Skip to content

Understanding Bible Definition of Intercession: A Guide

Intercession, as defined in the Bible, refers to the act of speaking to God on behalf of another person, group, situation, or community. It is a selfless act of love and a sacrifice of time and focus. Intercession is distinct from regular prayer, which is focused on personal concerns, as it involves advocating for the needs and concerns of others. The Bible is replete with examples of intercessory prayer, starting from the patriarchal era to the teachings of Jesus and the writings of the apostles. Intercession plays a crucial role in the Christian faith, demonstrating love for one another and seeking God’s intervention in various circumstances.

Key Takeaways:

  • Intercession in the Bible involves speaking to God on behalf of others.
  • Intercession is a selfless act of love and sacrifice.
  • It is distinct from regular prayer as it focuses on the needs and concerns of others.
  • Intercession is seen throughout the Bible, from patriarchs to the early Christian community.
  • Intercession demonstrates love for one another and seeks God’s intervention.

Etymology and Meaning of “Intercession”

The Etymology and Meaning of “Intercession”

Intercession, as understood in the Bible, is a term that holds deep significance and carries rich meaning. To fully comprehend its essence, it is important to delve into its etymology and explore its biblical roots. The word “intercession” finds its origins in both Hebrew and Greek, reflecting the diverse linguistic landscape of the Bible.

Language Word Meaning
Hebrew pagha` Striking upon or against, urging, and interceding
Greek enteuxis Petition or intercession

The Hebrew word “pagha`” signifies a forceful action, conveying the idea of striking upon or against, urging, and interceding. In Greek, the word “enteuxis” is translated as “petition” and is used interchangeably with “intercession” in the New Testament. Together, these linguistic nuances highlight the depth and variety of meanings inherent in intercession.

When we explore the meaning of intercession in the Bible, we discover its importance as an act of speaking to God on behalf of others. It embodies selfless love, sacrificial prayer, and a demonstration of care for those in need. Throughout the biblical narrative, intercession serves as a powerful tool to seek divine intervention, emphasize the interconnectedness of humanity, and showcase the heart of God’s love for His creation.

“Intercession is not simply an act of speaking to God; it is a call to step into the gap and advocate for the needs and concerns of others.” – Biblical Scholar

Intercession in the Old Testament

Intercession has a rich history in the Old Testament, with patriarchs, prophets, and leaders interceding on behalf of their people. One notable example is Abraham’s intercession for the city of Sodom. In Genesis 18:22-33, Abraham pleaded with God to spare the city if even a few righteous people could be found. This act of intercession demonstrated Abraham’s love and concern for others, as well as his faith in God’s justice and mercy.

Moses also played a significant role as an intercessor for the Israelites. In Exodus 32:30-34, after the Israelites worshipped the golden calf, Moses interceded on their behalf, asking God to forgive them and not destroy the entire nation. This intercessory act revealed Moses’ compassion and desire for reconciliation between God and His people.

Furthermore, Samuel, a judge, priest, and prophet, served as an intercessor throughout his life. In 1 Samuel 7:5-9, Samuel offered intercessory prayers to God on behalf of the Israelites, seeking deliverance from their enemies. Samuel’s intercession demonstrated his dedication to the people and his reliance on God’s intervention to bring about victory and peace.

The Old Testament is replete with examples of intercessory prayers, highlighting the importance of seeking God’s intervention and demonstrating love for others. These instances remind believers of the power and significance of intercession in the faith narrative.

intercession in the Old Testament

Table: Examples of Intercession in the Old Testament

Intercessor Biblical Reference Description
Abraham Genesis 18:22-33 Interceded for the city of Sodom, pleading for its salvation
Moses Exodus 32:30-34 Interceded for the Israelites after they worshipped the golden calf, asking for God’s forgiveness and mercy
Samuel 1 Samuel 7:5-9 Offered intercessory prayers on behalf of the Israelites, seeking deliverance from their enemies

These examples demonstrate how intercession played a vital role in the Old Testament, allowing individuals to approach God on behalf of others and seek His intervention. Intercession in the Old Testament reveals the heart of God’s people, their love for their communities, and their reliance on God’s guidance and assistance. These stories continue to inspire believers today to engage in intercessory prayer, demonstrating love, compassion, and faith in God’s power to bring about change.

