God Prays For You
God is able to bless others without us but through speaking to Him for others problems we get the chance to be His partners in spreading His love, by opening our hearts to Him and thus be overwhelmed by His love for us.

God Prays For You

            After the sin of disobedience of the only command of God, Adam and Eve tried to hide from the Creator, the loving God who while knowing everything still came to meet them. The prophecy regarding crushing of the devil’s head by the Son of God and His suffering was also proclaimed then only. Lord Jesus defeated death and was raised up into heaven to glory after completion of the task of redemption of mankind. But did He forget His sheep thereafter and left us to face the troubles alone?

          Lord Jesus intercedes for us but why do we still suffer in life? King David first identifies God as creator and then man in comparison, ‘LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens…. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon, and the stars, which You have ordained. What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?’ (Psalm 8:1-4). Again He refers to God as a Trainer and Protector with the same question, ‘Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle – My loving-kindness and my fortress, and my high tower and my deliverer, my Shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me. LORD, what is man that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?’ (Psalm 144:1-3).

          Even after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden due to their sin, God did not stop visiting mankind. And the reason is clear for ‘God is love’ and He cares for all of His creation (1 John 4:8). The prodigal son lost everything and then returned to his father’s house ‘but when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him’ (Luke 15:20-23). How much will God the Father show His compassion for His children, who rebelled against Him? And His love is expressed in the greatest sacrifice that could be made by sacrificing His Son. The prophet Isaiah, who saw God on His throne in the Temple could say about the sufferings of the Redeemer, ‘Yet, it pleaded the LORD to bruise Him, He has put Him to grief’, so that we could be reconciled to God (Isaiah 53:10). God never left us, it is only we who hid from Him and turned our face away from Him.

            Before His sufferings at the hands of the Jewish leaders and Roman authorities and final crucifiction, Lord Jesus warned the disciples about the difficult times ahead (John 16:32-33). He then said to them, ‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’. His kingdom is within each believer with the Holy Spirit (Luke 17:21). On the other hand Apostle Paul has termed the devil as ‘god of this world (age)’ (2 Corinthians 4:4) and he comes to ‘steal, and to kill and to destroy’ (John 10:10). Lord Jesus, ‘the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil’ (1 John 3:8).

            The Great Commission to make disciples and baptize in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is the work of partnering with God for exodus from the slavery of sin and the devil into God’s kingdom. Apostle Paul, the suffering Apostle, has also urged us, ‘Therefore, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might’ (Ephesians 6:10-12). He has further told, ‘Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’. Every believer is thus in a permanent state of battle against these evil forces and since we cannot see them, they use ingenious ways to attack us, even using other human beings as their agents. Lord Jesus warned beforehand, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail’ (Luke 22:31-32). Lord Jesus prayed for the 11 apostles to protect them from the hands of the devil. We have been taught to pray to God, the Father, by the Lord, ‘do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’ (Matthew 6:13).

             Lord Jesus told two qualities of His sheep, the followers, that they hear His voice and follow Him and then gave assurance of eternal life to them. He then assured them that no one shall ‘snatch them from My hands’ relating His hands to the Father’s hands, who has given them to the Redeemer (John 10:27-29). There is a definite guarantee from His side but do we follow Him with the same diligence that He shows towards us? Great multitudes followed the Lord everywhere that He went, bringing their sick and suffering and He blessed them all. Pilate despite having a very cruel attitude towards the Jews, could clearly see that Lord Jesus was brought before him out of jealousy and not for any crime. He wanted to release Him after scourging, which also could cause death, but the people sought His crucifiction. Pilate then washed his hands with water before all of them thus declaring himself innocent of Lord Jesus’ death. It was then that, ‘All the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and our children’, thus bringing an awful curse even on their future generations (Matthew 27:24-25).

            Our sufferings in this world are not because of lack of help from God but due to our turning away from Him and indulging in evil deeds in league with the devil.  Lord Jesus became Man to reveal God the Father to us and lead us back to Him and the best illustration of this love is on the cross. The Jewish leaders and the Chief Priests opposed Him for almost all the days of His ministry on earth and were instrumental in His crucifiction, yet He prayed for them in all the pain, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’ (Luke 23:34). Sin is sin whether committed in ignorance or with full knowledge, yet the Lord placed that excuse before God for their forgiveness. And that is what He does even today in heaven.

            Lord Jesus’ role as our Intercessor – From mid day to three in the afternoon, the time for the evening sacrifice at the Temple in Jerusalem, darkness covered the face of the whole earth. Passover day being on a full moon, it is impossible for a solar eclipse to take place and in a supernatural way, the sins of all mankind till His Second Coming were heaped on Him on the cross. After having checked the fulfillment of all that was prophesied about Him, Lord Jesus declared, ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30). But did that really finish His work for His creation? The Scripture clarifies the saving work of Lord Jesus, ‘He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them’ (Hebrews 7:25). Our salvation is sure, for our Redeemer lives and secondly He intercedes for us and His priesthood is indestructible and not like any other human being. His resurrection is the guarantee of that and He is our eternal intercessor or till the accuser, the devil is free to raise questions about our salvation.

