Saturday, May 19, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum



CHRISTIAN EDUCATION FORUM
Word for the Day
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path".
Psalm 119:105

Church: An Interceding Community - The Power of Intercession
Genesis 18:19-33
Vs. 32 Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 
Some of us hear the word “intercession,” and it sounds vaguely familiar. We've heard it in church services, as a part of the liturgy section titled “The Great Intercession,” and we've probably heard an Achen preach about it at some point in our time of listening to sermons. But what does this word really mean, and why is it such a powerful concept and instrumental concept for us as Christians to understand? The aforementioned passage in Genesis shows us what this concept means and how powerful it actually is.
Genesis 18: 19-33 is the story of Abraham and his pleading with the Lord to spare Sodom from the impending wrath that God was going to pour down on Sodom. This wrath was to come because Sodom was full of terrible people. The people of that city were committing sins of an unspeakable nature, and living completely corrupt lives, so much so that God felt that it must be destroyed. Abraham however felt the responsibility to plead with the Lord on behalf of the righteous people that may have been living in the midst of all the sin of Sodom. Abraham felt that God should not destroy the city if there were people that were following God. And so Abraham pleaded with the Lord, and negotiated with the Lord, and finally at the end, the Lord told Abraham that if Abraham could find ten righteous people in Sodom, the Lord would spare the city.
What does this story have to do with this abstract concept of intercession? Well, intercession for us as Christians is when we go to God in prayer and pray for other people in need. We can pray for people that are sick and need healing, people that are in dire situations and tribulations and need the determination to pull through, we can pray for those that are hungry and need food to eat, and more. Obviously, God knows the needs of all his children, but there is a special power when we as a  body of believers submit requests to the Lord on behalf of other people. It is amazing to see how God moves when we pray for requests with the right intentions.
That power is displayed in this negotiation between Abraham and God. Abraham is interceding on behalf of the people of Sodom, pleading and communicating with God to not destroy the city if Abraham can find some righteous people. Abraham actually held of God’s destruction of a city just because he spoke to God from his heart and his desire for the people of Sodom not to die. While God eventually destroyed Sodom because there were no righteous people in the city, and God obviously knew this would be the case, this story still shows that God truly honors the requests of his people when they intercede on behalf of others.
PRAYER
God, grant us genuine kindness and love for others in our hearts that we may intercede on behalf of them, as people have interceded for us in the past. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
What would it look like if we took it upon ourselves as believers to really intercede on behalf of those struggling throughout the world, in our own churches, in our own families, and more? The world could be a radically different and better place. It all starts with us taking that step to communicate with God on behalf of others. Try it, and watch the way God can change the world.
Alexander Thomas, Long Island MTC, NY
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church