Week 2 Principles of Intercession – Class Notes – 9-18-16
We reviewed the difference between prayer and intercession. Abraham interceded – God actually came to see him, to get him to intercede. Isaiah 59, whole chapter – esp. verses 15-18. Nation was wicked, law of sowing and reaping meant destruction but God wanted mercy for them instead. He needed a man to ask for mercy – i.e. intercede for the nation.
Same as Ezekiel 22 situation. When he found no intercessor, God brought Jesus – he intercedes for us (Heb. 7:25) to God. Also the Holy Spirit intercedes in us and through us for others, John chapters 14-16. Paraklete, one called alongside to help with whatever you need.
Reminder – I John 5:14-15 – whatever we pray MUST be God’s will (wishes) or we won’t get it. Any answer to our prayer will result in:
- God’s will being done – Lord’s prayer, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
- God’s kingdom being built – when Jesus left, he gave disciples and apostles an assignment, to do the same things he had been doing which included preaching the gospel of the kingdom (heal, deliver, cleanse, raise dead). God created people – Jesus came as a person, he created all the universe for our habitat and he loves us. He wants to fill his kingdom and will need us to do that.
- God will be glorified. If a man could do it, a man could get credit for it. Eph. 3 – God can do more than we ask or even can think! According to the power that works in us. Wow!
The apostle Paul prayed for people over, and over – see his epistles – but he probably didn’t pray the exact same things each time.
I shared the 1970’s story of the Russian child who needed care in the US, how many steps were required to get her from her village to care in the US. My New Testament Survey class “adopted” the girl to pray for, until she arrived and was taken care of. So while prayer was continuous, it varied according to the situation.
L. asked – Why couldn’t they / you have just prayed for her to be healed and she would be healed, then wouldn’t have needed to come to the US? My answer – we did what the Holy Spirit asked us to do, we didn’t dictate to him what we or He should do about her situation.
T. asked – How do you know what God’s will is? was the question. Yes, that is THE question. My own thoughts:
(1) Paul – we know it was God’s will for the apostle Paul to preach to in Rome. Acts 9:15, 19:21, 23:11, 25:11-12. Why did it take a long prison stay in Israel, then a ship voyage and shipwreck, to get him to Rome?
Philip (Acts 8) was south of Jerusalem, road going to Gaza, witnessing to and baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch. Afterward Philip was caught away (transported) and appeared miles up the coast in Azotus.
Why didn’t God just transport Paul to Rome? Or – why not just let Paul travel overland to Rome, as he had done to Asia minor? There were excellent Roman roads led from Jerusalem to Rome, with one sea crossing at the straits of Bosphorus (Turkey). (Today there’s a bridge, built in 1973.)
(2) King David. Samuel anointed David as king, (II Sam. 2:1 – 5:5) but it took 15 years for him to become king of Judah (south), and another 7 years to become king of all Israel. Why so long?
God’s timetable and ours are sometimes very different. We need patience and obedience to do what the Holy Spirit tells us to do all during that time. And we need steady faith – the enemy will try to sidetrack, detour, cause us to question, doubt, offer us unbelief, all to demolish our faith. Any and every sort of distraction will arise to prevent us from arriving at our answer – in Paul’s case, preaching in Rome. In David’s case, ruling in Jerusalem.
Heb. 10:35-36 – “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience (hypomone, steadfastness, remaining the same no matter the circumstances, endurance, perseverance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
James 1:3-4 – “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience (hypomone, patience with circumstances etc.) have her perfect work (complete work, mature job), that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
Perfect work? Example of Thomas Edison – “I have not failed, not even one time. I have succeeded in finding 10,000 things that do not work.” (Edison was trying to invent a storage battery.)
So, how can we learn what God’s will is in a particular situation, so that we can pray that? Who is more interested in you getting your requisition filled than you are? Your boss – the one who gives you the job to do. Prayer must be a two-way street, not just you doing the talking. You must do a lot of listening too. He has a job / work assignments for you and he isn’t trying to keep them a secret from you.
All the equipment, tools, directions, contacts, even weapons, all the supplies you need for the job are stored in the boss’s warehouse. You fill out a requisition (prayer) in your boss’s name, verifying you have the authority to request this material. And you will receive the supplies you need to fulfill your assignment.
Would the boss give you a job and then NOT give you the material to do it? No.
John 7:17 – if anyone will DO his will, he will know of the doctrine, whether it is from God or not.
John 17:3 – Jesus said, this is eternal life, that we will know God and Jesus whom he has sent. The key to recognizing his voice is to know him, and know him well. He said that his sheep hear his voice, John 10:27.
To learn his will, know his character, know his word, and learn to recognize his voice. Practice makes perfect.
Note: Sometimes his voice comes in the form of just knowing that you know what you know. Sometimes it’s an inner nudge, a “gut feeling,” and sometimes it’s advice from someone else. God speaks and leads and instructs in a wide variety of ways, but all of it is in harmony with his word.
When praying, thinking, meditating, trying to decide, here’s an important pointer: Let the peace of God rule in your hearts (lit. act as an umpire), Col. 3:15. The peace of God will keep (guard) your heart and mind (Phil. 4:7).
Unsettled? Doubtful? Fearful? A yucky feeling inside? Probably not God’s will.