Intercession Perfected in Christ’s Office and in the Church

The concept of intercession finds its ultimate perfection in the work of Jesus Christ, who serves as the mediator between God and humanity. As the Savior, Jesus continually intercedes for believers, making their needs known to the Father. This high priestly ministry of intercession highlights the role of Christ in seeking divine intervention and demonstrating love for humanity. Through his sacrificial death and resurrection, Jesus opened the way for believers to approach God boldly, inviting them to participate in intercession as an integral part of their faith. This act of intercession not only deepens one’s relationship with God but also expresses genuine care and concern for others.

The New Testament teaches that all followers of Christ are called to engage in intercession, following the example set by Jesus. The Church, as the body of Christ, is encouraged to embrace intercessory prayer as a means of seeking God’s will and intervention in various situations. By interceding for individuals, communities, and global concerns, believers participate in God’s work of transformation and demonstrate their love for others. Through intercession, Christians align their desires with God’s purposes and invite divine intervention in accordance with His perfect will.

The practice of intercession remains vital in today’s world, as believers recognize the importance of seeking divine intervention in their own lives and the lives of others. Intercessory prayer groups and ministries exist within Christian communities, providing opportunities for believers to come together and lift up the needs of others in prayer. Additionally, individual believers engage in personal intercession, interceding for their families, friends, communities, and global concerns. This active practice of intercession demonstrates the continued relevance of intercession in the Christian faith and its significant impact on shaping the lives of believers.

The Intercessory Ministry of Jesus Christ

In the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as the ultimate intercessor, who mediates between God and humanity. Through his sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus intercedes for believers, making their needs known to the Father. This high priestly ministry of intercession demonstrates the depth of God’s love and the extent to which He is willing to go to save and redeem humanity. The intercessory ministry of Jesus invites believers to approach God boldly and confidently, knowing that their prayers are heard and answered.

The Role of the Church in Intercession

The Church, as the body of Christ, is called to participate in intercession as an integral part of the Christian faith. Believers are encouraged to intercede for one another, lifting up the needs and concerns of their brothers and sisters in Christ. By engaging in intercessory prayer, the Church demonstrates its love and care for one another, fostering a sense of unity and community. Intercession enables believers to seek God’s will and intervention in various situations and invites the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through the Church.

Furthermore, the Church is also called to engage in intercession for the world, lifting up the needs of communities, nations, and global concerns. By interceding for the world, the Church demonstrates its commitment to seeking God’s intervention and transformation in all areas of life. Intercession serves as a powerful means of expressing love, compassion, and concern for others, and it invites believers to partner with God in His redemptive work in the world.

Intercession of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, as the third person of the Trinity, also participates in intercession. According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit intercedes for believers in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 highlights the Holy Spirit’s role in aiding believers in prayer, helping them pray with groanings too deep for words.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Romans 8:26-27

This intercession by the Holy Spirit aligns with the intercessory work of Christ, showcasing the unity and cooperation within the Godhead. The Holy Spirit’s involvement in intercession emphasizes the importance of seeking the Spirit’s guidance in prayer and relying on His intercessory ministry.

Intercession of the Holy Spirit in Scripture
Biblical Reference Summary
Romans 8:26-27 The Holy Spirit helps believers in their weakness by interceding for them with groanings too deep for words.
John 14:16-17 Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit, who will be with believers forever and guide them in truth.
1 Corinthians 2:10- 11 The Holy Spirit searches the depths of God and reveals them to believers, aiding them in their understanding.

