By Pastor Nick Bibile
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Making Supplication for all the Saints (Eph 6:18)
This is the last part of Christian Warfare or Spiritual Warfare series. Last week we saw the subject on praying in the spirit praying in the spirit is praying from the heart from the soul, pouring out your soul to the Lord. Today we will continue in the same subject on prayer but on intercessory prayer.
What do you mean by intercessory or to intercede?
It means to pass between, to plead in favor of another or to mediate. As we are called soldiers who are engaged in warfare, just like how physical soldiers get support from one another we as Christian soldiers need support from one another in prayer, praying for one another, interceding for others.
Apostle Paul goes on to say, “making supplications for all saints.” What do you mean by making supplications. The word supplication has the meaning of bending, humbleness, and humility, kneeling before the majesty of God begs humbly in earnest prayer. Here we see how we need to pray humbly and earnestly before the King of Glory for the other Christians. This is true Christianity.
If you see in Ephesians 6:18 the context is to pray all the times in the spirit and with perseverance. There is a difference of prayer between a real Christian and a hypocrite. The hypocrite can get convinced of sin only for a moment and will hastily bend his knees in prayer to God but just like the morning dew disappears with the rising of the sun his prayers disappears when the times are good, he will pray from his soul only when he is in trouble, there is no earnest continuation of prayer. But the true Christian who is renewed by the Holy Spirit never forgets God’s mercies in prayer not only for himself but truly concerned for his own brothers and sisters in Christ.
Why do we have to intercede for others?
Before we knew Christ, we were selfish, envious and prideful creatures. We did not much care for others; if we did care for others then it was done with a selfish motivation. We did not go out of our way to help another person. We were more concerned of our belly than the brother or sister who does not have food. But when Christ came to our heart, when the Holy Spirit resides in our heart we become like Christ as we are given a new nature.
The greatest example is Christ who interceded for us. We were separated from the infinitely holy God because of our sins, we were separated for destruction, only good for hell because of our sins against God almighty, the wrath of God was upon us, but Christ in his mercy, love and grace interceded for us as he came in between the Father and us, he became our high priest, the mediator as took the punishment of sin of the believing sinner, he satisfied the Father as he took the punishment on our behalf, then he imputed or charged his righteousness to the believing sinner and now we who were in the past hell bound but because of Christ’s work on the cross because of his intercession we are heaven bound as he has given us eternal life. Oh! How our Savior stood in the gap between the Holy God and the sinner!
The Root of Intercessory Prayer:
Christ set the example of love in action and it cost him with great pain but result was awesome, the root of intercessory prayer is love for others, we pray for others because we love them as Christ loved us.
John 13:34 a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
It is very easy to tell someone I will pray for you but inwardly without any love.
True love follows with action. Look at James 2:15
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Few Examples of Intercessory Prayer:
Job 42:1-10 and the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends.
Here we see a perfect example of confession and repentance. Then the Lord rebuking Job’s friend. Burnt offering for his sins and Job interceding in prayer for his friends.
Abraham praying to Abimelech.
Genesis 20:6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you, and all who are yours.”
17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children.
Abraham wrestling in prayer for Sodom where his nephew Lot lived.
Read Genesis 18:22-33
Moses interceded for his people many times, let us see one example.
We see a horrible thing happening in Exodus 32 as Moses was with God and delayed to come down to the people of Israel, then they got into their flesh due to the delay as they did not know what happen to Moses, they made a calf of gold and worshipped the calf.
Gen 18: 30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Alas, this people have sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.”
In 2 Kings chapter 6 we see the king of Syria was baffled how Elisha told the king of Israel all the plans of the Syrian king. When the Syrian king called his servants to ask how come Elisha knows our plans?
2Kings 6:12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”
It is interesting the king of Syria sending a vast army not to fight against Israel but to catch one man, the man of God Elisha.
13 And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
But when Elisha’s servant woke up the following morning he saw the vast army and his heart sank as we read, 15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
There are so many examples in the Old Testament we cannot go due to our time limit, but let me remind you
That intercessory prayer has been practiced by all the best of God’s saints. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they
know not what they do.”
In the New Testament too we have so many examples, the High Priestly prayer of Christ interceding in prayer for the disciples and for the church in John chapter 17. Stephen praying for his enemies while he is being stoned to death.
Satan wanted to destroy Peter, sift him like wheat but Jesus prayed for Peter.
Luke 22: 31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.
Acts 12:1 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword, 3 and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church
How many times we see apostle Paul interceding in prayer for the saints, he always remembered to pray for the saints.
Eph 1: 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Philemon 1:4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers.
Sometimes stopping in the very midst of the epistle and saying, Eph 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father.
How important for the church to pray for the pastor who is feeding them with the spiritual foods, who cares for the flock and lead them into living waters. Giving them pearls to eat, showing them the heavenly treasures.
2 Cor 2:11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
There was a man who made complaints against the pastor. The pastors heard of it and very wisely told the man, don’t talk about it but come to my home and tell me all. So the man went to the pastor’s home. The pastor told the man, “Brother I am not perfect but what you are going to tell me will greatly bless me. But before you tell me let us both kneel down in prayer.” The quarrelsome friend prayed first and the pastor prayed after.
“Now, my brother, I think we are both in a good state of mind; tell me what it is that you have to find fault with.” The man blushed, and stammered, and stuttered, and said, he did not think there was anything at all except in himself. “I have forgotten to pray for you, sir,” said he, “and of course I cannot expect that God will feed my soul through you when I neglect to mention you at the throne of grace.”
Brothers and sisters intercessory prayers are powerful. Oh! Believer, you have a mighty engine in your hand, use it. Well, use it constantly use it now with faith. How we need to bend down in humility making supplications for all the saints. Praying for one another shows that we are related to each other through the blood of Christ, it shows our love to one another, feeling for one another, feeling the pulse of another person. We are united with one another. You cannot have anger, hatred and jealousy in your soul against your brother or sister after you have learned to pray for him.
How are you going to prove your love to Christ if you refuse to pray for your brothers and sisters? You do not love your pastor; love your brothers and sisters in Christ if you do not pray for them. Is the Lord telling you, “You selfish wicked, you are always knocking on my door for prayers but you have no love for your fellow brothers and sisters where you see them all the time, so how can you love me where you have not seen me?
Let us weep with them that weep and rejoice with them that rejoice, God help us to pray for others, if you hearing this message and have never prayed for yourself, may God help you to believe in the Lord Jesus who can save your soul and give eternal life.