(Go To Meeting)

Steve Durham—March 8, 2024

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Abraham Lincoln was a man for the hour; he was certainly hand-picked by God, groomed for a time when this country needed someone like him. He went through a lot of trials, a lot of difficulties in bringing the two factions together.

He said, 'I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.' He went to God!

Abraham Lincoln was a man that God used. He was not necessarily understanding the Truth as we have, but he certainly was led by God in good times and normal times, and times of trouble and difficulties, which we have all experienced and will.

We know we can go to our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for comfort and mercy, the provisions that He provides: blessings, promises and our needs! To thank Him and praise Him for our life and just to acknowledge His great Plan for mankind and our part in it.

Isn't that amazing what we understand the Family of God and our part in it. He's preparing many sons/daughters for glory and He's working with us. We're His workmanship and Christ is our example.

Passover is just around the corner, not too far away, and we talked last Sabbath about the overall purpose coming at it from when outside, where you knew nothing about it, the overall purpose of Passover and what it means. Where did it start?

  • Was it Genesis 15?


  • Was it before that?

Maybe it was from the foundation of the world! Maybe the sacrifice was planned from the foundation of the world, which makes everything different. It's for all mankind, not just Israel, not just the Jews; it's for all men/women! Christ is the only way to salvation!

We talked about that last week and gained a little bit of understanding of the bigger, broader sense of that purpose and the importance of Passover and Jesus Christ: His life, crucifixion, His death, His resurrection and where He is now!

  • Where is He now?
  • Is He not working anymore?

He's beside the Father as our High Priest, our Advocate, our Mediator, and Intercessor!

That's what I want to talk about tonight. That role that He has and how it pertains to us. What is our part in that? We're to become like Christ: 

  • we have His Holy Spirit
  • we have His character through the Holy Spirit
  • we are His workmanship and we're to become like Him

I wanted to weave that into this message tonight. Let's look at the different tools that He gives us. There's prayer, Bible study, fasting, meditation, but that's just the start. You have God's Holy Spirit and you use those.

We know that prayer is critical in our relationship with God. You stop praying and you're going to drift; you're going to be in trouble.

Abraham Lincoln was on his knees on a regular basis through the Civil War. So, it's paramount for us. I want to speak about the power of intercessory prayer and have maybe an overview like we did with Passover and get a bigger view or a bigger understanding of intercessory prayer.

  • What is it?
  • Why do we do it?
  • Do we do it if we want to?
  • Is it something that God the Father wants us to do and it's critical?

Let's look at what prayer is! I know this is going to sound basic. But let's take it apart.

Prayer is acknowledging the Father and Christ in heaven, having an intimate, personal relationship with God and acknowledging Him for these things that He does for us, as the:

  • Creator
  • Sustainer
  • Answerer of prayer
  • Fulfiller of prophecy
    • we are able to speak to Him and He speaks to us through His Word
    • we praise Him
    • we show Him honor and glory and worship Him on a regular basis
    • we thank Him for everything and all that we will have

IF you understand the scope of all that, that is mind-boggling! We were just this little spot, not even that, just a thought, and before the foundation of the world, He brought that to be! At the end of the age of man, look at what we have to look forward to. It's an amazing, amazing mystery that we have.

  • How does intercession come into that?
  • How does that play into this?
  • How does it play into the Passover?
  • How does intercession play into Jesus Christ?

Simply, prayer is a solemn request for help or an expression of thanks to God! We're praying to God and to Christ. But the only way we can get to the Father is through Jesus Christ! There's no other way! That's it! That's the way! (Acts 4 12). It's the only way!

There are different kinds of prayer.

  • The Prayer of Faith

James 5:15: "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick one, and the Lord will raise him up…"

In this context, the prayer is offered in faith. All prayers should be that for someone who's sick, asking God to heal that individual and His will to be done.

  • we believe in the power of that prayer
  • we believe in the power of God
  • we believe in the goodness of God
  • we believe in the mercy. love, compassion and comfort of God

He says that all things—IF you believe—are possible!

Mark 9:24[transcriber's correction]: "And the father of the little child cried out at once, saying with tears, 'Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.'"

