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Standing in the Gap

“I looked for someone 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 no one” (Ezekiel 22:30)

Of all the books in the Bible that I’d been felt called to read for a season, Ezekiel was definitely not the one I would have chosen. It’s not as pretty as the Psalms, not as “helpful” as Proverbs, or as encouraging as passages in Ephesians. It’s thick reading.

But, one of the things that’s stuck with me is the verse above. It’s something I’ve been thinking lots about recently: intercessory prayer. It’s what I imagine that one line that one song “break my heart for what breaks yours” to be. Are we ready for that? Am I ready for that? It’s standing in the gap, sometimes arguing with God like Abraham did regarding Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s what Jesus does when He goes before us to God. It’s praying on the basis of redemption.

In Utmost for His Highest, it defines intercession as such: “True intercession involves bringing the person, or the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on you, before God, until you are changed by His attitude toward that person or circumstance. Intercession means to “fill up…[with] what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (Colossians 1:24), and this is precisely why there are so few intercessors.” That last bit is also there in the verse; there’s a stark reality of “but, I found no one”. It’s sobering and challenging.

While not everyone is called to be an intercessor, as Christ-followers, I think it’s something that we all need to do time and again. If we are truly going after God’s heart and the complete openness of relationship that is a result of aligning with His heart, then intercession makes sense. It’s more than merely asking God to provide, or to heal. If I’m understanding this correctly, there’s a transformative aspect to it like so many of the other steps to following Jesus. Am I ready to have my heart broken?

I just want to say the last little bit: To our intercessors and prayer warriors in church, and my own personal ones, thank you for standing in the gap, for allowing your heart to break. You must have an amazing relationship with God.

Miel can be reached via email here.

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