Standing in the gap – when a friend is dying

Intercessory prayer is it for you?

Jan 28, 2016 – I was extremely moved by today’s devotional by Blackaby called, “God is Looking for Intercessors.” It was like any other devotional, or so I thought, but then again I’ve been waking up in the wee hours of the morning for the past week, not able to go back to bed. Its 4:41 am right now, I’ve been up for over two hours. I’ve been thinking it’s because I’ve had lots on my mind: work, family, friends. So much to do so little time.

And then I think it’s most likely my subconscious thinking of a distant friend who has been living with an inoperable brain tumor for the past year. I’ve been awakened with thoughts of her life and possibly of what’s left of it, her children, her marriage. I tear and cry easily. I think of things that frustrate me about people and nit picking over minuscule little things and think to myself, “can’t we all just move on” and why do we make such a issues of trivial things – in regards to the daily things in life, these are my thoughts over minors things, that it shouldn’t matter when people are dying.

Then I read today’s devotional:

S – Scripture

Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”

O – Observation

God was speaking to Ezekiel to deliver a message to the people of Israel, but they wouldn’t listen AND the Lord could not find ‘someone’ to stand in the gap on behalf of the sins of Israel’s leaders. If you read chapter 22 verses 23 to 31 you’ll understand.

In today’s devotional Blackaby talks about how we can apply this verse to our lives today. Here’s Henry Blackaby’s comments:

God looks for those whose hearts are prepared to be intercessors before Him. Intercessors have hearts in tune with God’s heart. They are so acutely aware of what is at stake, for their land, that they will stay before God as long as necessary in order to obtain God’s answer. That is why you do not volunteer to be an intercessor. God enlists you.

Why do we not intercede as we should? Perhaps we are afraid to put God to the test. We worry that God might not answer our prayers. Yet God promises that if we ask, we will receive (Matt. 7:7). We may fail to intercede because we believe the busyness of our everyday lives is more effective than prayer. Jesus warned that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Without being intimately acquainted with God and His will, all of our labors are futile. Perhaps we fail to intercede because we misunderstand the heart of God. Jesus wept over the_city of Jerusalem as He interceded for it (Matt. 23:37). If we truly have God’s love within us, we will feel compelled to plead with God on behalf of those who face His imminent judgment.

Intercession is a lonely business. There may be many days or even years when there appear to be few results for your labor. Yet intercessors can be the only ones standing between a family and God’s judgment, or between an individual or nation and God’s wrath.

A – Application

How do I apply this to my life? Well, after waking up daily and not being able to go back to bed I’m reminded of something my Aunt Charlotte told me many years ago when I first became a Christian. I told her that sometimes I would get up early and can’t go back to bed and she said that I should begin praying as the Lord may be stirring my spirit to get on my knees and pray. When I asked her, what do I pray about, she said, just have a conversation with the Lord, ask Him to show me who and or what to pray for and He would. Honestly I’ve learned that when I can’t go back to sleep I just say, Lord help me sleep, not who should I pray for.

It’s been a while since I’ve been, “stirred in my spirit”, a restlessness in my sleep, so for that I am sorry I did not instantly go to a place of prayer. Oh I did pray the first time it happened, but then thought it might be something else as it’s been everyday for about five days and I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier.

The lesson is I wasn’t as diligent as the Lord wanted me to be. I wasn’t listening to Him. Yesterday I took some time in the afternoon, about 20 or 30 minutes to “hear from the Lord.” But got stuck in the busyness of work and quiet time. I believe the Lord kept waking me up again and again, earlier and earlier, to tell me to stand in the gap for my friend, her family and the things He places on my mind to pray for.

P – PrayerJesus Praying

Father, I ask that you would forgive me for not taking the time to earnest seek you when you call upon me. I ask that you would give me the strength to intercede for that which my friend is wanting to pray for herself and at times is too weak in body but not in desire to seek you for the salvation of her family members that do not know you. I ask that you would heal my friend and if that not be in your greater plan as we know that our lives are temporary here on earth, I ask that you would help her and her husband and children to find your comfort and peace as she prepares for the time she has. If you need to wake me again, I pray that I would immediately go to my knees and seek you, so that I can intercede for those who need it.

I am thankful that your son Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins so that we don’t have to pay the eternal penalty of our sins. I’m thankful that we don’t have to carry our burdens on our own – Psalms 55:22. We can share each other’s burdens, Galatians 6:2; and we can go to you Lord and you will give us rest – Matthew 11:28. I thank you for all these things and more. In Jesus name, Amen.

UPDATE – Feb 23, 2016

My friend went home to be with the Lord last week. On Saturday we had her Celebration of Life service. She was only 45, but had done what God asked of her with all of her being and more. Praying for her husband and two children, that they would be strong in Him and that the Lord would carry them when they need it. – Thank you for continuing to pray for them.###

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