“God Seeks Intercessors. As ministers begin the work of finding and training intercessors, it will urge them to pray more themselves. Christ made Paul a pattern of His grace before He made him a preacher of it. It has been well said, “The first duty of a clergyman is humbly to beg of God that all he would have done in his people may be first truly and fully done in himself.” The effort to bring this message of God may cause much heart searching and humiliation. All the better. The best practice in doing a thing is helping others to do it. Oh, servants of Christ, be as watchmen who cry to God day and night. Let us awake to our holy calling. Let us believe in the power of intercession. Let us practice it. Let us seek on behalf of our people to get from God Himself the Spirit and the life we preach. With our spirits and lives given up to God in intercession, the Spirit and life that God gives them through us cannot fail to be the life of intercession, too.”
Remember that these ten paragraphs were written by Andrew Murray in chapter 14 of his book entitled The Ministry of Intercession. I hope that his words will awaken in the hearts of many the vital need for increased teaching and time for intercession in the church. May it be an encouragement to those who intercede now, to rise to a greater level of intercession.
“God Seeks Intercessors. He sends His servants out to call them. Let ministers make this a part of their duties. Let them make their church a training school of intercession. Give the people definite objects for prayer. Encourage them to make a definite time for it, even if it is only ten minutes every day. Help them to understand the boldness they may use with God. Teach them to expect and look for answers. Show them what it is first to pray and get an answer in secret, and then carry the answer and impart the blessing. Tell everyone who is master of his own time that he is as the angels: free to tarry before the throne and then go out and minister to the heirs of salvation. Sound out the blessed tidings that this honor is for all God’s people. There is no difference. That servant girl, this day laborer, that bedridden invalid, this daughter in her mother’s home, these men in business – all are called; all, all, are needed. God seeks intercessors.”
Oh, my heart….
“God Seeks Intercessors. He will not, He cannot, take the work out of the hands of His church. And so He comes, calling and pleading in many ways. Now, He does so by a man who He raises up to live a life of faith in His service and to prove how actually and abundantly He answers prayer. Then, He does so by the story of a church that makes prayer for souls its starting point and bears testimony to God’s faithfulness. Sometimes, He does so in a mission that proves how special prayer can meet special need and bring down the power of the Spirit. Or other times, He does so by a season of revival coming in answer to united, urgent supplication. In these and many other ways, God is showing us what intercession can do. He is beseeching us to awaken and train His great host to be, every one, a people of intercession.”
Thank You, Lord, for the many ways You continually show us how great the power of prayer is! Let us always remain focused and never lose sight of the authority You have given us in intercession. Such an honor! Such a privilege!
“God Seeks Intercessors. He looks to see if the church is training the great army of aged men and women, whose time of outward work is past, but who can strengthen the army of the “elect, which cry day and night unto him” (Luke 18:7) He looks to the great host of the Christian endeavor – the three or four million young lives given in the solemn pledge: “I promise the Lord Jesus Christ that I will strive to do whatever He would like to have me do” – and wonders how many are being trained to pass from the brightness of the weekly prayer meeting and its confession of loyalty, on to the secret intercession that is to save souls. He looks to the thousands of young men and women in training for the work of ministry and mission. He gazes longingly to see if the church is teaching them that intercession – power with God – must be their first care. The church should seek to train and help them to do it. He looks to see whether ministers and missionaries are understanding their opportunity and laboring to turn the believers of their congregation into those who can help together by their prayers (2 Chron. 20:4), and can strive with them in their prayers (Romans 15:30). As Christ seeks the lost sheep until He finds it, God seeks intercessors.”
“God Seeks Intercessors. He longs to dispense larger blessings. He longs to reveal His power and glory as God, His saving love, more abundantly. He seeks intercessors in larger number, in greater power, to prepare the way of the Lord. He seeks them. Where could He seek them but in His church? And how does He expect to find them? He entrusted to His church the task of telling about their Lord’s need, of encouraging, training, and preparing them for His holy service. And He always comes again, seeking fruit, seeking intercessors. In His Word, He has spoken of the “widow indeed… [who] trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day” (1 Tim. 5:5).”
Ah, Andrew Murray speaks my heart…
“God Seeks Intercessors. Though God had His appointed servants in Israel – watchmen set by Himself to cry to Him day and night and give Him no rest – He often had to wonder and complain that there was no intercessor. He wondered why there was no one who stirred himself up to take hold of His strength. And He still waits and wonders in our day that there are not more intercessors. He still wonders why all of His children do not give themselves to this highest and holiest work, and why many of them who do so, do not engage in it more intensely and perseveringly. He wonders why ministers of His Gospel complain that their duties do not allow them to find time for this, which He considers their first, highest, most delightful, and alone effective work. He wonders why His sons and daughters, who have forsaken home and friends for His sake, come so short in what He meant to be their abiding strength: receiving day by day all they need to impart to the non-believers. He wonders why multitudes of His children have little conception of what intercession is. He wonders why even more have learned that it is their duty, seek to obey it, but confess that they know little about taking hold of God or prevailing with Him.”
[Seriously, I could have highlighted the whole paragraph!]