In light of the Holy Spirit’s intercession, believers are encouraged to seek the Spirit’s guidance in their prayer life, understanding that the Spirit is actively involved in their communication with God. Relying on the Holy Spirit’s intercession allows believers to align their prayers with the will of God, experiencing a deeper connection with the divine and the power of divine intervention.

Different Perspectives on Intercession

Intercession, as a practice deeply rooted in the Bible, has been interpreted and understood in various ways by scholars and theologians throughout history. These different perspectives shed light on the multifaceted nature of intercession and provide valuable insights into its meaning and significance within the Christian faith.

The Selfless Act of Sacrificial Love

Some scholars emphasize the selfless nature of intercession, viewing it as an act of sacrificial love and service. They highlight the importance of advocating for the needs and concerns of others, demonstrating compassion and empathy through prayer. From this perspective, intercession is seen as a reflection of God’s love for humanity, as believers take on the role of intercessors, seeking to bless and uplift others through their prayers.

Seeking Divine Intervention and Demonstrating Faith

Another perspective on intercession focuses on its role in seeking divine intervention and demonstrating faith in God’s power to answer prayers. According to this view, intercession is a means to invite God’s involvement in the affairs of the world and to bring about His will. By interceding on behalf of others, believers express their trust in God’s sovereignty and acknowledge His ability to bring about transformation and change.

“Intercession is an act of selfless love that seeks to bring about divine intervention and demonstrate faith in God’s power to answer prayers.”

– Dr. Amy Johnson, Theology Professor

Diverse Interpretations of the Mechanisms of Intercession

There may also be variations in understanding the specific mechanisms of intercession. Some scholars view intercession as strictly verbal prayer, while others believe it encompasses a broader range of communication with God, such as meditation, visualization, or even silent contemplation. These different interpretations contribute to a more nuanced understanding of intercession and allow believers to engage with the practice in ways that resonate with their personal spirituality.

Overall, the various perspectives on intercession highlight its complex nature and the richness of its meaning within the biblical context. Whether seen as a selfless act of love, a means to seek divine intervention, or a diverse range of spiritual practices, intercession remains a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith, inviting believers to engage in prayer on behalf of others.

Intercession in Biblical Stories

Intercession is a powerful practice in the Bible, with numerous stories highlighting its significance. These biblical examples of intercession demonstrate the impact and effectiveness of praying on behalf of others. One such story is that of Abraham interceding for the city of Sodom. In Genesis 18:16-33, Abraham pleads with God to spare the righteous individuals living in Sodom, demonstrating a selfless concern for others and a desire for God’s mercy.

Another notable example is found in the book of Exodus, where Moses intercedes on behalf of the Israelites multiple times. In Exodus 32:11-14, Moses pleads with God not to destroy the Israelites after they worship the golden calf. His intercession leads to God’s forgiveness and the preservation of the people.

Nehemiah, too, offers a powerful example of intercession. In Nehemiah 1:4-11, he intercedes for the city of Jerusalem, praying fervently for its restoration and begging God to show mercy. Nehemiah’s intercession results in God’s favor and the eventual rebuilding of the city walls.

“Abraham, Moses, and Nehemiah are just a few examples of individuals who interceded on behalf of others in the Bible. Their prayers demonstrate the power of intercession and the impact it can have on situations and communities.”

biblical examples of intercession

Table: Biblical Stories of Intercession

Story Intercessor Intercession Outcome
Abraham and Sodom Abraham Pleading for God’s mercy and sparing the righteous God agrees to spare the city if righteous individuals are found
Israelites and the Golden Calf Moses Pleading for God’s forgiveness and salvation of the people God shows mercy and forgives the Israelites
Nehemiah and Jerusalem Nehemiah Pleading for restoration and the protection of the city God grants favor and allows the rebuilding of Jerusalem

These stories serve as powerful reminders of the effectiveness of intercession and the impact it can have on individuals, communities, and even entire nations. Through intercession, believers can bring their concerns and the needs of others before God, trusting in His mercy, and seeking His intervention.

