Reflections on Intercession
- 2004 24 Aug
"He saw that there was no one, and he was appalled that there was no one to intercede." ~ Isaiah 59:16
I know that Christ Jesus is at the right hand of the Father and is interceding for us (Romans 8:34) and that the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will (Romans 8:27). As a Spirit-taught child, my work is to intercede for others, especially for the members of my own household. But when God looks at my heart, will He see someone who intercedes for her children?
How often I strive with my kids, trying to fix something. I correct and reprove and I fret over their immaturity or inability to "get it right." Anxiety and preoccupation with the concern storms into my prayer life and my frustration becomes the focus of the "prayer time." No longer is the focus on Jesus.
Worship is living life in a holy relationship with God; living in awareness and appreciation of His nature and His control. Prayer should always be an act of worship, not an irritated reaction.
Oswald Chambers defines intercessory prayer as "worship as to rouse self to lay hold of Him so that we may be brought into contact with His mind about the one whom we pray." Foremost, it is a time to communicate with God.
In that anxious state we should pray - but in confession of our weakness and our need to fully rely on God. In prayer for others, we intercede. We don't criticize our children; we worship God. We don't try to fix something. We are to labor in prayer until we get Jesus' heart and mind for that child, not stress our own agenda. God gives us discernment into the soul of another so that we might intercede on His line.
The caution is to not let circumstances badger me out of God's presence so that I don't worship the Lord; to not allow my mind to be so burdened with a situation or difficulty that I don't do the work of the intercessor.
Unless I am worshipping God, there is a degree of heartlessness in my interaction with my household because my own natural strength of affection is in conflict with my present frustration level. Then, when the burden or pressure comes, if I don't worship, I become hard toward God, toward my family, and I despair. I can teach my kids obedience, but it's God's work in their spirits that make them Christ like.
Prayer: "Father, may we come to you in true worship. Give us Your mind about our children as we intercede for them. Work in our spirits to make us all more like You."
Copyright, 2004. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Used with permission. www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com Send feedback to: Devotions@TOSMag.com