WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 11, 2021
TOPIC: BE A FAITHFUL INTERCESSOR
BY T. O. BANSO
“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren’” (Luke 22:31-32 New King James Version).
The Bible says because Jesus lives forever, His priesthood lasts forever. Therefore, He is able to save to the uttermost, those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:24-25). Jesus is making intercession for the saints at present in heaven. “He died once; he intercedes perpetually” (John Wesley’s Notes on the Old and New Testaments).
The Greek word translated intercession in Hebrews 7:25 is entugchano. It means (1) to light upon a person or a thing, fall in with, hit upon, a person or a thing (2) to go to or meet a person, especially for the purpose of conversation, consultation, or supplication (3) to pray, entreat (4) make intercession for any one (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). It is believed that in classic Greek, entugchano was used to refer to bringing a petition before a king on behalf of another person.
Before Jesus went to die on the cross, He prayed for His disciples and those who would still believe in Him (John 17). And prior to this, He told Peter, Satan’s plan against him. “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren’” (Luke 22:31-32 New King James Version).
What Jesus said practically happened to Peter. He denied Jesus three times despite his insistence that he was ready to die with Him (Matthew 26:35; Mark 14:31; Luke 22:33). Probably, Jesus’ intercession prevented Peter, after denying Jesus, from taking drastic action, as Judas Iscariot did, when he hanged himself (Matthew 27:5).
There is no record that Jesus interceded for Judas Iscariot, despite knowing that he wanted to betray Him! Rather, He told him, “What you do, do quickly” (John 13:27b New King James Version), referring to His betrayal by him.
Peter, after denying Jesus three times, wept bitterly (Mathew 26:75). Probably, in frustration, he announced he was going fishing, even after Jesus had appeared to His disciples, including him, following His resurrection (John 21:3). Nevertheless, Jesus reinstated him into the ministry. His intercession preserved him. Your faithful intercession may save some people’s lives or destinies.
Has God shown you something that may happen to somebody– good or bad? Are you praying for the person? Maybe God has given you a prayer burden for someone. Are you faithfully interceding for the person?
Abraham’s intercession saved Lot and his two daughters from the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19:29 says, “And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt” (New King James Version).
Acts 12:1-4 says that after Herod had killed James the brother of John with the sword and he saw that it pleased the Jews, he arrested Peter, too, and kept him in prison under tight security, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. But the church offered constant prayer to God for him which led to his miraculous release by the angel of the Lord.
Verses 7-10 say, “Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, ‘Arise quickly!’ And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, ‘Gird yourself and tie on your sandals’; and so he did. And he said to him, ‘Put on your garment and follow me.’ So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him” (New King James Version).
When Peter finally realized what had happened, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people” (verse 11 New King James Version). The church was still praying for his release when Peter got to the venue of their prayer meeting, the house of Mary, the mother of John named Mark. Those who were praying couldn’t believe at first that it was Peter who was knocking at the door of the gate when Rhoda, the little girl who went to answer and recognized Pater’s voice, told them. God answers prayers.
Faithfully intercede for your spouse, children, relations, church, friends, sinners, etc. instead of complaining. Man’s intercession brings God’s intervention. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says we should make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for all men, kings, and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
Paul told the Colossians that he had continued to pray for them ever since he first heard of their faith and love. His intercession for them was “that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Colossians 1:9-11 New King James Version).
Paul also wrote to Timothy, telling him of his intercession for him. “I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy” (2 Timothy 1:3-4 New King James Version).
Similarly, Paul also informed the Romans of his intercession for them. He said, “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you” (Romans 1:9-10 New King James Version).
In Exodus 32, God wanted to destroy the Israelites and make Moses a great nation because they had made a molded calf and worshipped and sacrificed to it. But Moses interceded for them and God relented from the harm He had said He would do to them (verses 1-14). Moses did not fail to intercede for the Israelites whom he led. “Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin – but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written” (verses 31-32 New King James Version). Moses referred to this incident in Deuteronomy 9:8-21.
Also, in Numbers 14:13-19, Moses interceded for the people after their rebellion against God following the report of the spies Moses had sent to explore the land God had promised them. The spies discouraged the people from going to possess the land. Only two out of the twelve spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought back a good report. The people rejected and disbelieved God despite all the signs He had performed among them. God told Moses He would strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and He would make of Moses a nation greater and mightier than them. But after Moses’ intercession, God pardoned them.
It is a sin against the Lord to fail to intercede for those He wants you to intercede for. Samuel told the Israelites that he would not stop praying for them because that would be sinning against the LORD. “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way” (1 Samuel 12:23 New King James Version).
The LORD says in Ezekiel 22:30, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one” (New King James Version). God is looking for faithful intercessors. May He find you to be one.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me not to sin against the Lord in ceasing to intercede for those I should intercede for. Father, I receive the grace to be a faithful intercessor. Strengthen those who are interceding for me; let them not become tired or discouraged.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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