Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 35

Prayers of Intercession continued...

There are many people, circumstances, and situations for which we can pray prayers of intercession. Among the most beautiful of these, are the intercessions of the saints on behalf of the saints.

As children of God and followers of Christ, we must pray for each other, as Christ prayed for us. Yes, Jesus prayed for the church, and we must likewise pray for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

John 17:9, “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.”

Jesus did not stop interceding for us once He ascended into heaven. He didn’t just pray for us while He walked the earth. Having been glorified, He is now our great High Priest, who makes intercession for us before the Father. Jesus is our mediator, He is our intercessor, and He intercedes on our behalf before God.

Romans 8:34, “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

We have the blessed assurance, that not only did Christ die and rise again, but also that He is at the right hand of God making intercession for us.

We have an advocate in Christ, who pleads our cause before the Father in perpetuity. Paul declares the work of intercession on our behalf to be an ongoing one. Jesus did not cease being the Shepherd, He did not cease being our High Priest, and He did not cease being our Mediator. He will continue to intercede on our behalf until the day He returns to claim His Bride.

Hebrews 9:24, ‘For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”

Christ now appears in the presence of God for us. It is not for Himself that He does this, but for you and for me, that He might intercede and petition the Father on our behalf. God loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus loves His Bride, those who believe in Him and have come to the knowledge of saving grace so much that He appears in the presence of God for us, and makes intercession for us.

The privileges of being a child of God, saved, sanctified and redeemed, extend beyond what our understanding can grasp. Christ has done, and continues to do more than we will ever know on our behalf, so we might be in perfect union with the Father, experience true fellowship with Him, and one day be welcomed into His eternal Kingdom.

If we analyze the words of Christ’s prayer of intercession on behalf of the redeemed, we realize that the true church is defined and legitimized by its separation from the world. Jesus specified that He was not praying for the world, but for those whom the Father had given Him. He makes the distinction of separation between those who have been redeemed and sanctified, and those who still wander in darkness and despair.

John 17:14-16, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

The prayer of Christ on behalf of believers is the longest recorded prayer He uttered within the pages of scripture.

When taking into account that Jesus prayed this prayer shortly before He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to die by crucifixion, we can’t help but see His love for us. Jesus knew what was about to happen, He knew what He would have to endure, yet He prayed to the Father not for Himself, but for you, and for me, and all those who would believe in Him through the preaching of the gospel.

Jesus defined what it means to be His. If we are of Christ, we are no longer of the world. If we are still of the world, then we are not of Christ.

Just as He is not of the world, the true church is likewise not of the world. This does not mean we ought not to pray for those of the world, the Bible is clear on this topic, but what it means is that we no longer love the world or the things thereof.

If the world and the things of the world still hold sway over us, then we do not belong to Christ.

The word of God is clear on what it means to be saved and sanctified, yet men considered the way too narrow, and took it upon themselves to widen the path.

If the world loves us, but hates Christ, then we have a serious issue on our hands.

For the sake of our very souls we must stop playing at getting saved, and get saved. We must stop flirting with the world, and attempting to widen that path that Christ Himself said was a narrow one, because if we are not in harmony with the word of God, all we are doing is deceiving ourselves into believing we are something that we’re not.

I realize my words might seem harsh to some, but they are the truth. Christ intercedes for those who are His, for those who are no longer of the world. If we are still of the world, then hope as we might that the High Priest will make intercession on our behalf, it will have been a misplaced hope. Christ intercedes for those who belong to Him. In the light of the gospel, make certain that you do.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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