Christ The Intercessor
By Andrew Murray
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not...” (Luke 22:32).
“...He ever liveth to make intercession...” (Heb. 7:25).
All growth in the spiritual life is connected with clearer insight into what Jesus is to us. The more I realize that Christ must be all to me and in me, and that all in Christ is indeed for me, the more I learn to live the real life of faith, which is dying to self and living wholly in Christ. The Christian life is no longer the vain struggle to live right, but resting in Christ and finding strength in Him as our life, to fight the fight and gain the victory of faith.
This is especially true of the life of prayer. It, too, comes under the law of faith alone and is seen in the light of the fullness and completeness there is in Jesus. Prayer need no longer be a matter of strain or anxious care. It can be an experience of what Christ will do for the believer and in him, a participation in that life of Christ which, as on earth, so in heaven, ever ascends to the Father as prayer. He begins to pray, not only trusting in the merits of Jesus or the intercession by which our unworthy prayers are made acceptable, but in that near and close union in which He prays in us and we in Him.
Participation with Christ in Intercession
The whole of salvation is Christ Himself. He has given Himself to us. He Himself lives in us. Because He prays, we pray too. As the disciples saw Jesus pray, they asked Him to make them partakers of what He knew of prayer. Now that we see Him as Intercessor on the throne, we know that He makes us participate with Himself in the life of prayer.
We participate not only in the benefits of this His work, but in the work itself. This is because we are His body. Body and members are one. “The head cannot say to the feet, I have no need of thee.” We share with Jesus in all He is and has. “The glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them” (John 17:22). We are partakers of His life, His righteousness, His work. We share with Him in His intercession too; it is not a work He does without us.
Our faith in the intercession of Jesus must not only be that He prays in our stead when we do not or cannot pray, but that, as the Author of our life and our faith, He draws us on to pray in unison with Himself. Our prayer must be a work of faith in this sense too. As we know that Jesus communicates His whole life in us, He also breathes into us our praying, out of that prayerfulness which is His alone.
To many a believer it was a new epoch in his spiritual life when it was revealed to him how truly and entirely Christ was his life, standing good as surety for his remaining faithful and obedient. It was then that he first really began to live a faith life. No less blessed will be the discovery that Christ is surety for our prayer life too. He is the center and embodiment of all prayer, to be communicated by Him through the Holy Spirit to His people.
“He ever liveth to make intercession” (Heb. 7:25), as the Head of the body, as the Leader in that new and living way, which He has opened up as the Author and the Perfecter of our faith. He provides in everything for the life of His redeemed ones by giving His own life in them. He cares for their life of prayer by taking them up into His heavenly prayer life, by giving and maintaining His prayer life within them. “I have prayed for thee,” not to render your faith needless, but “that thy faith fail not.” Our faith and prayer of faith is rooted in His. It is, “If ye abide in Me,” the ever-living Intercessor, and pray with Me and in Me, “ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).
Intercession for Others’ Salvation
The thought of our fellowship in the intercession of Jesus reminds us of what He taught us more than once before – how all these wonderful prayer promises have as their aim and their justification the glory of God in the manifestation of His kingdom and the salvation of sinners. As long as we pray only for ourselves, the promises of the last night must remain a sealed book to us. The promises are given to the fruit-bearing branches of the vine and to disciples sent into the world as the Father sent Him, to live for perishing men. The promises are given to His faithful servants and intimate friends who take up the work He leaves behind, who have, like their Lord, become as the seed-corn, losing its life to multiply it manifold.
Let us each find out what the work is, and who the souls are entrusted to our special prayers. Let us make intercession for them our life of fellowship with God. We shall then not only find the promises of power in prayer made true to us, but we shall then begin to realize how our abiding in Christ and His abiding in us makes us share in His own joy of blessing and saving men.
O most wonderful intercession of our Blessed Lord Jesus, to which we not only owe everything, but in which we are taken up as active partners and fellow workers! Now we understand what it is to pray in the name of Jesus, and why it has such power. In His name, in His Spirit, in Himself, in perfect union with Him. O wondrous, ever-active, and most efficacious intercession of the man Christ Jesus! When shall we be wholly taken up into it, and always pray in it?
Blessed Lord, in lowly adoration I would again bow before Thee. Thy whole redemption work has now passed into prayer. All that now occupies Thee in maintaining and dispensing what Thou didst purchase with Thy blood is prayer. Thou ever livest to pray. Because we abide in Thee, the direct access to the Father is always open. Our life can be one of unceasing prayer, and the answer to our prayer is sure.
Blessed Lord, Thou hast invited Thy people to be Thy fellow workers in a life of prayer. Thou hast united Thyself with Thy people and makest them as Thy body share with Thee in that ministry of intercession through which alone the world can be filled with the fruit of Thy redemption and the glory of the Father. With more liberty than ever I come to Thee, my Lord, and beseech Thee, teach me to pray. Thy life is prayer, Thy life is mine. Lord, teach me to pray, in Thee, like Thee.
O, my Lord, give me especially to know, as Thou didst promise Thy disciples, that Thou art in the Father, and I in Thee, and Thou in me. Let the uniting power of the Holy Spirit make my whole life an abiding in Thee and Thy intercession, so that my prayer may be its echo. Then the Father will hear me in Thee and Thee in me. Lord Jesus, let Thy mind in everything be in me and my life in everything be in Thee. So shall I be prepared to be the channel through which the intercession pours its blessing on the world. Amen.
– Condensed from Learning To Pray (With Christ In The School Of Prayer) by Andrew Murray.