DID YOU KNOW (1)?
…That intercession is not a “spiritual gift”?
It’s amazing to me that intercession has become the special ministry of a select few instead of the privilege of every child of God. What is even more astonishing is that it is now, according to some, both a title and a calling. Is there any verse or passage in Scripture that confirms this idea? I have yet to find one.
In fact, the Bible says the opposite. Prayer (and intercession is one kind of prayer) is the honour and privilege of all God’s children.
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer without anger and disputing (1 Tim 2: 8).
The Greek word for “men” here is aner which refers specifically to males. Does this mean that only men may pray? Paul affirms in Gal. 3:28 that there is neither … male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. We assume, therefore, that prayer is the privilege of all God’s children regardless of colour, culture, or gender.
Although people of every religious persuasion “pray”, there is no true prayer outside of God’s family. Prayer is the way God’s children who are flesh and blood and live physical lives in a physical world, interact with the Father who is spirit and dwells in the unseen realm.
Prayer is the only way in which we can communicate with Him. Physical we may be, but we have His Spirit within us. We relate to God spirit to spirit as His sons and daughters. Our spirits communicate with His Spirit who interprets our prayers to the Father.
Prayer is a mystery. Through intercourse with God, which the Bible calls “prayer” we participate in the realm of the unseen, hearing the voice of the Spirit within us and responding with or without words to the one who knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. We participate in the “groaning” of the universe which, like the human race is also under the curse of sin, awaiting the completion of the redemption Jesus accomplished on the cross.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies…
…In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans (Rom. 8:22-23; 26)
It seems, then, that prayer is far more intense than simply talking to God. Prayer is the child’s participation with the Father in our role as “rulers” over His creation and the outworking of His purposes to bring about the restoration of all things.
Prayer is the role of God’s sons and daughters who are members of His family and citizens of His kingdom. Prayer enables us to work with Him to carry out His will on earth and bring in His eternal kingdom. Prayer is not the attempt of worshippers, as the pagans do, to manipulate God to do what we want or to appease Him through fear so that he will not destroy us.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Rom. 8:15-16).
Does any other religion, including the cults which have corrupted the truth, offer an intimate relationship between their god and his devotees as father and children? In what way do pagan deities offer their devotees the opportunity of participating with them in the fulfilment of their eternal purposes? Do pagan gods have any plans? Where is their religion taking them?
Of course, there are no answers to these questions. There is only one God in whom all history is wrapped up and makes sense. God not only began history – He will also conclude history as He determined in the beginning.
Rev. 5:1-9 describes the scene in heaven where the scroll of history could not be opened until the Lamb stepped forward. No one knows the meaning of history outside of Jesus. He is the only one who can interpret history according to God’s purposes.
Prayer is the all-encompassing way in which we commune with God. Prayer has many facets – what Paul calls “all kinds of prayer” – and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Eph. 6:18a). He enumerates the “all kinds of prayer” in his instructions to Timothy.
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone… (1 Tim. 2:1).
Did you notice that intercession is included in the “all kinds of prayer” and that all God’s people are to engage in intercession as part of our resistance to the enemy?
Why, then, is intercession singled out and made a ministry for some when we are all instructed to pray for all people, and especially for God’s people (Eph. 6: 18b)?
Prayer in all its facets is the privilege and obligation of all God’s people because it is the way God has ordained for us to have personal and intimate fellowship with Him.
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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