Praying for people who don’t deserve it…

9 Oct

An intercessor is one who pleads for another. He or she speaks in favor for someone who is in trouble. An intercessor even prays to God for the most undeserving. It is easy to pray for the deserving, another matter to intercede for the undeserving.

Exhibit A: Sodom and Gomorrah. Wicked. Brutal. Evil. Depraved. And you know what Abraham did for them? He prayed to God on their behalf! He tried to save them. These most undeserving cities, and Abraham racked his brain to come up with some scheme to stop their destruction.

In Genesis 18, he negotiated with the Lord. What if there are 50 innocent people? 45 decent citizens? 40 righteous residents? 30 good guys? 20 tenderhearted souls? 10 friendly fellas? Will you spare the cities for them? And God said, “Yes, for the sake of a faithful few, I will spare them!”

Unfortunately, there were not even a faithful few. Nevertheless, Abraham pleaded and begged that their lives might be saved. He defended the undeserving. He was an intercessor.

Exhibit B: The Golden Calf. The people of Israel, recently delivered from slavery in Egypt, constructed a Golden Calf. Then they danced around it, partied like there was no tomorrow, and forgot the real God who saved them.

In Exodus 32, the Lord was ticked off, planning to wipe them out and start over again with Moses. And you know what Moses did for the people? He spoke up for them. He asked for a special favor. Even though they didn’t deserve it, Moses convinced God to forgive them instead of destroy them.

Unfortunately, when Moses met the people, he imitated God’s original anger. He gathered the Levi tribe together, and they butchered 3,000 people “in the name of the Lord.” What happened to Moses the intercessor? How did he become Moses the righteous warrior, slaying the wicked (32:25)?

Exhibit C: Jesus on the cross. Judas betrayed him. The religious leaders plotted to murder him. Peter denied him. The disciple abandoned him. The crowds ridiculed him. The soldiers mocked and tortured him and spat upon him. The centurion nailed him to the cross.

In Luke 23:32-34, Jesus prays, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t realize what they are doing.” How true! Self-destructive people, twisted humanity are their own worst enemies. They need help.

Hebrews 7:25 describes Jesus as the One, who even now, intercedes for us.

And the Spirit of Jesus, intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words to express. (Romans 8:26)

Exhibit D: we are invited to become intercessors. We pray for an impossible healing filled future to invade our present. Prayer makes space for God to work.

One final word. In Jesus, the true character of God is revealed. God is like Jesus. The Lord desires our healing, not our elimination. God is on our side! He wants the best for us, even the undeserving. Let us follow Jesus, the Ultimate Intercessor. Amen.

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One Response to “Praying for people who don’t deserve it…”

  1. L. Sheffer October 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Thank you! I needed this!

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