Christ’s Mission, Our Mandate

During Christ’s final week He taught in the temple, “and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives.” We don’t know what he did on that hardscrabble heap, certainly didn’t get a good night’s rest. I’ve been there, nothing but rocks and roots! I bet he prayed though. A lot! In fact, my guess is He was interceding for the disciples, asking the Holy Spirit to finish the work He began.

Intercession. It’s what Jesus modeled, and is still doing “at the right hand of God.” (Romans 8:34) He’s in the crease stretched out between heaven and earth, uniting our hearts to our home in heaven, and lifting up tired arms.

When we intercede in prayer, we join the suffering of our fellow man, while at the same time drawing closer to God. A person who has learned to pray becomes a lonely prophet, for he lives in the place where love for men draws him closer to their sin than he wants to be, and love for God draws him away into a solitary spiritual rest. Jeremiah is a good example—a lonely outpost of spiritual intensity; misunderstood, obeying when nothing felt right, and playing the prophets hand for the prophet’s reward—sorrow & suffering.

The next time you ascend your ‘hardscrabble heap’, remember that Jesus prays for you. What does he ask the Father? I imagine it’s the same as He did for those first disciples. “Holy Spirit, remind them of your eternal presence, sweep them into Father’s arms, cleanse them from sins of dominion, build courage from the throes of failure, overcome their reluctance to pray, motivate them to faith, and breath life into their tired limbs.”

When we participate with Christ in intercession, we are doing what He constantly does, and therefore becoming more like Him with every pleading breath.

Invite around you a team of seven to intercede for you.

Ask God to give you a hunger for the ministry of intercession.

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