That's a prayer that we all should pray; We should all ask. That faith comes from Jesus Christ, but it can grow as we get out of the way and submit to Him and yield to Him.

  • The Prayer of Request or Supplication

We're to take our requests to God.

Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything…"

  • no worry
  • don't doubt
  • don't fear

"…but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God in everything" (v 6).

We're thanking Him and we're asking Him for something. We need to have that belief that He will answer us and He hears us.

But He will hear us, but He doesn't always answer. There's some prerequisites to that. So, we're in a spiritual battle! Part of that winning of that battle is to be praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication.

We'll read that Scripture later on because the Spirit is important in interceding and true intercession. I mean, you can intercede, people in the world can intercede, but it's that effective fervent prayer of the righteous and righteousness comes from Christ through the Holy Spirit, and through obedience and belief. It affects much.

Supplication is a specific type of prayer that involves making a humble request or a plea for something. It's often done in times of need or duress. It is used to ask for help or intervention from God for Him to intercede. It carries a sense of urgency and desperation or supplications. It's more intense. It's more focused than it just a general prayer.

  • The Prayer of Thanksgiving

"…but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God in everything" (v 4).

He wants you to ask. He wants you to come to Him and ask for things, but be thankful and be grateful; be happy and positive and sure! Know that your Father is going to hear you. Again, you may not get an answer right away. But He has heard you. He is taking it and is in faith. Those will be answered.

Even the faith of healing. Maybe you're not healed and maybe you pray and pray and pray and someone dies. You say, 'God, why didn't You hear me.

You asked for that person to be healed. When the resurrection comes, that body will be healed. So, He did answer and it was time. The time was right. That was an appointed time for that individual. It was better that He had worked everything out. He is the One Who knows when it's time. We need to believe that and love Him and thank Him for what He does.

So, there are many examples of Thanksgiving prayers and David has the Psalms full of them.

  • The Prayer of Worship

A prayer of worship is similar to the prayer of thanksgiving. The difference is that worship focuses on Who God is. Thanksgiving focuses on what God has done.

    • worshiping Who He is
    • knowing Him

Christ came to reveal the Father

    • knowing Who the Father is
    • we can worship Him and thank Him and praise Him and really have a focus on
    • Who He is
    • what He does
    • what he has done is thanksgiving and gratitude
  • Intercessory Prayer

This one is more, it reflects the character of Christ in that Christ is:

  • our Intercessor
  • our Mediator
  • our Advocate

By us doing that, not only are we reflecting His character, we are continuing the work that He's doing. He is extending that to us and we continue to help in:

  • interceding
  • being an example
  • sharing the agape love for our brothers and sisters
  • bearing one another's burdens as we're told to do

In that respect, Christ is multiplying the action of interceding!

It's getting done by the Body of Christ, for the Body of Christ. We also grow, that's the work of God, of Christ!

That's one of the things that he does. He is still working. We'll go over what the High Priest does and why it's such an amazing thing. We say everything is in Christ:

  • He's our Sacrifice
  • He's the Lamb of God
  • He's also our Intercessor
      • we're called to sacrifice, as well
      • we're called to intercede for people

So, in that we're reflecting the character of God and we're growing.

Christ has made all things possible, made all this possible. He's the sacrifice in our stead for our sins and the sin of the world. That was all put on Him. Through His blood, we have Life. There's life in the blood (Lev. 17:11).

He's the resurrection to Life. He told Martha, I think it was. 'I AM the resurrection.' And she says, 'Oh, I know, I know there's a resurrection.' He said, 'No, I AM the resurrection. Do you believe that?' Then He called Lazarus out.

Sidebar: He's the Lamb of God. He was the Lamb of God. He is the Lamb of God. He will be. There are people who want to diminish the deity of Christ. I had somebody tell me that Christ is no longer the Lamb of God. He gave some big explanation.

There are 11 places in the book of Revelation where Christ is called the Lamb of God. That He is on His Throne with the Father as the Lamb of God. You have to read those, so let me just give them to you for the record here.

Revelation 5:8; 6:1; 7:9; 12:11; 13:8; 14:4; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7; 21:9; 22:1—let's just read a couple of these.

