Intercessory Prayer

Living in the Spirit
October 17, 2017

Scripture Reading: Exodus 33:12-23

The Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.’ Moses said, ‘Show me your glory, I pray.’ And he said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, “The Lord”; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But’, he said, ‘you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.’ And the Lord continued, ‘See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.’ –Exodus 33:17-23

Does routine contact with God make a difference? Made in the image of God, some part of each of us mirrors God. Think about our interactions with people. Are we more apt to respond to the needs of people with whom we have regular contact? I think we all are. When Moses approached God on behalf of his people, he relied on his previously established relationship, and God responded.

Intercessory prayer is a bit of a mystery to me, yet my gut tells me it is important. I often do not know what or how to pray for another. I distinctly remember one instance of prayer asking God to forgive the sins of another for which I received a clear revelation that that was not mine to ask.  There are also the instances of praying for healing with no idea of what the best outcome might be. We do not see the breadth and depth of life as God does. Am I faithful or namby-pamby by attaching the phrase “let your will be done” to every intercessory prayer? I have concluded the important aspect of intercessory prayer is following Moses’ example by just being ourselves before God and trusting God who knows us completely to respond in love.

My interest in intercessory prayer comes at a time when my country seems to be falling apart as a house divided. Moses was dealing with a house that gave up on God and turned to idols not being willing to follow God’s lead but deciding to shape a god in the image that best suited their selfish ambitions. Their idol worship did not work then and will not work now. Let us all keep praying and keep listening for the guidance of that still small voice, for God is working God’s purpose out.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for letting us deluge you with our fears, doubts, and uncertainties in how to deal with all that is confronting us. Help us to learn to be still and know that you are God and listen as much as or more than we talk to you. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.