I’ve been wonderfully busy with our recent Supernatural Life Conference and haven’t had the time to post the next paragraph in Andrew Murray’s book. As I catch my breath and slow down a bit, I finally share these words for you to ponder.
“God Seeks Intercessors. When He called His people out of Egypt, He separated the priestly tribe to draw near to Him, stand before Him, and bless the people in His name. From time to time, He sought ad found and honored intercessors, for whose sake He spared or blessed His people. When our Lord left the earth, He said to the inner circle He had gathered around Him, an inner circle of special devotion to His service, to which access is still free to every disciple: “I have chosen you, and ordained you…that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” We have already noticed the three wonderful words repeated six times: “whatsoever,” “in my name,” “it shall be done” (John 15:7). In them, Christ placed the power of the heavenly world at their disposal, not for their own selfish use, but in the interest of His kingdom. We know how wondrously they used it. And since that time, down through the ages, these men have had their successors, men who have proved how surely God works in answer to prayer. And we may praise God that in our day, too, there is an ever increasing number who begin to see and prove that in church and mission, in all societies, large and small, intercession is the chief thing. They see that it is the power that moves God and opens heaven. They are learning and long to learn better so that all may learn that in our work for souls, intercession must take the first place. Those who have received from heaven, in the power of the Holy Spirit, what they are to communicate to others will be best able to do the Lord’s work.”
[Again, the emphasis is mine.]
Paragraph #3 -
“God Seeks Intercessors. There is a third magnitude to which our eyes must be opened: the wondrous privilege and power of the intercessors. There is a false humility which makes a great virtue of self-depreciation, because it has never seen its utter nothingness. If it knew that, it would never apologize for its feebleness, but glory in its utter weakness as the one condition of Christ’s power resting on it. It would judge itself, its power, and influence before God in prayer as little by what it sees or feels as we judge the size of the sun by what the eye can see, Faith sees man created in God’s image and likeness to be God’s representative in this world and have dominion over it. Faith sees man redeemed and lifted into union with Christ: abiding in Him, identified with Him, and clothed with His power in intercession. Faith sees the Holy Spirit dwelling and praying in the heart, making, in our sighings, intercession to God. Faith sees the intercession of the saints as part of the life of the Holy Trinity: the believer as God’s child asking of the Father, in the Son, through the Spirit. Faith sees something of the divine fitness and beauty of this scheme of salvation through intercession. Faith wakens the soul to a consciousness of its wondrous destiny, and arms it with strength for the blessed self-sacrifice it calls to.”
Oh, it’s hard to not highlight much more…
Ok, here is Paragraph #2
[My emphasis is italicized.]
“God Seeks Intercessors. There is a God of glory able to meet all these needs. We are told that He delights in mercy, that He waits to be gracious, that He longs to pour out His blessing. We are told that the love that gave the Son up to death is the same love that each moment hovers over every human being. And yet He does not help. And there they perish. It is as if God does not move. If He does so love and long to bless, there must be some inscrutable reason for His holding back. What can it be? Scripture says it is because of our unbelief. (See Matthew 13:58, 17:20). It is the faithlessness and consequent unfaithfulness of God’s people. He has taken them into partnership with Himself. He has honored them, and bound Himself, by making their prayers one of the standard measures of the working of His power. Lack of intercession is one of the chief reasons for the lack of blessing. Oh, that we would turn our eyes and heart from everything else and fix them on God who hears prayer. Let the magnificence of His promises, His power, and His purpose of love overwhelm us! How our whole lives and hearts would become intercession.”
To be continued…
Last Christmas, Michael gave me a thick book entitled Andrew Murray on Prayer. It is actually six of Andrew Murray’s books in one. Even though I have yet to read it all the way through, I have picked it up from time to time, enjoying little bites of this delicious feast on prayer.
For the past few days, my attention has been drawn to this book. I thought that I should probably get it off the shelf and open it up, but I hadn’t – until yesterday morning.
The title of the book that is listed as number five in this publication of six is The Ministry of Intercession. That caught my attention!
There are 15 chapters in this book. The title of Chapter 14 is God Seeks Intercessors. So that became my devotional reading for the day!
There are ten specific paragraphs in this chapter that begin with those words – God Seeks Intercessors. I love what is written in the whole chapter, but I am going to share each of these ten paragraphs – one at a time – so that the writings of them individually can be pondered. These words really spoke to me and encouraged my heart that is so passionate about the need for increased intercession to be stirred up in His people.
I hope Andrew Murray’s words speak to your heart, too!
Here is Paragraph #1 –
“God Seeks Intercessors. There is a world with its perishing millions, with intercession as its only hope. So much love and work are comparatively vain, because there is so little intercession. There are millions living as if there had never been a Son of God to die for them. Every year, millions pass into the outer darkness without hope. Millions bear the Christian name, but the great majority of them live in utter ignorance or indifference. Millions of feeble, sickly Christians, thousands of wearied workers, could be blessed by intercession, could help themselves to become mighty in intercession. Churches and missions sacrificing life and labor with little result often lack the power of intercession. Souls, each one worth more than worlds – worth nothing less than the price paid for them in Christ’s blood – are within reach of the power that can be won by intercession. We surely have no conception of the magnitude of the work to be done by God’s intercessors, or we would cry to God above everything to give us the spirit of intercession.”
More to come…