The Lord Works Through Intercession
By Rich Carmicheal
Thank you to all of you who provided prayer support, financial support, and/or other encouragement for the ministry of Herald of His Coming this summer. The Lord has graciously worked through your intercession and provision! We rejoice to report that all of the June and July Heralds that were delayed while we awaited funds, were mailed in early July, and we had sufficient funds to mail all of the August Heralds by the end of July!
Praise the Lord with us also for good reports from readers about how the Lord is working through the messages in these issues to stir their hearts toward repentance and revival. Thank the Lord for His provision of these messages and for His anointing upon them. Ask Him to continue to work through these issues to encourage, strengthen, convict, stir and challenge many readers.
Thank the Lord with us also for His supply of messages for this September Herald, and for the funds that have made it possible for this copy to be in your hands. This issue provides a strong reminder of how vital intercession is to the work of the Lord. As we pray, He opens the heavens and sends conviction, repentance, salvation, deliverance, revival, encouragement and on and on.
Do you not sense the great need today for God’s people to get serious in prayer before Him? As in Nehemiah’s day, many people "are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall…is broken down, and [the] gates have been burned with fire" (Neh. 1:3). Think of the lost souls all around us, in our families and communities, as well as the multitudes of the lost throughout the world. Think of the impending judgment that is over churches and nations, and the final Day of Judgment that looms over the whole world. Think of the anemic state, and even sinful state, of many churches that are in desperate need of repentance and revival. Think of the prevalence of sin and evil in the world, and the need for righteousness to rise up and dispel the darkness. Think of all of the hurting and desperate people who need grace, truth, guidance and purpose.
The Lord wants no one to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). Therefore, in days of impending judgment, He searches for a person(s) to intervene on behalf of others. In Ezekiel’s day, He lamented that He found no such person: "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none" (Ezek. 22:30). Nor did He find such a person when He issued a similar call through Jeremiah: "Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city" (Jer. 5:1).
What about today? How many people will the Lord find as He searches for those who will help build up the wall and stand before Him in the gap on behalf of others; those who deal honestly and seek the truth; those who will intervene and help divert judgment in individual lives, churches, communities and even nations?
Nehemiah provides a good example for us. When he discerned the terrible conditions in his day, he devoted himself to be an instrument of the Lord to bring the needed help. He took the situation to heart and sought the Lord with weeping, mourning, fasting and prayer (Neh. 1:4). On behalf of God’s people, he confessed sin, including his own. He recalled the promises of God toward the repentant, and asked God to grant him success and favor as he took action. He then stepped out courageously, relying on the power of God, and in the midst of much opposition, he led in the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem and in the renewing of the people of God. He took up the battle, and God worked powerfully through his prayers and actions.
Our God is looking today for those who will take up the battle, godly intercessors who will pour their hearts out in prayer and action. He continues to call those who are spiritual to help bear the burdens of others (Gal. 6:1-2). He still seeks people like Epaphras, who will wrestle in prayer for the spiritual well-being of others (Col. 4:12); people like Timothy, who will take a genuine interest in the welfare of others (Phil. 2:20); people like Epaphroditus, who will risk their lives for the work of Christ (Phil. 2:29-30); and people like Paul, who will daily carry concern for churches (2 Cor. 11:28).
Of course, our greatest model for intercession is our Lord Jesus Christ. He "bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isa. 53:12). Even now in heaven, He "always lives to intercede" for those who come to God through Him (Heb. 7:25). Likewise, "the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will" (Rom. 8:27).
The Lord honors intercession and He will faithfully and powerfully work through your prayers and actions on behalf of others. May this issue of the Herald help stir you to that end. Much hangs in the balance.