              The Savior prays for us as our Advocate and High Priest and these prayers are answered for He prays in His righteousness on the basis of His perfect sacrifice (Romans 8:34). Though His ministry on earth ended with His ascension and glorification in heaven, it continues in heaven on the same lines. Satan, the accuser keeps on pointing out our sins and weaknesses before God as he did with Job (Job 1:6-12) but we are fully covered by the perfect righteousness/holiness of Lord Jesus while our sins were imputed to Him on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). God accepts us as blameless before Him since every accusation is fully refuted by our Advocate.  

          His intercession is perfect for He is the only human mediator between God and mankind , ‘the man Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy 2:5). In this situation, is it important that He does and should pray for me? Supposing He decides to choose whom to pray for on the basis of our performance, most would miss out from the list. But He prays for all for He loves equally even the lost sheep, who go astray.

           The prophecy about the Son of God was clear, ‘He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors’ (Isaiah 53:12). His greatest prayer for us all is through His death on the cross and in the events leading up to that. His only recorded prayer further illustrates His love for us in seeking God the Father on our behalf. He does not pray for everyone but for the believers for ‘You (Father) gave them to Me, for they are Yours’ (John 17:9).

          He prays for our safety -He desires to ensure that none is lost from those that are in His care (John 17:11-12).  He prays for joy in our lives and that His joy be fulfilled in us John 17:13). He prays for our protection in the world – Though He will come one day on the clouds and we will all be lifted up to meet Him and be with Him (in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). But till that day during our stay in this world, He prays for our protection from the devil, the evil one (John 17:15). He prays for our sanctification –Since we are not of this world but citizens of heaven, Lord Jesus prays for our sanctification in truth, the Word of God (John:16-19).And He has sent us into the world in the same way He was sent by the Father. He prays for eternal life for us so that we join Him in His heaven and be partakers of His Divine glory (John 17:24). He prays for our perfection through the glory of Second Adam that He has given us by being one in Spirit with Him (John 17:22-23). He prays for the fullness of Father’s love in us through our oneness and spiritual union with Him (John 17:26). The continuity of His intercession is further assured for He did not stop praying after the time of the disciples but prays even ‘for those who will believe in Me (Lord Jesus) through their word’ (John 17:20). Thus His work of intercession continues to this day.

            Right from the time of creation God desires love, unity and sanctity in all of mankind so that His glory may be projected through our lives. Just like His Son, our role also is to reveal God and glorify Him before others and it is His grace and mercy that He chose us imperfect people to carry the message of the Gospel. Apostle Paul cautions us in this work that ‘we have this treasure in (unworthy) jars of clay (of human weakness) to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us’ (2 Corinthians 4:7). Lord Jesus’ prayer for us then and now is about this and the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us in this.

             Effective intercession for other believers – Apostle Paul advises us to ‘be imitators of God as dear children’ and this involves expressing the love of God through our good deeds towards others (Ephesians 5:1). Our good works are not to earn our salvation, for that is already given, but a testimony of our faith in the Savior.There is another prayer recorded that the wonderful Apostle Paul prayed to ‘the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Ephesians 3:14-19). In this prayer he sought various blessings for the people – the first was ‘that He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being’ or the soul, that part of a human being that enables him to communicate with the world through the body and with God through the spirit. Second, ‘that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith’ as Lord of your life. Third, ‘that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord’s holy people’. This power is to be exercised in love and for and with other believers. Four, that you may ‘grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge’Five, ‘that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God’ and that is the ultimate end result of all these first four points. Apostle Paul did not seek material blessings for people but strengthening of the soul and fullness of God.

           Connected to this is the task of the Redeemer in the world for which He manifested Himself as a Man. The Son of God was manifested for this purpose ‘that He might destroy the works of the devil’ and the foremost of this was death and separation from God (1 John 3:8). Comparing His works with those of the devil, Lord Jesus has assured that ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly’ (John 10:10). Apostle Paul identified the previous state of human beings who ‘were dead in your trespasses and sins’ (Ephesians 2:1). Lord Jesus’ first work is to give life and the Greek word used is ‘zoe’ which means both spiritual and physical, for life is sustained by the self-existent life of God. The Son of God shares His gift with mankind, transforming us in His image with the capacity to know His eternal life. Also the Greek word ‘perissos’ means ‘all around, in excess, beyond expectation’ and that is the life of closeness to God that Lord Jesus gives. His work for this did not end on the cross, but continues for the devil is still active. The final result of the answered prayer that Apostle Paul mentioned is ‘‘that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God’ (Ephesians 3:19). This abundance is promised, prayed for and given by Lord Jesus for each believer and that is what we are to seek for ourselves as well as for other believers. Through such prayers God the Father is glorified in the Son and there is a definite answer.

              Lord Jesus prayed to God the Father for all those who will surrender to Him as their Savior, more than two thousand years ago and continues to do so. All those who accept our message of the Gospel and our witness are covered and protected by His intercession in heaven. What a wonderful blessing that God the Son prays for us that we may not falter in our faith and be strengthened to face every situation! He desires for us to enjoy life here on earth to the full and also be blessed with eternal life in His presence.

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