeking for intercessors.
- There is no special calling for intercession, all are called to intercede. All are called to pray, but those who obey the call of God and willing to pray, they are certainly special Christians. God honors them because God loves them so much.
So there is a third magnitude that we need to open our eyes at times to see the power of intercession.
Know our position in Christ :
God wants us to know our position in Christ. What is our identity in Christ?
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.
- Royal refers to the king & priesthood refers to the priest. So in the new testament, everyone is a king and a priest.
- What is the responsibility of the priest? In the old testament, priest goes to presence of the holy God. He is so afraid, he takes the blood of the sacrifice and he goes into the presence of the living God and he sprinkles that blood on all the articles in the temple of the God or Tabernacle. His responsibility is to carry the sins of the people and go and ask for forgiveness. So priest’s responsibility basically in the old testament is standing between man and God.
- What is the responsibility of a king? King’s responsibility is to rule the nation. If somebody is coming against the nation, will that king be silent? He is not going to be silent. He is going fight. That’s where the intercessors are.
- God wants us to stand in front of the holy God representing somebody who is standing far behind you. Who is not able to walk in the presence of God, because he thinks, he is so sinful. God is looking at you and me, Can somebody go & tell him that God loves you. Jesus loves you. You have a life that I could see with my eyes. When you come to the presence of God, God is going to cleanse you and he is going to wash you. He is going to bring you out of the situation that you are in today. Can you be that tool ? Can you be that person who stands in the middle?
Section – 2: Engaging in Warfare :
Ephesians 6:12-13 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
- King’s and queen’s responsibility is to fight. Our fight is with spiritual strongholds, principalities, against powers and against the rulers. When you want to bring somebody to Christ, its not the ugly thing that we see in those lives but there are powers behind, there is darkness behind, there are areas of demonic oppression in his/ her life. That’s the reason, he /she is not able to come to Christ. God has given us authority to come against those powers that are holding his life.
- Some of your friends going through a struggle and want to come out of it but they are not able to come out it. So there is evil oppressing power behind it. Scripture talks about various kinds of power. It is a power of demon, it is a power of Antichrist, it is a power of the Prince of the air. So there is so much of evil power behind every individual. As a king your responsibility is to fight for them and release freedom in their lives.
- How do we fight for that? In prayer and in intercession. God is telling us that it is time we need to start praying for somebody in our lives.
- When we can pray for somebody? When we have the heart of God. We cannot just go and pray. We do not feel like praying for ourselves, then how do we feel like praying for others. Our attitude is important. We need to have burden for souls in our heart. If we do not have burden, we do not feel like praying for others.
- Do we have burden for souls? Do we really worry about some people who are dying? If the burden is not felt in our heart, I would say we need to check our relationship with Christ. That burden is not going to come just being a christian. That burden will come in our hearts, when we have the heart of God.
- How do we have the heart of God? When you walk closer with God. An intercessor should be able to walk closer with God.
- We can makeup many things including Sermon. We can makeup a sermon, we can come and preach and go. We can makeup a song, we can come, sing and go. We can do many things but we cannot really makeup intercession. Intercessor is the one who kneels down and forgets about what is happening in his life or her life, but crying to God for somebody. If you do not have that burden in your heart, you cannot really pray.
- We need to have love for others. I am not talking about loving each other. Love for somebody who is dying outside. Do we have that love for somebody? Someone walks into building, someone walks into your life, someone in your workplace, do you really love that person? Jesus said, you need to love your neighbors and your enemies.
- We need to ask the heart of God. When you want to intercede for others, we need to have the heart of Christ. When we really intercede and cry out to God for somebody, this is what will happen. At times it will not happen by our strength. We pray to God, as we read in Ephesians, we need to wear the whole armor of God because its a spiritual fight. When you get ready for spiritual fight, you need to prepare yourself. You need to pray, your life has to be in line with God, you need to know the word of God and you need to have your salvation. Everything that scripture is talking about armor of God. We protect ourselves. We get into the mode of praying for somebody. That prayer works.
- We know it is a fight and when we want to do that we cannot do it by our strength. We need the heaven to help us. Any intercession you try to make just by yourself, it’s not going to work. You need the blessing of the heaven.
Jesus was interceding. When Jesus was interceding, the burden of the father was poured into his heart.
Hebrews 5:7 Jesus in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.
When Jesus was on the face of this earth, he was crying out to God with strong cries and prayers. Cry is a part of prayer. When you cry for somebody, when you intercede for somebody, when you are filled with the heart of God, obviously you start crying. Not for you, not for your blessings but for somebody.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Bible says the spirit of God helps us to intercede to God. When you want to pray for somebody, when kneel down to pray for somebody, that burden comes in your heart that God is enabling you to pray for somebody. Some of us have questions, why I need the anointing of the holy spirit? When you are anointed with holy spirit, the spirit of God within you makes intercession because you do not know what to pray for. You feel like crying for somebody and praying from the bottom of your heart with groaning that cannot be uttered. When that cry comes from your heart, you cannot really speak those words. It must be heavenly language that you speak. Because you are not speaking but the spirit of God. God seeks intercessors. God wants us to change the way we pray and God wants us to pray for others.
Not interceding is a sin :
Bible clearly says not praying for somebody is a sin. 1 Samuel 12:23 that “failing to pray for the people living in wickedness is a sin against God.”
We are sinning against God by not praying for others who are living in wickedness. We think that we are holy but we are not. We are sinning because we are not praying for people living in wickedness. God wants you to pray and if we don’t, its a sin that we make everyday. Not praying for somebody is a sin. I shared it long ago in Ezekiel 9 .
- God is going to mark the foreheads of those who pray for others, those who worry about what is happening in the land, those who cry out to on behalf of the land.
- God says the rest of it, who are not marked, destroy them, kill them. That is the punishment. Scripture is very clear about it, where it is going to start? It says, start that destruction at the Church. Scripture is again specific.
- It also says start that among the elders and the leaders of the church. The expectation of the God is not to make you spiritually matured man or woman of the God. The expectation of the God in your life is just to walk down the streets like a normal man and tell somebody that Jesus loves you.
That’s the life that God expects. That’s the life that God is pleased with. God is seeking for intercessors.