When Israel began worshipping a golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai, God was angry. He had just removed Israel from the physical bondage of slavery in Egypt and the spiritual bondage of idolatry. In the moment of their rebellion, God was detailing his loving laws to Moses. God took very personally Israel’s rebellion in turning to other gods. Moses stood in the gap on behalf of the Israelites, pleading with the Lord not to destroy his people. Again, it is a wonder that God chooses to engage with his people in accomplishing his purposes on the earth. It seems that God was pleased that Moses had interceded on behalf of Israel. He relented and did not destroy Israel.
Three men (angels, one possibly could have been Jesus himself) came to visit Abraham and tell him about the birth of his baby. What a shock! Before these men left, the men told Abraham that they were going to visit Sodom and Gomorrah to see if the reports of their wickedness was true. If so, they would have to destroy those cities. Abraham stood before the Lord and pled for the salvation of the cities on behalf of his nephew, Lot. In Genesis 18:16-33, we see how God works with Abraham’s intercession. As Abraham continued to negotiate the terms of Sodom and Gomorrah’s salvation, God did not back away. He fully engaged with Abraham. In the end, there were not even ten righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah that God would spare the cities for. Lot and his family escaped, but just barely. How amazing it is that God would put himself in the position of working with his people to see his purposes come about.
In 1 Kings 18 we see Elijah calling out on God to reveal his power to the Israelites, so that they would know that the Lord is God. And God responds to Elijah’s prayers. He works with his people to accomplish spiritual breakthrough on the earth. Right after God’s revelation of power on top of Mt. Carmel, God responds to Elijah’s persistent prayer for rain. God even works with his people for breakthrough in the physical realm.
Jesus is the ultimate intercessor. He did the work that no man could do. He offered his body as the sacrifice for the sin of humanity, making intercession between the Father and his creation. We now have the privilege of spreading out the news of Jesus’ intercessory work. “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:19-20 NIV).
Daniel was a man of prayer and faith. As he prayed, an angelic response was released. After much battle in the heavenly realms, the angel made it to Daniel with the answer. As we step into the place of intercession, we contribute to the heavenly battle being waged over people and nations. Our prayers matter!