Home > Prayer > “In Jesus’ Name. Amen”

“In Jesus’ Name. Amen”


 

Intercession is a weird thing to define- in the Christian context at least. At first it seems simple. It’s middle management, right? It is to me one person speaking for the voiceless. Intercession in my mind revolves around social justice. The poor, the oppressed, the exploited and the vulnerable, the disabled, the orphans and widows. The kinds of people that have a social disadvantage and do not have, or do not realize they have, the power to be better than where they are now. It almost becomes material for me. But that is not intercession, or at least not all that it is.
Intercession literally means to be a mediator, go-between, or representative. And intercessor is a messenger representing one party to another. In the spiritual context we see a dual representation. A prophet would represent the people to God, and (s)he would represent God to the people. One of my favorite examples of an intercessor representing the people to God is from Genesis 18:23-33 where Abraham makes a case for Sodom and Gomorrah. Another favorite is from 2 Chronicles 30:18-20 where the people of Jerusalem did not follow the law but where eating the passover meal unclean. There Hezekiah intercedes on behalf of the people to God. Examples of God to the people are easy to spot as well. 2 Samuel 12:7-12 is a great example. That’s where Nathan rebukes David for the adultery he committed with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. Luke 3:1-18 is another favorite (I have a lot). John the Baptizer is calling all of Israel out into the desert to be baptized, he’s quoting scripture and telling very powerful people that they need change pretty much everything they do. He’s representing God to the people.

So, how do we intercede? Where does the power come from? Why is it so important? There are a lot more and more meaningful questions, but I doubt I’ll get to all of them.
All intercession is an extension of Christ’s work as the Ultimate Intercessor.
1 Tim 2:5 says: “There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men-the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle.”
This scripture says that Jesus represented People to God (“gave himself as a ransom for all men”) and God to the people (“testimony given in its proper time”). What I find very interesting is that Paul says he was appointed a herald and an apostle. This would mean he’s representing God to the people. An apostle is someone sent with a message. The message carries not the authority of the messenger but of the master who sent him. So, when the message Paul gives is received it is received as a message from Jesus’ lips.  That’s extending the work of intercession that was made complete in Christ. 
The power then is coming from the authority of Jesus. When my charismatic friends pray for healing they bind whatever illness is to be found in Jesus’ name. It’s powerful when you let Jesus do the work and merely step up to ask him.
 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 justifies us praying in Jesus’ name:  “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”

Again this explains Jesus role of representing us to God, and then gives us authority to intercede. He gives us the message of reconciliation and God is making his appeal through us. We then have a responsibility to represent God to the earth. As intercessors that have received the gift of the Holy Spirit we also plead the case of the people to God. We seek justice and forgiveness, standing in the gap between the actions of the people and the righteousness and justice of God. We intercede on behalf of the people for mercy from God. We intercede on behalf of God to the people for repentance. It’s an interesting relationship. We should learn more.

 

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  1. June 26, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    How do you know if it is being done right? What occurs of we are being intercessors for others via out faith?

  2. June 26, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Society those are good questions. I can’t claim to know the answers, but I can share my mind. I’m not sure if I believe in a right or wrong when it comes to prayer. I think of Jesus talking to the samaritan woman at the well: “But a time is coming- and is now here when the true worshipers will worship the father in spirit and in truth, for the father seeks such people to be his worshipers. God is spirit and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23,24. I think God just wants spirit-mindedness and honesty. When we start thinking about the eternal, like Jesus did, and not solely on the temporal, and are completely honest, then you can’t go wrong.
    Concerning the whole faithful/unfaithful dilemma… I know God wants us to be faithful, obviously but I also believe there is a promise about God and his character in 2 Timothy 2:11-13: “If we died with him, we will also live with him. If we endure we will also reign with him. If we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he will remain faithful for he cannot deny himself.”
    I hope that begins to form an answer, probably not. But at least it will form some thoughts.
    as always, thanks for reading.

  3. July 4, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    The reason I bring it up is because I am not sure there is a right or wrong way – maybe intercession happens in our basic thoughts towards others (ie: wishes and hopes). Or maybe it doesn’t happen at all? I really am not sure myself concerning the power and impact of prayer.

  4. July 4, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Well something good to not is that not all intercession is prayer and not all prayer is intercession. I have a lot of thoughts about prayer and intercession. I truly believe that neither prayer nor intercession begin with saying “Dear God” and end with “Amen”. I think there is a certain amount of informality. Remember prayer is communication, and perhaps there is plenty of nonverbal prayer. Also, Intercession can be mediation. Perhaps that can happen non-verbally as well.

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