Read: Isaiah 59:14-16
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street…and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and his own righteousness, it sustained Him.
Reflect: When I think of prayer, especially intercessory prayer, there is often one thought that comes to my mind, long prayers. And I am not good at long prayers. In fact, I don’t know a lot of people who are. Oh, there are those we call intercessors, who love to pray and they can easily make the rest of us embarrassed by our short attention spans when it comes to praying. The truth is my embarrassment is born out of a lack of understanding what intercession really is. The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament for intercessor or intercession is “Paga.” It has several different meanings, but each of them help us understand what intercession is really about. Intercession is not a prayer as I grew up believing, it is an action. The action of filling the gap, meeting a need, standing between and becoming a bridge. Isaiah 53:12 clearly reveals that;
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Jesus made intercession for the transgressors. That would be us, those who broke the law and walked away from our Father. He built a bridge back to the Father’s heart for each of us who choose to walk over it. His intercession was the action of coming to give His life on our behalf. The misunderstanding of what intercession really is brought me a huge amount of angst as it may have brought you. Especially if you want to care for others and pray others into His destiny for their lives.
Intercession isn’t a prayer but an action. Can you pray a prayer that intercedes? Absolutely, just as you can pray a prayer of faith, but faith isn’t a prayer either it is an action. One of the other meanings for the word, “Paga” or intercession is to reach or to intersect. This is actually what our Father wants our prayer lives to do, to reach and intersect with other’s lives. It is used in this manner in Joshua 19:11 and 17:10 where it says, “The sea was their border; and they reached to Asher on the north and to Issachar on the east.” Jesus wants to enlarge your borders to include others He wants you to intercede for; people He longs to meet face to face. If you really want to understand intercession think about the word “intersection,” that is where things meet. Intercession is what we do to help people meet with Jesus. We pray for their paths to intersect with Jesus’ destiny for them. We believe for them when they have no faith of their own, just as others believed and interceded for us.
Father, give me the heart of an intercessor. I want to reach others for you. I want to pray others into your heart, but I need you Holy Spirit to fill me with a hunger for those who are lost and hurting. Those you have called me to intercede for.