This is the first of ten I’s of prayer…unless I find some more!
In Greek, to intercede means to chance upon, confer with, entreat, deal with as to meet a person in order to converse, consult, or supplicate. It comes from two words, one meaning in, by, at, and on, and the other means to affect, hit or light upon, make petition, plead with a person either for or against others.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men.” (1 Tim. 2:1 AMP)
Do we go before the throne of God to make intercessions on behalf of all men? Let’s do a little checking…
Do our prayers focus more on “me, my, and mine,” or do we pray outside our circle of friends and families? Do we pray for those we say we will; for those involved when we hear sirens; for a Christian going through scrutiny in a public arena; for children who are abused, and for their abusers; for people the camera focuses on in the audience when we watch Christian programs; for our preachers as they stand at their pulpits to preach and for those listening?
Do we pray for the person who cuts us off while driving or when we accidentally cut someone off and they show us their digit of intelligence; for our children going through a nasty divorce, and for their spouse; for a friend to be blessed who has stabbed us in the back or spread harmful rumors about us; for children who are abducted, triggering an Amber Alert, for their parents, and the abductor; for the children of those heart-wrenching commercials for the support of children’s funds (if we cannot support them with our finances)?
Do we pray for the one in line in front of us who obviously needs prayer and may have no one else to pray for him or her; for the family of someone who has been murdered, and for the murderer; for the President, whether we like him or not; for the terrorists; for the Democrats if we’re a Republican or for the Republicans if we’re a Democrat; for those on the front-line of Christian ministry; for those opposed to Christianity?
Do we pray for the peace and safety of Israel; for those precious people around the world who have been mutilated because they refuse to denounce their faith in Christ, and for their attackers; for the safety of those Christian unknowns hidden in dark corners of the globe, working tirelessly for the Kingdom; for spiritual revival in us, our church, our city, or our country; for the outpouring of the Spirit and God’s glory to be manifested? Do we have a worldview, praying around the world to save the oppressed, the hungry, the poor, the naked, the hurting, the lost?
Jesus’ purpose for coming was “to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV) He prayed to the Father for lost souls, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me because of their testimony.” (John 17:2 NT)
When Paul told Timothy to pray for all men, he said, “This is good and pleases God our Savior, for He wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3-4 NLT)
We should also take to heart what Samuel said, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you,” (1 Sam. 12:23 NKJV) whoever the you may be.
All people are of concern to us because they are of concern to God. Who knows, maybe our intercessory prayers will physically save the life of one on the other side of the planet, or bring one back to health, or better yet, save a soul! Won’t it be exciting in heaven to find out?