“Our Father in heaven.” These are the first words of perhaps the most common prayer used in the Church, something that possibly has also given us our view of God: someone who is “up in heaven” looking down on us and observing us. But the real message that the original readers would have known is so different. Translated in its original language, God is not some distant “Father” who waits to judge the earth, rather he is literally known as “my supplier, who is closer than the air I breathe.”
Isn’t that what we seek? To know a God whose presence is everywhere? He is not just within us, but in everyone else and everywhere else. He is all good, all knowing, and sovereign. The cry of our hearts is be in that presence; to see as He sees, to feel as He feels, to love him back, and to rule with Him as sons and daughters of the Most High. That is what we were created for: reigning with Him, letting heaven come to earth through us. Jason Hershey, one of my favorite speakers, says beautifully, "That's the job of the intercessors - to take snapshots in heaven and bring it down into the reality of now."
I used to think intercession and prayer were boring. I thought that we just did them because they were the right thing to do, some sort of "good Christian" criteria. I thought that God already knew everything and that He had already decided everything, so why would I talk to Him or try to change His mind when He's God? But prayer and intercession isn't about changing God’s mind, it's about partnering with Him in what He's doing. Essentially, it’s ruling with Him. After all, we are co-heirs with Christ! Intercession is actually the most exciting thing in the world. It's God giving us our inheritance, and trusting us with His kingdom.
“The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.’’' (Psalm 2: 7-8)
It's fascinating to think of how much God trusts us. He trusts us with the nations, with our cities, and with people in our lives. He has given us intercession, the ability to stand in the gap for something or someone; to fast and pray and worship on behalf of any place, any situation, and to any person. Once we realize how much authority our faith, actions, and words have, we can't help but "intercede for all people..." (1 Timothy 2:1-5)
We see in Mark 2:1-12 that a group of friends had enough faith to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus, even if they had to do it by ripping open the roof of the house and lowering their friend down to Him. When He "saw their faith, He said the the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'" Jesus gave salvation to the paralytic because of the faith of his friends. Do we have this kind of faith? Are we devoted to what God has laid before us? Do we pursue people and places around us with the same firey pursuit that the Lord has? Intercession is so much more than prayer. It’s a lifestyle of faith, expectancy, and responding to the voice of the Father. We can know our authority. We can confidently know that our good Father sees us, hears us, and responds to us. It delights Him to do so! He loves to give us our inheritance, so let’s ask for it!
Jesus used His life to fill the gap between us and God. Are we willing to do the same?
By Anastasia Akana