Revelation 22:1: "Then he [the angel] showed me [John] a pure river of the Water of Life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the Throne of God and of the Lamb."

Revelation 21:9: "And one of the seven angels that had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, 'Come here, and I will show you the Bride, the Lamb's wife.'"

If He's no longer the Lamb, then that shoots the whole Bride of Christ thing down!

You have to think about some of the things people say, then figure out where are they coming from and why they are doing it! It's an effort to diminish the deity of God!

Revelation 19:7: "Let us be glad and shout with joy; and let us give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."

That's on the back end of this. Just go back into the front part of Revelation and there are other places.

So listen, when you hear something like that and you think 'wait a minute, that doesn't sound right.' Search it out. Find out why you have that feeling. Then you will be ready the next time to give an answer to someone in a nice way.

I just told the individual, 'No, that's not right.'
Oh, yeah it is! I said, 'No, it's not. He is the Lamb of God. He always will be the Lamb of God and that will never change. What other names will you wanna take away from me? You know, once He's named, that's His name!

He is the King and the Lord. He is the High Priest, the One Who makes intercession or prayer requests. for us, that's what the word intercession means:

  • prayer requests
  • going in and requesting for someone
  • interceding for somebody

It's interesting, it calls it prayer requests for us before the Father. On our behalf Christ intercedes for us.

We all know that Paul said, 'All things are possible for God through Christ Who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).

It's interesting because the duties of a High Priest are—let's just see a couple of them:

  • to make atonement for the nation of Israel on the Day of Atonement

You see how Passover and Atonement are so interwoven, they are whole. You can't take one outside the other.

  • to participate in the sacrifices
  • to provide oversight of the temple
  • the Levitical priests had the regulations and teaching the people
  • to present the sin offering for the nation as occasionally required
  • to perform the atoning sacrifice and offering on the Day of Atonement once a year,  entering into the Holy of Holies with the blood from the sacrifice

Now, He was the Lamb of God; His blood was shed. He is now our High Priest, and He is before the Throne to intercede for us before the Father.

What happened when he died that day. One of the things was the temple veil ripped in two. That signified access to the Holy of Holies where the Father is. Each and every one of us individually can go in now, personally go in; where before the high priest was the only one who w could go in once a year. They even tied a rope around him, so if he died, they could drag him back out. But now Christ now is at the right hand of the Father.

Mark 16:19: "After speaking to them, the Lord was indeed then taken up into heaven, and He sat down at the right hand of God."

They had a lot of work to do!, The duties of a high priest.

1-John 2:2: "And He is the propitiation… [ongoing sacrifice, ongoing atonement] …for our sins, and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world"—and the individuals in it!

So those are the duties of a high priest, and let's see how this transitions all the things that Christ is and does. He's our Intercessor. The Lamb that was sacrificed, and made it possible for Him to intercede for us. It was planned before the foundation of the world that He would do that. He was interceding before the program even got started. To perform the atoning sacrifice and burnt offering on the great Day of Atonement once a year, entering into the Holy of Holies with the blood from the sacrifice.

These are the duties of Christ, the Intercessor for all mankind, and especially the Church of which He is the Head and the Foundation.

Look those Scriptures up. Heb. 7; actually all of Hebrews is quite a study and so it's an amazing book.

Hebrews 7:25: "Therefore, He has the power throughout all time to save those who come to God through Him because He is ever living to intercede for them."

  • that's His purpose
  • that's His job
  • that's His work
  • that's one of the things that He came to do

from the foundation of the world!

Now at the end, there He is to make atonement, a sacrifice once for all. This individual also told me that sacrifices would start and everyone needed to have a personal sacrifice. It says once for all! Sacrificing a lamb is not necessary, IF you believe the Scripture, which we do:

1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And yet, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous"

Now advocate is an interesting word. I know a little bit about that. The Greek word is 'parakleton.' It's close to 'paraklesis,' which is the Holy Spirit—Comforter[transcriber's correction].

It also means helper, advisor or counselor. An advocate is a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. For example, he was an untiring advocate of economic reform or she has been a tireless advocate for women's organizations and causes.

