08 Sep The Power of Intercession
In the Gospel of Matthew 9:32-38, where Jesus casts out a devil from a demoniac, Jesus saw that the people in that town were harassed and dejected by the evil one. Satan was attacking the people of God. Jesus felt that they needed deliverance, guidance, and a shepherd because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He asked them to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers to his harvest.
The situation that existed at the time of Jesus, also exists in the world today. Why are people losing their faith and not going to Church anymore? The churches are getting empty, people call themselves Christians, but they have not been baptized, and even baptized Christians do not practice their faith. Why is there increasing unbelief, a lack of faith and evil attacks? The Lord is looking for someone who can stand in the gap and pray but he is not able to find anyone. (Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for anyone among them who would repair the wall and stand in the breach before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.”)
The Lord is commissioning all his people to intercede
God is looking for people who can stand in the gap to pray for others – for people who are possessed, oppressed, harassed and suffering. It is not just for the priests, nuns, and consecrated people to pray and work miracles. The miracles and signs that the Lord gives are for all believers, for all Christians, for all those who are baptized.
By using His name, those who believe in Jesus and belong to Jesus, will cast out demons. Mark 16:16-18 “The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
The Lord has given us all the authority that he had. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
We need to believe it. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. There is no portion of the authority that is left with the demons. God is looking for people who can share in His authority so that they can cast out the evil one. Basically, people are afraid to pray for others who are under evil attacks as they fear being attacked by the evil spirit. This is the deception of the devil. If you are willing to stand in the gap and become a prayer warrior, you should know that the Lord will stay with you. No one can do any harm to you. (Matthew 28:19 “And teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”)
Jesus is the most powerful intercessor; He is God himself and He is also an intercessor and has taught us that our enemy is the devil.
Intercessors are special to God
God appreciates those who pray for others. God respects and honors intercessors. The Lord is marking a sign on the foreheads of the intercessors who pray on behalf of those who commit sins. This is Gods promise as written in the book of Ezekiel 9:4 “and said to him, “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of those who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”
All those who pray and intercede for others are special people. The Lord is marking them with the name of Abba Father on their forehead. (Revelations 7:3-4 “saying, “Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads. And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel” and in Revelations 14:1 “Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”)
We live in a world where sacrifice and intercession have lost their meaning. It is all about me, myself, and my family. When you feel the pain of anyone suffering, even a stranger, you become a good Samaritan i.e. Jesus himself and you get the heart of Jesus. When you can feel the acute pain in your heart of those who are in pain, you have the vocation of an intercessor. When we lift our hands and pray, that itself is a sacrifice. (Psalm 141:2 “Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.”)
The Lord highly appreciates and respects an intercessor and the ministry of intercession. He is so thankful to intercessors. It is through intercessors that the Lord is protecting this world. If there is a tragedy that has not affected you, if you got a promotion, if you got a job, if you are safe from the pandemic and for every single blessing, you should know that there is an intercessor who is praying for you. The prayers of intercessors are the secrets of your blessing and prosperity.
Even a single person interceding can save a nation
Jeremiah 5:1 “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look around and take note! Search its squares and see if you can find one person who acts justly and seeks truth – so that I may pardon Jerusalem”.
Can you be that single person who can spare your city from destruction, or protect your city from pandemics and wars? There was a single person called Abraham, a single person called Jeremiah, as well as a single person called Daniel who stood in the gap. Even today, the Lord does the same. If you and I stand in the gap and pray for those who are possessed and harassed, they will be delivered. Jesus is looking for similar servants with a heart like his own heart. It is our duty to pray for others.
Intercessors are appointed by God himself
Isaiah 62:6 “Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and all night they shall never be silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest.”
These prayer warriors and watchmen are appointed by God and they pray ceaselessly until God establishes justice for his people and forgives them. (Isaiah 62:7 “and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth.”)
A genuine intercessor never prays for oneself or only for their own family. Every news that you read or story that you hear is an invitation to prayer. Intercessors never judge anyone because they know that it is only through prayers that evil can be overcome. An intercessor cries because of the destruction of Gods people as they do not want any soul to be lost.
In the book of Lamentations 3:48, prophet Jeremiah writes “My eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of my people.” An intercessor sheds tears and cries and pleads unto the Lord, even for strangers.
Intercession is a gift which can be used by anyone
Every prayer is an act of the Holy Spirit .The Holy Spirit will pray through us.(Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”)
Every prayer is not because of our own merits but because of the sorrowful passion of Jesus Christ. If you pray with your own merits, you should fear evil attacks. We pray through the merits of Jesus as He has already paid the ransom for us all and for everything that is evil (1 Timothy 2:6 “who gave himself a ransom for all – this was attested at the right time”)
1 John 3:8 “The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” If we believe that the Son of God, Jesus came to this earth, died and rose again and defeated the works of the devil, we should use the grace, power, and authority which Jesus has already given us and go to the ends of the world and proclaim and. (Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has appointed me to bring good news to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’’ )
Believe it. Claim it. Use it! Do not be afraid to use the power of the Lord. The priest and prophet Aaron used it. In the book of Numbers 16:48 “He stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stopped.” Aaron stood between the dead and the living. The Lord is asking us if we can stand in the gap, lift our hands and pray, seeking Gods favor and protection and he will intervene.
Anyone can become an intercessor. When you intercede for others, you are partaking in the powerful ministry of Jesus himself. Psalm 110:1 “The Lord says to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. The Lord sends out from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your foes”. God will give you the authority to rule in the midst of your foes. This is the power of intercession. God always works through intercessors and Satan will become their footstool.
The intercession of Saints
Many of us are battling with bad habits. How do we overcome them? Surrender your own bad habits and then seek the intercession of saints for the habit that you are trying to overcome. There are so many Saints who also sought the intercession of other Saints, so we too can do the same.
Below are a few examples of Saints we can intercede to for different bad habits and sins:
– For selfishness, seek the intercession of Saint Joseph because his gift was to trust in God.
– If you feel you do not have the zeal for God, seek the intercession of St Paul who was a zealous missionary fighting and living for the truth as Jesus himself.
-For laziness to work or pray devoutly, seek the intercession of Saint Benedict who was a monk with the gift of prayer and devotion to God.
-For secularism, seek the intercession of Saint Francis of Assisi who lived exclusively for God leaving the pleasures of this world.
In the ministry of intercession, you are not alone. You are in partnership with Jesus himself, the Holy Spirit, Mother Mary and all the saints. You become an army with the army in heaven.(Jeremiah 51:20 “You are my war club, my weapon of battle: with you I smash nations; with you I destroy kingdoms”.)
Based on the talk by Father Antony Parankimalil VC.
To listen to the full talk, please click the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnrL4dhkID4