“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.” (1 Timothy 2:1)
Paul writes: “I exhort … that … intercessions … be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (vv. 1-4).
Intercession means “to mediate between parties with a view to reconciling those who differ or contend”. It happens every day in the court system when lawyers intercede on behalf of their clients. It also happened in Scripture. When Israel made a golden calf and worshipped it, Moses interceded with God on their behalf, saying: “Oh, these people have committed a great sin … Yet now, if You will forgive their sin — but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written” (Exodus 32:31-32). And it worked. God told Moses, “Go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you” (v. 34).
Later when Israel turned again to worship false gods, Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray [intercede] to the LORD for you” (1 Samuel 7:5). As a result, the Lord sent a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were defeated before Israel (see 1 Samuel 7:10).
Interceding can be a lonely business, and it’s also hard work: “Always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12). But when nothing else works, intercessory prayer does!
Jesus, I am a sinner, and I ask for You to intercede with God, the Father, on my behalf. I repent of my sin and I ask for God’s forgiveness. Be with me and lead me on straight paths.