Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Beauty of a True Intercessor

...I want you to see the beauty of a true intercessor, and to endeavor, by the power of God’s Spirit, to imitate the intercession. Jeremiah interceded for the people, but we have not to seek far before we discover the reason why he did it. God, in infinite mercy, gave the weeping prophet to his sinful people in order that they might not be left as sheep without a shepherd, and be quite given over to utter destruction; and wherever you meet with a man, who intercedes with God for his fellowmen, and makes this the main business of his life, you see in him one of the most precious gifts of God’s grace to the age in which he lives.

It is God that writes intercession upon men’s hearts. All true prayer comes from him, but especially that least selfish and most Christlike form of prayer called intercession; when the suppliant forgets all about himself, and his own needs, and all his pleadings, his tears, and his arguments are on behalf of others. I repeat that such men are a most precious gift from heaven; and I feel certain that, before the Reformation, there must have been hundreds of godly men and women who were day and night interceding with the Lord, and giving him no rest until he answered their supplications; and Luther and the rest of the Reformers were sent by God in answer to the many prayers which history has never recorded, but which are written in the Lord’s book of remembrance. And when Wesley and Whitefield, in more modern times, stirred the smouldering embers of religion in this land, it was because godly people, perhaps poor, obscure men and women in their cottages, reading the Scriptures, saw the sad state of irreligion and indifference into which the nation had fallen, and groaned over it, and spread the case before God.

I know not how to estimate the worth of even one man who has power with God in prayer. When John Knox went upstairs to plead for Scotland, it was the greatest event in Scottish history. All things are possible with the man who, like Elias upon Carmel, casts himself down upon the earth, and puts his face between his knees, and cries unto him that heareth prayer, till the heavens, which were like brass,suddenly drop with plenteous showers of rain. There is no power like that of intercession. The secret springs that move the puppets of earth — for kings and princes are often little more than that — are the prayers of God’s believing people. The hidden wheels that start the whole machinery, and that keep it in motion, are the prayers of God’s people. Oh, if the Lord makes you an intercessor, my dear brother, even if you cannot speak with men for God, if you know how to speak with God for men, you occupy a position that is second to none. God help you to fill it well!

From a sermon entitled, "Intercession and Supplication," delivered April 27, 1879.

Photo by Jason, some rights reserved.

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