Paul as an Intercessor
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. —Ephesians 3:14-19
We think of Paul as a great missionary, the great preacher, the great writer, the great apostle “in labours more abundant” (2 Cor. 11:23 KJV). We do not sufficiently think of him as the intercessor who sought and obtained, by his supplication, the power that rested upon all his other activities and brought down the blessing that rested on the churches he served.
We see above what he wrote to the Ephesians. Think of what he said to the Thessalonians: “Night and day praying exceedingly that we... might perfect that which is lacking in your faith... To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness” (1 Thess. 3:10,13 KJV).
To the Romans: “Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers” (Rom. 1:9 KJV). To the Philippians: “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy” (Phil. 1:4 KJV). And to the Colossians: “We... do not cease to pray for you” (Col. 2:1 KJV); “I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you” (Col. 1:9 KJV).
Day and night he cried to God in his intercession for them that the light and the power of the Holy Spirit might be in them. As earnestly as he believed in the power of his intercession for them so also did he believe in the blessing that theirs would bring upon him. “Now I beseech you... that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (Rom. 15:30 KJV). “[God] will yet deliver us; ye also helping together by prayer for us” (2 Cor. 1:10-11 KJV). “Praying... for me... that I may open my mouth boldly’”(Eph. 6:18-19 KJV). “This shall turn to my salvation through your prayer” (Phil. 1:19 KJV).
The whole relationship between pastor and people depends on the united, continual prayerfulness. Their whole relationship to each other is a heavenly one, spiritual and divine, and can only be maintained by unceasing prayer. When ministers and people wake up to the consciousness that the power and the blessing of the Holy Spirit is waiting for their united and unceasing prayers, the church will begin to know something of what the early church called “apostolic” Christianity.
- How much of my time is spent praying for my pastor and leaders in my church? Why is that?
- What will I do today to change that? How can I encourage others in my church to be prayerful as Paul’s example is in the above verses?
Prayer: Father in heaven, I humbly ask You to graciously restore to Your church the spirit of supplication and intercession. Let it starts with me, Lord. Forgive me for ignoring this important work, and grant me a heart that desires to pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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