While on earth, Jesus was involved in intercessory prayer. He told Peter, “Satan has desired to have you, so that he may sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith will not fail” (Luke 22:31). John 17 records Jesus’ prayer, right before His suffering and death, for his disciples and all the believers who would ever come after. Jesus taught his followers at length about intercession from the position of being an intercessor Himself. Even in His death, Jesus cried, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
That was then, this is now: Jesus, in His present state of glory, continues in His role of intercessor: “He is able also to save them to the uttermost who come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them“ (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus the Son is in heaven today as our Advocate, actively petitioning the Father on our behalf.
Romans 8:34 mentions His position as well: “… It is Christ who died, or rather, who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Hidden in those words, “It is Christ who died … who is risen … who makes intercession” is a significant concept, if we will pay attention. Picture Jesus, seated in the highest place, a place of the greatest intimacy, right next to His Father. He still bears the crucifixion scars in His hands and feet, as a forever-reminder of the redemption He has purchased for us. Not only do Jesus’ words intercede for us, but His scars and His blood forever intercede for us.
Jesus sees our needs, weaknesses, discouragements, temptations, and heartfelt desires, and He pleads on our behalf. All that He asks for us is already completely in line with what God the Father is eager to do, and yet it is not accomplished until He requests it on our behalf. Intercession is a mystery. It would seem that nothing is enacted without it.
We have been given the awesome privilege of participating with Jesus in His perpetual role of intercessor. When we intercede on behalf of another person, a city, a region, or a cause, we are partnering with Him in what He is already doing. Assuming that we are praying biblically, according to God’s will, we are adding our agreeing “amen” to what Jesus is already asking the Father for — which is also what Father desires to give.
Corporate gatherings for prayer are important to Jesus — so important that He desires to participate in them. This is why He said in Matthew 18:19, 20, “Again I say to you, if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Many is the time in our own prayer gatherings when one of us has, in a vision, seen Jesus enter the room.) If Jesus thinks gathering together with others for prayer is important, we should likewise make it a priority in our lives.
Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.