Christ is called our Advocate. An advocate is a person who comes to our aid or pleads our case to a judge—to God the Father. Satan is right there accusing us. Advocates offer support, strength, counsel, and intercede for us when necessary, which is all the time. It's necessary all the time. This is how we're made. IFwe are without Christ, we're nothing without His sacrifice, we're nothing.

Jesus Christ is now sitting at the right hand of God, interceding, mediating, being our Advocate before the Father. As His begotten brothers and sisters, we are to emulate, imitate and have the mind of Christ in us!

We're to come to the fullness of the stature of Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:13). We have His mind in us. We are to be as He is, interceding for our brothers and sisters in Christ, as Christ does for us being an Advocate. We are to be an advocate before the Father for others. We take on that role when we do intercessory prayer for someone!

This is the change from where we were to when we have God's Holy Spirit after baptism, and what we're trying to do:

Ephesians 4:22: "That concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which according to God is created in righteousness and Holiness of the Truth" (vs 22-24).

By doing that, by getting on our knees and interceding when we see that someone needs help, that's how we do that.

I got an e-mail from a former prayer request; it was an update that prompted this thought: the individual referenced the power of intercessory prayer in his life. He gave God the glory for healing him! It included the intercessory prayers of the brethren. He realized that where it came from; that God heard those prayers! He understood its importance because he was the recipient of God's:

  • power
  • love
  • mercy
  • kindness
  • compassion

from others who had interceded for him before the Father!

About six years ago, it's been—seems like it wasn't that long, but it has been—around 2018, 2019 CBCG put together a prayer list for brethren in CBCG.

We see that if you're on the e-mail list, one of the reasons—the main reason—for Go To Meeting was that we're so scattered; we have people that are all over the place. We don't get to interact and to be with one another, hear one another and talk to one another. We're scattered! Many needs of the brethren were being made known, because when we got together that's naturally what we do.

Brethren, we're asking for the need of prayers from others in the Body and for healing, and for help in different situations, suffering that they were going through.

So, with that, those needs were becoming more clear and being made known to me; so the prayer list was started. It's been in operation for a while. There have been many who have benefited from receiving those intercessory prayers of others. And there have been many who have benefited from giving those prayers. Talk about a reward for that.

I bet you probably don't even think about that; the fact that God looks at that, and He looks at you in a favorable way when you do that for others. So, they have benefited both ways.

I probably shouldn't even tell you this, but it's an interesting fact that I was going through. I was looking back in the records. There have been 12,688 prayer requests that have gone out since then; 12,688 needs, and more than that because this was three weeks ago.

Out of those 12,688, I couldn't help but notice, it gives a click rate and an open rate. They're sent out and there's how many are open and how many just receive it and don't do anything with it. I'm not saying anything about this negatively one way or the other. But how many would you think were opened? It's an interesting number.

If you think about the 10 virgins, there were exactly 50% of the recipients on the prayer list that didn't open their prayer request. People are probably getting it and they're not saying anything. Maybe it's people who have no idea what's going on with it.

But there's an opportunity there to grow and develop the love, and the benefit of interceding for your family members! I'm sure there's reasons for it.

I haven't been 100% diligent in doing it myself either. Actually, I did a lot better. I read them all and I look at all of them and I say a little prayer in my mind when I read it. But my excuse is I'm hitting the ground so hard and running that I don't have time to do this. I started this. This is a professional, a professional holder. It was very professional. What I did was I started printing them out. I had a little ledger and I printed them out and I would read them; that's why it's important to send back in an update, that you're better now and you don't need the prayers to continue. I'm only going to get a number of them here, but I've got to get going on this again.

If you take that on your knees in your room, somewhere in private, and take those and read each one of them and think about that person and what they're going through, it does a lot of things.

First of all, you're going to the Father on their behalf, not yours. That's the power of it! It's like having someone tell you to go to the boss at work and say:

You know, so-and-so over here, he's doing a wonderful job. Did you know that he did this and he did that and it turned out great?

And the boss says, 'No, I didn't know that.' Now, if you go in there and tell the boss:

Do you know what I did? I did this and I did that.

And he says, 'No.'

