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#1,398 – The Power of Intercessory Prayer (Deuteronomy 9:25)

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“So I lay prostrate before the Lord for these 40 days and 40 nights because the Lord had said He would destroy you.”
-Deuteronomy 9:25

What a verse. Wow, when you think about the meaning of this verse and what it represents. Moses is recounting when God’s people formed a golden calf and bowed down and worshiped it and indulged in all kinds of immorality flowing from this idolatry. God said he was going to destroy his people, all of them, and Moses interceded on their behalf. The story’s in Exodus 32. Moses prayed to God for them. He stood in the gap and pleaded for God’s mercy. He pleaded for God to relent His wrath, and in an awesome picture of intercession and the power of prayer, God hears Moses’s words, sees Moses’s intercession, and does exactly what Moses asked.

In response to Moses’s intercession, God relents showing His wrath and displays His mercy.

He relents showing his wrath, and he displays his mercy in response to Moses’s intercession. And this verse that’s recounting that Moses says, “So I lay prostrate before the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights.” For 40 days and 40 nights, this picture of Moses pleading to God for His mercy. What a powerful picture of intercession. Do you and I pray like this? When you and I think about the people of God around us, do we pray for one another like this? Do we pray for the church like this? Do we intercede like this? When we think about people around us who are under the wrath of God, people who, at this moment, stand in judgment before God for their sin, are we pleading like this?

I was talking with someone just this week about how Heather and I prayed for years. Year after year after year for her mom specifically to come to know Christ. Year after year after year, and one day, in a way we never could have imagined, God answered that prayer. She was born again, and her life was just entirely changed, her heart entirely new. It was awesome. In response to this, we trust not just our intercession but the intercession of many others. Do we pray like this with confidence that when we pray and we keep praying day after day, month after month, year after year, that God is hearing us and God will answer us?

I just want to encourage you based on Deuteronomy 9:25 to intercede faithfully and to pray with confidence, with a humble confidence, that God is hearing you and God will answer in His sovereign timing according to His sovereign will and His word. That’s the beauty of what if you look back at Exodus Chapter 32, Moses is praying the word. He’s praying the word. I want to lead us to do that right now.

God, we praise you for the privilege of intercession. This is such an awesome privilege that you have given us even right now to come before you. The same God Moses was praying to, the same God Abraham prayed to, for to come before you right now on behalf of others and to ask for your mercy. God, we pray for your church. We pray for the churches we’re a part of. God help us to be faithful intercessors for our churches and for the people in our churches. We think right now of people who are in need, who are around us in our lives, our families, the places where we work. God help us to be faithful intercessors for them.

To lay prostrate before you pleading for your mercy upon them. And God, we pray this for those who are lost around us. For those who don’t know your grace and your mercy and your love. For those who are right now under your judgment in their sin, and if nothing changes, would experience your judgment for all of eternity. God have mercy, we pray. God, please have mercy. We pray for people, family members, and friends, and coworkers who don’t know you. God, we pray for your salvation to be made known among them. God, even as different people’s faces and names are coming to our minds right now, we pray for them. We plead for your mercy upon them.

We know based on your word in 2 Peter 3, you desire their repentance. We know that you love the world. You gave your son to die so that all people might know you. God, we pray, we pray, then draw more and more people around us to yourself. We intercede for them right now. And God for people far from us, for the Tai Lue in Vietnam, we know, your words says, oh God, that you sent your son, Revelation 5, to purchase people for you from every nation, tribe, tongue, and language, so we pray for those in the Tai Lue in Vietnam. God, we pray that you would draw them to yourself according to your word. We pray that this unreached people group, these men, women, children among this unreached people group in Vietnam, God, that they would come to know your grace. We intercede for them right now.

And God, make us men and women who lay prostrate before you doing this day and night on behalf of others. Make us we pray, faithful intercessors in prayer just like we see in Moses, and ultimately, as we think about Jesus, our intercessor who intercedes for us continually for the spirit who Romans 8 teaches us, intercedes for us continually. What an awesome thought. We love you. God. We praise you for the privilege of prayer, specifically intercession, and we pray that you’d help us to be faithful with this privilege. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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