Intercession is one of those mysterious “church words” that the Church should reclaim. One of those terms that kids raised in Christian homes grow up to laugh about. It’s funny because we usually have stories of a friend turning to us after leaving our moms withdads and saying, “She’ll be doing what for us?”
But isn’t it actually a critical part of the Gospel and if so, shouldn’t we muster the tact to also speak seriously about it? I do believe we’ve lost the importance of intercession, or at the very least, distorted it by cutting it so short of its rich and full Biblical portrayal. These strange things need some unpacking. So what do we do with such words?
So many times now, the suggested evangelistically appropriate thing to do is replace these words with other words and phrases more approachable for an “outsider“. While I agree that the clutter needs to be cleared and that some religious lingo is worthless; I also strongly agree that a radically different people won’t mind having a radically different language, one of love. It’s obvious newcomers don’t know these terms, we have to teach them; that’s one of our major purposes.
We don’t just gather men; we gather men-gatherers.
If we lovingly teach our friends and family how the Bible explains and defines salvation, sanctification, justification, stronghold, spiritual warfare, intercession, and so on, we won’t have to embarrassingly laugh them off as passe nor block out any “not yet believers”.
We must hold conversations which usually means we also must hold relationships. We have to be a long haul people.
Therefore in my attempt to help reclaim intercession. I must first be transformed by God and His Word. It must be reclaimed in me. And I must be reformed around it.
My views on intercession have been shaped and reshaped by scripture, as all of our thinking should be. However, we cannot ignore the great significance that experience plays into our ways of thinking. We have to hold all of our conceptions alongside the Bible and throw them up to the Father in prayer so that all the worthless chaff blows away.
I’m increasingly realizing that my upbringing in the home was far greater discipleship and spiritual formation for me than any of my church experiences and relationships. My parents stuck so closely to prayer and the Bible that we siblings all know now where to hang our hats. This is not just a testimony to my parents’ faithfulness, but a bleak accusation of the church. I’d like to do my part to help mend that gap in the church.
Many times our selfish drive to be so unique and individualistic has caused us to think that personal stories and experiences are not universal. While specifics vary, we can find so many people out there who have shared these same journeys.
Strange Sounds (refers to Romans 8:23, our key passage), though new extensions, will lead back to Family Worship. God has been calling me to repentance for my lack of intercession and especially its absence in our home.
In Romans 8, Paul lays out progressive salvation; that God’s salvation is for our past, present, and future. This will be the pattern underlying this series, how Romans 8 has been reshaping my understanding of intercession.
The three categories I’ll be covering in the next few blog posts are titled:
What are YOUR thoughts though? The goal for me isn’t just to perform a public, autobiographical, therapeutic exercise. My aim is to get you thinking about intercession in new ways seriously, soberly. We need to engage with each other and really wrestle with this dialogue with all of ourselves, not just our minds. Most importantly, my deepest desire is to encourage you to begin or continue digging ferociously through the scriptures to discover this blessed gift we have flowing from our communion with God.
Is this all new to you? Has the word lost its flavor with you? Are you a committed intercessor? Please, let me hear from you.