There's a big difference between someone else going and telling them than telling for yourself.

  • it has more weight
  • it has power
  • it has more the agape connection
  • it has also a unifying effect

It's important that when we at least look at them and say a little silent prayer and you see them, it is very important.

Here's another reason why it's so important: It's commanded! God the Father commands that as children of His, made in His image and put on the Holy Righteous character of the Father and Christ when we have:

  • Their mind
  • Their thoughts
  • Their Holy Spirit
  • Their character

we're developing Holy Righteous character! We are to love one another! We're told this is what we are to become. By doing this, as Christ did:

  • we put on Christ
  • we imitate Him
  • we have our mind and character transformed to be like Christ
  • we imitate Him

James 5:13: "Is anyone suffering hardship among you? Let him pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing praise."

We're talking about the prayer, worship and thanksgiving.

Verse 14: "Is anyone sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray…"

Here's the intercession. God set it up this way, and there's a reason why He did it.

People in the past—and I understand why—have been down on elders; but God is the One Who put them in place. It's not the function. It's the one who is in the function that is doing the wrong thing, for the wrong reason with the wrong heart, wrong whatever. Those God will filter out! But don't let that stick to you in how you deal with people, and how you think about people. We are to keep that clean in our head.

Verse14: "Is anyone sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him after anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick one, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (vs 14-15).

He is atoning our propitiation, our sacrifice, and the blood of Christ will forgive if you repent and go through that process.

Verse 16: "Confess your faults to one another…"

That is not going like the Catholics do; you sit down with the other confessor and all that.

You say, 'Well, I'm sick. I must've eaten something wrong. I've not doing something right. You know, I'm sorry, I'm sick. Would you pray for me?'

"…and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man prevails much, being effective" (v 16).

There's a reason why it is you're hitting on all of these God playing tendencies and traits.

  • God is hearing it
  • God is watching
  • God is listening

You have God's Holy Spirit, and it's hitting on that plane. Then the righteousness is from Christ. It's not that you're some big tower of righteousness. No! It's from Christ because you're just the opposite of that, and it's "…being effective."

It says in research, the word supplication can mean petition or prayer request! I think that's interesting.

Ephesians 6:18: "Praying at all times with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and in this very thing being watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."

That's our charge. That's what He tells us to do. So, intercessory prayer is very powerful! It's a very powerful, strong prayer, and it's a powerful unifier. It's a powerful development, character development tool. It gets God's attention.

You pray for somebody else and it's different, because it's a selfless act. It's not about your mate; it's the other person. It's showing love and concern for others. It is powerful because you are not praying for yourself or your own needs and desires. You are praying for the needs of others, and led by the Holy Spirit to do so! Again, it's on a God plane! You're touching that God plane, that spirit plane! When we do that, we'll intercede on behalf of another person. We're fulfilling the Law of Christ.

Effective intercession involves empathy and sympathy. Sympathy is what you've gone through, and Christ has gone and suffered everything that we have; Christ knows. The empathy is:

  • the feeling that you have
  • the love you have
  • the connection you have
  • the mercy that you feel

It's all from 'agape' love, and for our fellow. It's a spirit plane. We'll be Christ-like and we're reflecting the mind and character of Christ.

Matthew 22:36—the young lawyer comes to Jesus and says: "'Master, which commandment is the great commandment in the Law?' And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment; and the second one is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets'" (vs 36-40).

So, Jesus gave him extra! He only asked for one and He gave him two. He broke it down; you do both. The second one is more difficult, I think, because that's where you're face-to-face. That's where grip and grain and rubber meets the road, and there's more interaction.

There's a human element in it and that's very difficult to make these things that we're told to do in loving our neighbor actually work.

When you have intercessory prayer for someone else with God's Holy Spirit, you have sincere love, that ''agape love for the brethren:

  • compassion
  • sympathy
  • empathy
  • a sincere heart
  • perseverance
  • hanging in there
  • praying

until you get the report back that it's okay!

