Find your four mighty ones, or where lies the power of intercession?

You probably know the Gospel story about how four friends took their sick friend, brought him, went to the roof, opened it and laid their friend at the feet of Yeshua. And Yeshua healed him. These four people were intercessors, petitioners, guardians for their sick companion – for a man who had neither the strength nor the opportunity to come to the house where Yeshua was and receive healing from Him. Therefore, thank God that this man had four friends and four intercessors who did this for him.

We also need to find people with whom we can ask God for a solution to a specific problem. We ourselves need to learn to intercede, to diligently engage in spiritual warfare in order to solve our lives, our families and their problems that have burdened us. And we must intercede, diligently ask the Almighty to solve the problems existing in our country with His strong hand.

What is intercession and who are intercessors?

Intercession is a diligent battle prayer, when we find the one to be brought to the feet of Yeshua, we find that situation, problem and pain that needs to be brought to the feet of Yeshua because no one else can do it.

War is a challenge to communities, churches and missions in our country. This is a call to intercede, beg and plead before the Lord for this carnage to end. I have noticed that many people have started to take things lightly. They say: “Here we have long-range missiles, armored cars, tanks, they will soon give us airplanes, we have assault brigades …”

That’s all great, but it’s physical strength. But victory, as we know, is from the Lord. We can prepare our “horses”, boast of weapons and they play their role in saving lives and attacking. But the change in the spiritual atmosphere, the retreat of the darkness that came here to kill, steal, maim, rape and did so successfully in different parts of the country, that is a matter of prayer.

Intercessory prayer is a rather rare type of prayer because it usually extends to our internal problems (sin, offense, disappointments…) or our personal external problems (money, medical care, backsliding of our children, lack of something good). We ask: “Lord, help! Bless! Answer!” But today the time has come when the challenge to believers sounds quite different. Today, rising from the ruins of our country, the healing of our society is not a local, but a global problem of war and awakening.

Remember how the apostle Peter ended up in prison. It is written that “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5). Intercession is a diligent prayer, it is when you do not stop because you were told on television that we now have 300 tanks, 1000 armored vehicles and 40 thousand attack planes. But if you say instead: “Lord, I thank You that You have blessed my country so much, that You have placed so many defenders! But I pray even more to You. I pray that this spiritual darkness that hovers over our country will disappear.”

Intercession turns God’s wrath into mercy

In the book of the prophet Ezekiel are the following words:

“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath..'” (Ezekiel 22:30-31).

God was always looking for intercessors, people who go to the goal. The book of Psalms says that the Lord looks over all the earth and looks for those who are faithful to Him. God is looking for faithful intercessors for other people’s needs, who do not solve prayer questions only on the spot. But those who know the heart of God, who want to solve global problems – whether it’s war or another person’s unsolvable need. And God tells them what to do and sends the means to solve this problem.

These words are a figurative statement of the behavior of the people of Israel, that their wall and their security have been destroyed. But the Lord did not find a person to pray for the people, and then it was said: “I will pour out my indignation, because I have not found a person to hold back this wave.”

The intercessor is an advocate. He can negotiate with God, if I may say so. He can sometimes influence God’s decision. Sometimes he can turn God’s wrath into God’s mercy. I don’t know how these mechanisms work, but it does. We see many examples in Scripture of how intercessors “changed” God’s wrath to mercy. How this works is not clear. But it works because God appreciates people who intercede. He sees their hearts and sees that their hearts are as gracious as His.

Intercessory Lessons in Scripture

Let’s read some examples of intercessory prayers from Scripture. The first example is Jacob’s intercession:

“So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin, for that they did unto thee evil. And now, we pray thee, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.'” (Genesis 50:17-18).

Before dying, Jacob asks his son to accept his brothers and forgive them for what he did. Joseph went through many troubles and hardships, his heart should have become hard and callous, he should have developed a desire to take revenge on his brothers. Therefore, before his death, the father says: “I pray for your careless brothers. Forgive them!” And here it is written: “Joseph wept.” Intercession changes the heart! Another example is Nehemiah:

“Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have committed against You; I and my father’s house have sinned.” (Nehemiah 1:6).

Nehemiah was a righteous, God-fearing, God-loving man who wanted to bring God’s law back to Israel. Why should he confess the sins of his people? But he says: “I beg you, forgive me, forgive the sins of my people, have mercy.” And after some time, God begins to rebuild Jerusalem through Nehemiah. Nehemiah did not sin, but he understood the power of intercession.

A truly spiritual person confesses the sins of his people before God: “Lord, forgive us that since 1991 we have performed more than 500,000 abortions in Ukraine. Forgive us, Lord, that we steal, that we do not notice the elderly, that we do not respect our parents, that we raise our children wrongly!” And then the God of Israel will pay attention to us and have mercy on us. The third example of intercession is in the book of the prophet Samuel:

“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you. And I will continue to teach you the good and right way.” (1 Samuel 12:23).

Samuel says it is a sin not to pray for one’s people and country. The word “het” which means “sin” is translated from Hebrew as “missing the mark”. This means that Samuel is saying, “I will not allow sin, I will not allow backsliding. I pray and intercede for you.” We see another example of intercessory prayer in Exodus 32:7-14, where Moses prays before the Lord for the people and it is written:

“Then the Lord relented and did not bring on His people the disaster He had threatened.” (Exodus 32:14).

How this mechanism works, we do not know. How can this great God, who makes decisions without consulting us about inciting evil, destroying people, teaching, punishing, allowing, can suddenly, in an instant, change everything – how is this? We don’t know. But we see that there are many such cases in the Scriptures when people propitiated God and His wrath was turned away. And His power came with healing, blessings and miracles.

Our challenge today

If Moses did it, so can we. When we participate in intercessory prayer or continue to pray diligently, as the early church prayed for Peter in prison, God will send His angels and pour out His blessing. Today the Lord speaks to His Church and says: “I am looking for a man to fill the void. I don’t want to pour out my anger on the earth. I want to see a merciful intercessor, I want to see an army of intercessors.”

We can reach beyond our local needs in prayer. Prayer has no boundaries. It, like faith, can go where no weapon can. Because prayer and intercession are stronger weapons than any piece of iron. Think about it. What is going on in our hearts? Why did God give this gift of intercession? How can we use it? Do we use it, especially in these difficult times? Why do we see so few of God’s miracles? Maybe it’s because we’re not intercessors?

The Lord wants to see us in the crack in the wall. He wants to see us on our knees, as He saw His servant Moses saying, “Have mercy! Don’t destroy the nation! The Lord wants us to write His story, in which it is written: “Such and such people prayed diligently for such and such a regiment, such and such a battalion and miraculously people survived there. Projectiles flew by, the enemies standing opposite ran away in fear because someone was praying.”

When King Hezekiah with Isaiah prayed for Jerusalem surrounded by the Assyrian horde, the Lord sent His angel and all the enemies were destroyed in one night. They said: “God, we repent and beg! Yes, the enemy is stronger than us, he has defeated all other kingdoms. But we are asking You!” And God heard this call, intercession and had mercy on Israel. God works great miracles through intercession. He wants to see us in the ranks of these four strong friends who bring this or that problem to Yeshua’s feet.

Anatoli Emma, priest of the mission “Jews for Jesus”.

Word on Shabbat KEMO February 18, 2023.

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