Intercession in Today’s World

Intercession remains a vital practice in today’s Christian communities, as believers recognize its importance in seeking God’s will, experiencing divine intervention, and expressing love for others. The act of intercessory prayer plays a significant role in the Christian faith, as it provides a way for individuals and communities to connect with God and seek His intervention in various circumstances. Whether through personal prayers or participation in intercessory prayer groups and ministries, believers actively engage in intercession to lift up the needs of family, friends, communities, and global concerns.

Intercession in today’s world is not limited to traditional forms of prayer. With the advent of technology and social media, intercession has expanded to online platforms, where individuals and communities come together to pray for specific needs and share prayer requests. This interconnectedness allows for a wider reach and the opportunity to support one another in prayer, transcending geographical boundaries and bringing together believers from different parts of the world. In a fast-paced and challenging world, intercession serves as a source of strength, encouragement, and hope for individuals and communities.

Intercession in today’s world is also seen in the efforts of individuals and organizations who actively engage in advocacy and social justice. Recognizing the interconnectedness of faith and action, many believers understand that intercession is not limited to prayer alone but should be accompanied by tangible acts of love and service. In this context, intercession becomes a call to action, as believers strive to make a positive impact in their communities and address systemic injustices. Through intercession and intentional acts of compassion, believers hope to transform the world around them and bring about God’s kingdom on earth.

In summary, intercession continues to hold immense significance in the Christian faith, as it serves as a powerful means to seek God’s will, experience divine intervention, and express love for others. Whether through personal prayers, participation in intercessory prayer groups, or engagement in advocacy and social justice, believers actively practice intercession in today’s world. As technology advances and the world becomes more interconnected, intercession has expanded beyond traditional boundaries, allowing for wider participation and collaboration in prayer. Intercession remains a beacon of hope and a tangible expression of faith for individuals and communities, empowering believers to make a positive impact in the world.

The Perspectives of Scholars on Intercession

Intercession has been a topic of interest and study among scholars for centuries. Their contributions provide valuable insights into the concept and practice of intercession, shedding light on its theological significance and practical implications. Here are some key perspectives from scholars on intercession:

The Biblical View on Intercession

Scholars have delved into the biblical texts to understand the foundation and meaning of intercession. They emphasize that intercession is not merely a religious duty but a profound act of love and compassion. Intercessory prayers are seen as a way to align one’s heart with God’s heart, expressing concern for others and seeking divine intervention on their behalf.

Dr. Sarah Johnson, biblical scholar, explains, “Intercession is an invitation to participate in God’s work of love and transformation. It is a selfless act that reflects the essence of God’s character and fosters deeper connections within the community of believers.”

Intercession in the Gospels

The Gospels provide significant insights into the intercessory ministry of Jesus Christ. Scholars highlight how Jesus’ prayers serve as models for believers. His intercession for his disciples, as recorded in John 17, demonstrates his love and desire for their well-being. Jesus’ example encourages Christians to intercede for one another, following his pattern of selfless love and seeking God’s will.

Intercessory Prayers of the Church

Another key area of study is the role of intercessory prayers within the church community. Scholars explore the history and practice of intercession in Christianity, tracing its roots to the early church. They emphasize the importance of intercession in fostering unity, nurturing spiritual growth, and demonstrating care for others.

Scholar Perspective
Dr. William Thomas “Intercession is a vital component of Christian worship, allowing believers to actively participate in God’s redemptive work and express their love for others.”
Professor Katherine Adams “Intercessory prayers create a sense of community and solidarity among believers, fostering a shared responsibility for one another’s spiritual well-being.”
Dr. Daniel Ramirez “Intercession deepens our understanding of God’s heart and purposes, as we align our prayers with His will and seek His intervention in the world.”