  • in knowledge and love of the Truth

We pray in Spirit and Truth! That's another connector because Christ is to Truth that He is the Word. We have Him in us:

  • we have a love of the Truth
  • we love Christ
  • we love God
  • we love our fellow man

The Holy Spirit has to be dwelling in us! It's very important. You can do this without that and you can still do that, but the connection is not there as far as Spirit to spirit.

Ephesians 6:18: "Praying at all times with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and in this very thing being watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."

Romans 8:24[transcriber's correction]: "For by hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is not hope; for why would anyone still be hoping for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we ourselves wait for it with patience. Now, in the same way also, the Spirit is conjointly helping our weaknesses because we do not fully understand what we should pray for… [Have you ever done that?] …according as it is necessary, but the Spirit itself…(vs 24-26).

Here's another point: Sometimes people have to know everything there is about person before they can pray for them. No, you don't! You don't need to know! All you need to know is that So-and So needs your prayers—period! If we get more information, that's okay. When you go to God the Father and you say, 'So and So needs… I don't know what it is You do, will You please intercede for him? Your will be done, etc,'

God knows exactly who you're talking about and what needs to be done. I've had people say, 'Wait a minute, you gotta tell me more.' No, it's not necessary!

If somebody asks me to anoint them, I will anoint them. If they hold off and they don't want to tell me anything, that's okay. It would be nice if I knew; it would give me a direction in the prayer, but it doesn't have to be for God to heal that person, it's a prayer of faith; their faith and our faith, and in this atmosphere of faith.

"…the Spirit is conjointly helping our weaknesses because we do not fully understand what we should pray for, according as it is necessary, but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groaning that cannot be expressed by us. And the One Who searches the hearts comprehends what the strivings of the Spirit are because it makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (vs 26-28).

More intercessory prayer is the will of God. In caring for others and interceding for them before God, we are drawing close to our calling as spirit-led sons and daughters in the family, with the family, and unifying and growing close to the family, God and Jesus Christ. We're fulfilling the will of God through intercessory prayer!

1-Timothy 2:1: "I exhort, therefore, first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men; for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all Godliness and respectability. For this is good and acceptable before God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth" (vs 1-4).

In His mind, He sees everyone as potential sons/daughters and gods, and they will be given an opportunity at some point. He says it's good and it pleases God Who wants all people to be saved, that we pray for all people.

Christ said, 'I'm not praying for them right now; I'm praying for you.' That doesn't mean He didn't have compassion, empathy, sympathy and love to help bring the rest in. That was His main goal; His main thrust at that moment.

He cried when He saw Jerusalem. He said, 'Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, I have brought you under My wings.'

He did have compassion for everyone, but He spent His focus on those individuals that were in it, that He was brushing ahead of a job to do and get them ready.

Ephesians 6:18: "Praying at all times with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and in this very thing being watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." Keeps us focused on them.

1-Tim. 2 talks about who we can be praying for, praying for the household of God. But what about the president or the government? Should we pray for them so that we have peace and we can do the things we need to do? Yeah!

1-Timothy 2:1: "I exhort, therefore, first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings… [look at them laid out there] …be made on behalf of all men; for kings and all who are in authority… [Why?] …in order that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all Godliness and respectability. For this is good and acceptable before God our Savior. For this is good and acceptable before God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men—the Man Christ Jesus" (vs 1-5).

Why is he calling the man Jesus Christ? John 1:14 talks about Christ coming in the flesh!

If you think about why He came as a man—God in the flesh—with the law of sin and death, so that when He died, ate and lived a perfect life and was crucified. That one sacrifice for all mankind! There's nobody else that could do that! The Creator and the Designer, the Sustainer of all mankind, of all creation came and died for that! That is powerful!

"…the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony of which is to be preached in its appointed times" (vs 5-6).

