Summary: How we should pray for others and stand in the gap as a intercessor for other people and our nation. 6 things that we should pray for others
SBC Philippi 12/12/04 pm
Rev. Jeff Simms
Standing In the Gap
Primary Purpose: To speak to the church about the importance of intercession.
Most of the great men of God in the Bible all had this one thing in common- they were great intercessors for their people. From Daniel’s great prayer in Daniel 9, to Moses interceding for mercy from God in Exodus 32-33, to Samuel in 1 Samuel 12:7,23. Samuel even said that for him it would be a sin to cease praying for the people v.23. But, now here in Ezekiel 22:27-31, we see that there is no longer a man like these to “stand in the gap” between God and man.
The Word Intercession
In the New Testament, the word intercession can be either a noun or verb. In each case it means “to make a petition”. In Romans 11:2 it is used in a negative sense when Elijah “pleads with God against Israel?” It is also used in Heb 7:25 to denote the work of Christ as our intercessor. Also, in Romans 8:27 it is used to discuss the role of the Holy Spirit as our intercessor.
First, I want you to notice the power of one person’s intercessor for others. Notice that in v.30 it says “I searched for a man”. The word is man not men. It is a singular person that the Lord was looking for. The nation had become so corrupt that the prophets were instead “seeing false visions and divining lies” saying that the Lord had spoken when he hadn’t. They were doing this to comfort the people and to become popular, not because they were interested in truth or really speaking for the Lord. The nation had become so corrupt that nobody was left who would stand between God and man for man’s interests and intercede for them like Moses did. (See Psalm 106:23) If there had been then it may have stopped the people from being judged and condemned.
If this ministry was so important then, then it is also incredibly important now. The fact is, is that God listens to the voice of His children. It affects the way God works and intervenes in the lives of others. So, how should we intercede for others?
Ways To Intercede for Others
1. For the Lost- that their eyes would be opened to see their lost condition. That they would be convicted of the truth of the gospel and their need for Jesus Christ. I don’t have to wonder if it is God’s will for people to be saved. He came to save all those who would call upon Him. But, the lost are in such a state of depravity that they are spiritually dead and even hostile to God. So, we should pray that they are drawn to God the Father and that they are given the understanding to understand God’s love, forgiveness and the gospel truth. Pray for the lost.
2. Pray for the Spirit to fill each believer. Often believers can make small compromises with sin that they might not think is important, but really quenches the Spirit of God. Sin is subtle in that we can slowly walk away from God. Our prayer is that God would so fill each believer with the Spirit that they would be led by the Spirit and not the flesh. We pray that each believer as Paul said in Colossians 3:2 would “set their minds on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth.”
3. Pray for the protection of other believers from attacks from the enemy. In 1 Peter 5:8 it says that the devil prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. We should pray for each other that God would help those who are being attacked to stand strong in their faith. Jesus Himself didn’t always stop this attack from happening as in the case of Peter (Like 22:31), but interceded for Peter that he would strengthen others once he turned back. Pray that God would protect each of us, especially church leaders.
4. Pray for missionaries and ministries that preach and teach the Gospel- Colossians 4:2-3 is a missions pray where Paul requests that the church prays that a door opens that the Word might be preached and that Paul would make the gospel clear and that he would have boldness. We should pray that same for our church, missionaries and other ministries that God would open up opportunities to share the gospel and that the gospel would be clear and that hearts would be convicted. We pray for others and ourselves that the Word would go out clearly.
5. Pray for strength in the face of temptation- 1 Corinthians 10:13. This passages says that there will be a way of escape that you may be able to endure temptation. That means either God can take away the temptation or He will give you the grace to stand in the face of it. Temptation isn’t always from the devil and is never from God. Many temptations rather are from the heart. Jesus declared this truth in Matthew 15;18-19.