Devotional for Day 25 – September 25, 2013
Margaret Whyte Dravikula of Scotland and Fiji, formerly missionary in the South Pacific
Who is there to stand in the gap and intercede for the nations, for the lost, the poor and needy and the unborn?
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV)
In the days of Ezekiel, God was looking for a godly leader who could stand in the gap and intercede for the people. Jeremiah had a similar search and could not find one (Jeremiah 5:1-6). Isaiah also failed to find an intercessor. Isaiah laments that “The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no-one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene.” (Isaiah 59:15-16 NIV)
Praying makes a difference. Prayer changed the dynamic and invites the Lord to get involved. Prayer opens the gates, the windows and the doors for the Lord to act. We may feel like our small prayers do not count for much. But one righteous person standing in the gap could have saved Jerusalem from destruction (Jeremiah 5:1). God will work because of one! (James 5:16)
Standing in the gap is more than praying for those who have not yet heard the gospel. As Isaiah 59:15 shows, intercession is also about interceding for social justice. This was one area where Israel went wrong. They did not stand in the gap for the poor and needy and they oppressed the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow (Ezekiel 22:7). Living out the gospel we believe calls us to care about the needy in our cities.
Intercessory prayer is not passive, it is active. When our hearts break for the nations who are dying to a lost eternity, when we live alongside those in need and see their poverty, when we think of the unborn children not given a chance to live, we can stand in the gap. We can make a difference. We can pray.
Pray this Prayer:
Dear Lord, thank You that when we come to You in honest prayer on behalf of others that You hear. Help us to deeply feel the needs of the nations, spiritually and physically. Help us to get alongside and stand in the gap for those who need You and are born into cultures who have never heard the good news. We also pray for those who need justice and relief from poverty and crippling debt, for those suffering hunger, disease, war and famine. We intercede for the widows, the orphans and the fatherless and for those who have never had a chance to live. We invite You to act on their behalf. Thank You for hearing our prayer. Amen.