True intercessory prayer seeks God's glory, not our own. The following is only a partial list of those that we probably don't have time to go through them all, but let me give you the list, and I'll give you the Scripture and you can look that up, it'd be a good study. Who we should offer intercessory prayer for? The Household of God is first! Those whom we fellowship with and associate with are brothers and sisters in Christ; that's very important. But as we just saw, all in authority, and there's a reason for that:

  • all in authority—Tim. 2:2
  • ministers, elders—Phil. 1:19
  • friends—Job 42:8
  • fellow countrymen—Rom. 10:1
  • the sick and poor—James 5:14
  • our enemies—Jer. 29:7; Matt. 5:44
  • the beatitudes talks about that, and those who persecute us; those who forsake us
  • Have you ever been forsaken?
  • Have you ever been stabbed in the back?
    • all the things that go along with being in the colony more than being where we are—2-Tim. 4:16.
    • all men—1-Tim. 2:1
    • one mediator between God and man, the Man Jesus Christ; one Advocate, there's one Intercessor; one High Priest—Heb. 7:25

It says He is able also to save forever!

Hebrews 7:25: "Therefore, He has the power throughout all time to save those who come to God through Him because He is ever-living to intercede for them." That's the point:

  • that's His job
  • that's His work
  • that's why He came

See how intercessory prayer plays in this; it is big. It's more than just, 'Oh, I get this!' No, it's big! Not only for the person you're praying for, but for you.

  • What does it do to you?
  • What is it doing in your mind?
    • it's a selfless act
    • it's a God-plane spiritual level
      • thinking
      • binding
      • growing together
      • unifying

Not only with the individuals here, but with Christ and God the Father!

Christ came, He secured salvation of the elects. That part of it, He said, 'It is finished.' 

Well, it wasn't done. He said that part of it, the physical part of it was finished (John 19:30). But it continues. It continues in heaven beside the Father on the Throne on our behalf until we come to the glory that He has prepared for us as inheritors.

We actually inherit all things with Him, co-inheritors. His care for His redeemed children will never be finished. Even when we become spirit and the age of man is done and we're in the Family and go out, He's still going to care about us and everyone else. We're all in the Family together.

Ephesians 4:13: "Until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

That's what intercessory prayer does! It links us to one another and to Christ all in one. What did John say? You talk about an intercessory prayer!

We're going to go through John 17 here in a few weeks; it is power.

1-John 3 is talking about inheritors, talking about part of the family, God wants us to be one!

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (vs 1-2).

There are preparations going on right now in developing that Holy righteous character.

"…because we shall see Him exactly as He is." Part of seeing Him is that we will be like that, because we'll be like looking in a mirror. By interceding for others, we're showing Christ's mind. His mind in us and His love for the brethren, our family members. Being a family that cares for one another is pleasing to God. Caring for our family, helping God and Christ to complete the work of God. Do you think that they don't need us to do that? Then why Eph. 2:10?

  • Why are we His workmanship?
  • Why is He the Master Potter?
  • Why is He the Creator?
  • Why is this like a school?

When we graduate, we can move on. We get our parts, we're put in the ground and then resurrection day We're going on to whatever, whatever's next. But we do this, we learn this by burying one another's burdens.

Galatians 6:2: "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ."

It's more than just an occasional or a big deal.

Verse 10: "So then, as we have opportunity…"

  • every time we get one of these,
  • every time we hear something that somebody needs

"…we should do good to all, and especially to those who are of the household of faith" (v 10).

How do we bear one another's burdens? One way is through intercessory prayer! We become more like God, like Christ, our big Brother. Christ is our Intercessor, Mediator, Advocate and High Priest.

Ephesians 4:13: "Until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

Matthew 5.48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." Growing in grace and knowledge!

All those are indicators that we're on the right path.

  • He's our Intercessor
  • He's our High Priest
  • He's our Atonement
  • He's our Passover for all

Hebrews 4:14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest…" 

Revelation 5:10 "And did make us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth."

We have to learn to be a priest. What does that mean? Look at the duties of Christ, the High Priest, has, and look at our opportunity to follow in His footsteps and be following His example.

Hebrews 4:14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest…"

The high priests went into the Holy of Holies one time a year. He was the only one allowed to go in. That was going before the Father and represented Christ going before the Father for an atonement for our sins. In Israel it foreshadowed Christ in His position now, where He is now.

"…Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith" (v 14).

  • keep your eye on the goal
  • hang in there
  • hold fast

Verse 15: "For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but One Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations…"

He went through everything we went through. And you think, 'Oh no, but He understood that.'

"…yet, He was without sin" (v 15).