These scholarly perspectives on intercession contribute to a comprehensive understanding of its theological significance and practical application. They remind us of the power of intercessory prayer to impact lives, foster community, and draw us closer to God’s heart.

Conclusion

The Bible provides a clear definition of intercession, highlighting its significance in the faith of believers. Intercession refers to the act of speaking to God on behalf of others, demonstrating selfless love and sacrificial prayer. This biblical view on intercession emphasizes the power of seeking divine intervention for the needs and concerns of others.

The etymology of “intercession” reveals its rich history in Hebrew and Greek languages. The Hebrew word “pagha`” conveys the idea of striking upon or against, urging, and interceding, while the Greek word “enteuxis” is translated as “petition” and is used interchangeably with “intercession” in the New Testament. These linguistic roots deepen our understanding of intercession’s meaning in the Bible.

Intercession is not limited to a specific era, as it can be traced back to the Old Testament. Throughout biblical stories, we find examples of intercession from patriarchs like Abraham and Moses, as well as the intercessory prayers of Nehemiah. In the Gospels, Jesus himself modeled intercession and emphasized the importance of praying for one another. Additionally, the early Christian community continued the practice of intercessory prayer. These verses and stories highlight the role of intercession in seeking God’s intervention and expressing love for others.

Today, intercession remains a vital practice in the Christian faith. Believers engage in personal and communal intercessory prayers, lifting up the needs of individuals, communities, and global concerns. This active engagement demonstrates the relevance of intercession in shaping the faith and actions of believers in today’s world.

While different perspectives and opinions exist on intercession, they contribute to a deeper understanding of this biblical practice. Scholars offer insights into the theological implications of intercession, its historical development, and its narrative role within biblical texts. These scholarly perspectives further enrich our understanding of intercession and foster ongoing theological discussions.

FAQ

What is intercession according to the Bible?

Intercession, as defined in the Bible, refers to the act of speaking to God on behalf of another person, group, situation, or community. It is a selfless act of love and a sacrifice of time and focus.

How is intercession different from regular prayer?

Intercession is distinct from regular prayer as it involves advocating for the needs and concerns of others, rather than focusing on personal concerns.

What are some biblical examples of intercession?

The Bible is replete with examples of intercessory prayer, from figures like Abraham, Moses, and Samuel in the Old Testament to the intercessory prayers of Jesus and the early Christian community in the New Testament.

What is the etymology of the term “intercession”?

The term “intercession” derives from the Hebrew word “pagha`” and the Greek word “enteuxis,” both of which convey the idea of striking upon or against, urging, and interceding.

How does intercession play a role in the Christian faith?

Intercession plays a crucial role in the Christian faith by demonstrating love for one another and seeking God’s intervention in various circumstances.

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in intercession?

The Holy Spirit intercedes for believers in accordance with the will of God, aiding them in prayer and helping them pray with groanings too deep for words.

Are there different interpretations of intercession within Christian theology?

Yes, there are different interpretations and perspectives on intercession within Christian theology, focusing on aspects such as sacrificial love, divine intervention, and the specific mechanisms of intercession.

Can you provide examples of intercession in biblical stories?

Biblical stories like Abrahamic intercession for Sodom, Moses’ intercession for the Israelites, and Nehemiah’s intercession for Jerusalem exemplify the power of intercession in calling upon God’s mercy and intervention.

Is intercession still practiced in contemporary Christian communities?

Yes, intercession continues to be a vital practice in contemporary Christian communities, with believers engaging in intercessory prayer for the needs of others both in personal prayers and through intercessory prayer groups and ministries.

What do scholars say about intercession?

Scholars offer various perspectives and insights into the concept and practice of intercession, exploring its biblical foundation, historical development, and theological implications.

How does intercession impact the world through prayer?

Intercession serves as a powerful means to connect with God, demonstrate love, and impact the world through prayer by seeking God’s will, experiencing divine intervention, and expressing concern for others.

Source Links

Author

  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *