Week 1 Principles of Intercession – Class Notes 9-11-16
Definitions of original words for prayer – see separate sheet. The root words for pray and prayer have various meanings, including to approach God, to worship and thank him, or to request something for oneself or for others.
Intercession is a form of prayer, but the intention is to stop the law of sowing and reaping from bringing destruction.
When you reject God’s protection from the enemy, you are allowing the enemy permission to destroy you. God doesn’t wish anyone to perish (II Pet. 3:9), even though they are sowing destruction by their unbelief and sin. Intercession allows God to bring mercy instead of judgment and destruction.
Example: Elijah. James 5:17 (Elijah and the rain) says Elijah prayed earnestly and it did not rain, then 3-1/2 years later it did rain.
However, in I Kings 17:1 – 18:1 Elijah did not pray about rain. What did he do? He first stood in the presence (face) of God, then he went where God said to go, and told Ahab what God said to tell him. (Reminder of who Ahab was – king, married to Jezebel, both wicked.)
Elijah didn’t pray, he spoke God’s words to Ahab. God could have struck Ahab and Jezebel down himself – he could have called fire down out of heaven (like the disciples later suggested and were rebuked for doing). But he didn’t. Instead he used a man, Elijah, to speak his words into the situation.
Before Ahab really got enraged at him, God protected Elijah. He sent him to a brook, fed him by the raven, then sent him out of the country to Sidon in Lebanon, to a widow.
Remember Elijah and widow’s son – when the boy died, speaking toward God, Elijah literally said to the boy, “soul return,” and God sent it back. The widow had obeyed God in taking care of Elijah, and God had mercy on her though she was not Jewish. But Elijah didn’t pray for the boy, he spoke to the boy, the words that God wanted him to speak.
Definitions of Intercession – O.T. – paga, strike etc., means to encounter, meet. N.T. – see list. Similar meanings. Does not include making any sort of request. The words for prayer include requests, etc. but intercession does not.
Ez. 22:30 ff- God sought for a man to stand in the gap and make up the hedge / wall – refers to a soldier standing in the hole in the wall to keep the enemy out. Not a fun assignment. Why did God seek that man? To keep the law of sowing and reaping from working, bringing destruction to the wicked nation.
That is the purpose of intercession. Sowing sin, wickedness, and evil results in reaping destruction, without the intervention / intercession of God’s mercy and forgiveness to stop it.
One of my favorite passages in John (2:1-12) is about Jesus and wedding at Cana. When they ran out of wine the servants didn’t go to the host, didn’t go to the father of the groom, they went to Mary – why? Mary told the servants, whatever he says to you, do it (2:5). That’s a good motto for anyone!
Jesus prayed often, sometimes all night – he was getting God’s itinerary, agenda, and assignment for the next day / week, etc. He wasn’t asking God to do something, he was letting God tell him what to do.
Jesus taught the disciples by show and tell – he told them, showed them, then sent them out to do same things in the same way, and they did, first the 12, later the 70 or 72. Especially read Matthew. Jesus healed them ALL. Jesus never did the same thing twice… and he never prayed and asked God to do the work, he himself did it.
Jesus preached the kingdom of heaven / God, saying it was near. Why? Because he himself was near and he was the king. He was God’s son. He had authority and power from birth, because he had no sin. He was filled with the Holy Spirit inside Mary’s womb, when she was filled. He didn’t have to wait until the crucifixion to get authority. He demonstrated it, and he gave that same authority to the disciples when he sent them out. They said and did what he did, and it worked.
Matthew 28:18-20 – Jesus told the 11 to go into the whole world and make disciples and teach them to observe / obey whatsoever he had commanded them – what was that? Not just the sermon on the mount, but also his actions.
In Matthew 10 his first command to the disciples was to preach the gospel of the kingdom, heal the sick, cast out demons, cleanse the lepers, and raise the dead. Do that as he had done and showed them how to do. Now they were to teach others to do those same things.
Mark 16 – the end of chapter says the disciples went everywhere and preached, and Jesus went with them and confirmed his word with signs (results) following. Signs follow Jesus’s words. If His words are not preached, signs can’t follow.