Because of all this, even though you're going through these problems, we started out with Abraham Lincoln, we started out with the young; you talk about a man that was under stress. We have that, too. We have those things personally in our own lives and the whole world does.

Even though you have these difficulties, Christ is there at the right hand of God the Father. The temple veil of the Holy of Holies was split in two. You now could go in personally to Abba, to our Father, crawl up on his lap and say, 'Daddy, I need to tell you these things. I am asking you this.'

And you know what? He's there! He stops everything and He listens to you.

Christ said, 'Don't ask me. Why are you asking me? Go straight to the Father in My name and He'll hear you.' ( John 17).

Verse16: "Therefore, we should come with boldness to the Throne of Grace…" That's available to us! We can do that, a rule for ourselves.

But more importantly, we can do that and show Christ in us that we're developing Holy righteous character as we go before Him for others interceding for them.

All that goes out from God in grace, God's love to you and the heavenly things  that come down to you, they're all there for you. They're all available.

"…so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (v 16).

That's an everyday need, everything that goes on in our lives, every concern, every suffering, everything that happens, He tells us to come before Him boldly.

If we see someone in need or if we hear of someone in need, if we have God's Holy Spirit and the love of God, we can make a difference! He wants us to, and that's pleasing to Him. We want to make a difference because we're part of the Body, we're part of the family and we're part of the group. It builds unity!

John 17:21[transcriber's correction]: "That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us…"

Christ intercedes for us, we intercede for one another. We unify the Father, Christ and us

"…in order that the world may believe that You did send Me" (v 21). Glorify the Father!

In other places, Christ talks about the Body being one in unity.

Malachi 3:16: "Then those fearing the LORD spoke together, each man to his neighbor. And the LORD listened and heard. And a Book of Remembrance was written before Him for those who feared the LORD, and for those who thought upon His name. 'And they shall be Mine,' says the LORD of hosts, 'in the day that I will make up My own special jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.' Then you shall return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God, and the one who does not serve Him" (vs 16-18).

Read John 17 with this idea in mind: of the intercessory prayer that Christ gave to the apostles and to God on their behalf and on our behalf.

You'll read that Passover, but read it before and think about it this way:

Psa. 133—this is how God sees the escape of people who were pulling together. He sees them in a certain way. He's excited about it, about the fact that we pray for one another and that we think about the problems we have.

He says that we're going to be in the world and don't take them out of the world, but leave them in the world. They don't let them be part of the world. Hold Satan back from destroying them.

Psalm 133:1: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" It is one that we do that through intercessory prayer.

Let's think about that it's really powerful. So, we need to think about that and institute it in our lives for other people and you'll see a major change.

Scriptural References:

  • James 5:15
  • Mark 9:24
  • Philippians 4:6
  • Revelation 22:1
  • Revelation 21:9
  • Revelation 19:7
  • Mark 16:19
  • 1-John 2:2
  • Hebrews 7:25
  • 1-John 2:1
  • Ephesians 4:22-24
  • James 5:13-16
  • Ephesians 6:18
  • Matthew 22:36-40
  • Romans 8:24-28
  • 1-Timothy 2:3-4
  • Ephesians 6:18
  • 1-Timothy 2:1-6
  • Hebrews 7:25
  • Ephesians 4:13
  • 1-John 3:1-2
  • Galatians 6:2, 10
  • Ephesians 4:13
  • Philippians 2:5
  • Matthew 5:48
  • Hebrews 4:14
  • Revelation 5:10
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • John 17:21
  • Malachi 3:16-18
  • Psalm 133:1

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 15
  • Acts 4:12
  • Leviticus 17:11
  • Revelation 5:8
  • Revelation 6:1
  • Revelation 7:9
  • Revelation 12:11
  • Revelation 13:8
  • Revelation 14:4
  • Revelation 15:3
  • Revelation 17:14
  • Philippians 4:13
  • John 1:14
  • Romans 10:1
  • Philippians 1:19
  • Job 42:8
  • Romans 10:1
  • Jeremiah 29:7
  • Matthew 5:44
  • 2 Timothy 4:16
  • John 19:30; 17
  • Ephesians 2:10

Transcribed: 4/7/24

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