March 22 I Sunday
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Throughout Scripture, we find that, as believers, we are called to pray. In all occasions, we are called not only to pray for ourselves but also for others. The Greek word, enteuxis, translated as “intercession,” literally means “to intercede on behalf of others.” This Greek word could also be defined as a free, familiar prayer such as boldly drawing near to God. The fundamental idea contained within the word “intercession” is boldness in our access to God. We find that this word only appears once in the New Testament, which is in 1 Timothy 2:1: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.”
We see intercessions being made in the Old Testament, where the priest would carry out their duty in the temple and appeal on behalf of others with sacrifices that were brought. In other words, they would represent man before God. In the New Testament, as Christians, we are described as, “…a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
We have confidence to appeal to God and approach Him with freedom because of what Christ has done.
Out of a position of union with Christ, we can approach God boldly and freely on behalf of the world. Unlike petitions, deésis, where we bring our own requests, our intercession calls us to intercede, or appeal to God on behalf of our culture, leaders, authorities, people and other nations around us. Who are we currently interceding for and who else could we also include in our intercession?
As we lift up our petitions, prayers and intercession, it is always accompanied with thanksgiving. The Greek word for “thanksgiving” is eucharistia, which is where we get the term “Eucharist”, represented in some church practices as the Lord’s Supper. Paul tells us, “…the Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it…” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24). Eucharistia literally means “thankfulness,” being thankful for all that God has done and continues to do; it carries the idea of gratitude. As we grow in our prayer and devotion to God, we will learn that the language of faith is not “please” but “thank you.”
When we pray, do we offer our thanksgiving to God for all that He has done?
May we continually offer petition, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving to our God Almighty for our community, nation and the world.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You that I can freely and boldly intercede on behalf of others because of Your finished work on the cross. I pray that my community, my nation and the world will come to receive You as Lord and Saviour. Amen!