Prayer Request #1
The Apostle Paul was many things but surely he was first of all an evangelist. In I Corinthians 9 as he explains his ministerial conduct he reveals his underlying motivation – “that I may win more.” In verses 19-22 Paul uses the word “win” five times and then in verse 22 he says “that I may by all means save some.” In I Corinthians 10:32 Paul pleads with the Corinthians to “Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or the church of God.” There had been a selfish attitude in the Corinthian believers. And again the underlying motivation for Paul’s appeal comes at the end of verse 33 – “that they may be saved.” Jesus said (Luke 19:10) “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” As we join together in prayer for various needs (and we should not minimize the importance of any request) let us be careful to never forget the overarching urgency of praying for salvation for those near to us and those around the world. People may be cultured, dignified and articulate but lost. People may be talented, educated and famous but without salvation. People may be wealthy, beautiful (or handsome) and physically robust but perishing. People may be connected, polite and surrounded by others who love them but yet they are in need of a Saviour! May God open the eyes of men and women to see their true condition, believe in the cleansing of the blood, repent of their rebellion and have the confidence of life that will never end.
#2 Standing Between
There are various aspects of prayer such as praise, confession, petition, entreaty and intercession.
There were several key points of intercession which took place in the life of Moses. The one which especially catches my attention and imagination is recorded in Numbers 16:41-50. There was more than a little unhappiness among the people following Korah’s rebellion and Moses and Aaron were the target of the grumbling. Consequently, God was about to consume the remainder of the people.
What was Moses and Aaron’s response? “Go to it, Lord, we’re tired of this too!”? Or “It wasn’t our idea to bring these people out of Egypt!”? Or “BONEHEADS!”?
No. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before God. Then Moses told Aaron to “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them….” Aaron did this, running into the midst of the assembly in haste. It is quite a picture of this, now older, man who, as the High Priest, held one of the two foremost offices in the nation of about six million people.
Verse 48 comments, “He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked.”
The Bible often pictures prayer as incense which rises before God. And as we bow in prayer we are taking up the task which Aaron and others have left to us. That is to intercede for those who, for whatever reason, are unable or even unwilling to pray for themselves. Intercession is a high and holy calling and is loaded with weighty responsibility for it is still true that an intercessor stands between the dead and the living that life might win the day rather than death. Never think that your task as a “pray-er” for others is a minor role. As you intercede you are a means of bringing life where otherwise there would be death.
May God bless and strengthen you in this. Only eternity will tell the full story of what was effected because you prayed and interceded for others.