Our Sympathies Involved in Intercessory Prayer

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

  • Hebrews 10:19-22

“Beware of thinking that intercession means bringing our own personal sympathies and concerns into the presence of God, and then demanding that He do whatever we ask. Our ability to approach God is due entirely to the vicarious, or substitutionary, identification of our Lord with sin. We have ‘boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.’

“Spiritual stubbornness is the most effective hindrance to intercession, because it is based on a sympathetic ‘understanding’ of things we see in ourselves and others that we think needs no atonement. We have the idea that there are certain good and virtuous things in each of us that do not need to be based on the atonement by the Cross of Christ. Just the sluggishness and lack of interest produced by this kind of thinking makes us unable to intercede. We do not identify ourselves with God’s interests and concerns for others, and we get irritated with Him. Yet we are always ready with our own ideas, and our intercession becomes only the glorification of our own natural sympathies. We have to realize that the identification of Jesus with sin means a radical change of all of our sympathies and interests. Vicarious intercession means that we deliberately substitute God’s interests in others for our natural sympathy with them.”

  • Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

The Scripture talks of having Jesus as our priest and that we can enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus.  He paid the sacrifice.

Then in Chambers’ quote, he laments on how we get in the way.

Has your intercessory prayer time ever turned into telling God what to do?  We get it into our head that this particular close friend or relative has to get over their illness.  We never consider God’s will.  To us, the healing must happen.

Do you have close friends, or relatives, who are non-believers?  You pray for their salvation every day.  When they stray onto a subject that shows their lack of belief, do you get angry?  If you do, with whom are you angry?  Them for believing this thing contrary to God’s teachings, and often contrary to common sense?  Or God for not enlightening them?  Or yourself for not being a better witness?

What Chambers is saying in his quote is that when we enter into intercessory prayer, praying for others to be healed, to come to the Lord, to gain strength in times of struggle, etc., we shouldn’t simply add “We ask these things according to Your will” at the end.  That idea of ‘if it is Your will’ should be with each intercession.  And remember when you get frustrated when it seems to take for ever to get an answer from God on your personal requests?  Expect to “pack your patience” when interceding as well.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

One Comment

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  1. Very true from Chambers: “We have to realize that the identification of Jesus with sin means a radical change of all of our sympathies and interests.”

    Liked by 1 person

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