Last night as I was falling asleep, I couldn’t stop tears from falling from my eyes. It really wasn’t about being sad. I was praying for a couple of people and I think I feel an ounce of their pain. The suffering they are dealing with right now is not exactly the same as anything I’ve been through. There are some elements that are similar but I cannot say I understand completely. The interesting thing about my tears, though, is that I found myself calling out to God and saying “I’m standing in the gap, Lord! Pour out your power and strength to these dear friends!”
In Ezekiel and Isaiah, there are references to one who stands in the gap.
"I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me.”
"And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede”
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
I don’t know how you view prayer. In the past, I treated it as a “good thing to do.” If I thought about it, I’d do it. If I got too busy, I’d think that today I just had too much going on. I now view it as necessary.
What a world of difference.
How absolutely jaw-dropping to think that God’s power flows through broken vessels like us. I believe that if we are not interceding for each other, God’s power will not fully flow. Now, I also know that He can do anything He pleases. He can choose to use His power any way He ordains. But, He wants to send His power through us. Why would He give us the Holy Spirit and tell us in over 650 places in the Bible to pray? Why would Jesus Himself pray if it wasn’t necessary?
When I realized that my prayers are actually necessary and that God will work through people who are fully committed to Him, it changed my prayer life completely. I always just thought God would do what He was going to do and my prayers might help sway Him. Now, I realize that it is not optional.
As those tears fell down my face, I knew God was listening. I could sense the gentle voice telling me that He is at work. When you are in a fog of emotional pain or physical pain, as some of my friends are and as I have been in the past, it is sometimes so hard to see or hear anything. That fog is so thick and heavy that even though you know God is there, you just don’t see or feel or hear Him. I believe that is why our prayers for one another are critical.
We need to stand in the gap and pray.
He is working. Trust Him.