Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Christ is Praying for You

At least two passages in the New Testament teach us that our Lord is interceding for us at this very moment.
Hebrews 7:25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Romans 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
In addition, Christ is called our "advocate" in heaven.
I John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
How does Jesus pray for us, and what is the effect of His praying? We know that the Father gives Him whatever He asks, but can we know specifically how and why Jesus prays for His followers? For a clue to the way our Lord is praying for us, let's consider His own account of the prayers he prayed for His beloved disciple, Peter.
Luke 22:31-34 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
We may note the following for our encouragement:

Two witnesses stand before God
Both Jesus and Satan stand before God making requests concerning us. Satan's requests are sometimes approved, but Jesus' requests are never denied. Satan accuses and attacks, while Jesus intercedes.

Satan's evil activities are ultimately used for our good
Peter's testing is compared to the sifting of wheat. That is a highly beneficial thing! Just try eating bread made from wheat that has not been sifted, and you will taste the difference. Sifting gets the bad out while preserving the good.

Jesus' prayers do not prevent us from suffering 
Peter was facing that darkest days of his life. The Lord by His prayers was not going to stop the testing of Peter's faith, but He did prevent the destruction of it. Our faith may be shaken, but if it is real it can never be shattered. Why? Because Jesus is praying that our faith may not fail.

Jesus' prayers do not necessarily prevent sinful failure on our part 
On the contrary, Jesus knew with certainty that Peter would deny Him. Our Lord's prayers are not hindered by the reality of our sins - past, present, or future. He is praying for imperfect - though saved, and partly sanctified - sinners. Do we find that in some ways we still love this world? If we are honest, the answer is probably yes. But there is a victory that overcomes the world: our faith.

Christ's prayers guarantee that our faith will not fail, and that we will continue in repentance despite our failures and sins 
Our Lord's primary concern was Peter's perseverance in faith, not his immediate perfection in holiness. But just as the disciple's failure was guaranteed, so was his repentance: "WHEN you have turned again . . ." The battle is real, and humbling, and sometimes terrifically brutal. But the ultimate victory is guaranteed, certified, and promised. Count on it, because He has settled the matter.

Dear brother or sister in Christ, know for certain that your ongoing perseverance in repentance and faith is the result of your Lord's infallible praying from heaven. Be assured that none can pluck you from His hand. Accept the sifting that God allows and thank Him that He is working through it for your good. Be encouraged that your tested faith will prove to be of greater worth than gold, and will result in praise, glory and honor for your Lord on the day He appears. Until that day, He is praying for you.


  1. Derek, how I wish that all my believing friends (especially those in my denomination!) would really understand this...such a sweet and sure doctrine, that inspires even more love for Christ!

  2. Blaine,

    Yes indeed. Christ's heavenly, High Priestly ministry can be a source of GREAT comfort for every believer. Like you, I wish more would find encouragement in it. It is the present activity of the Gospel, the part that is actually happening right now, in contrast to (or rather, in consequence of) the historic "finished work" of the past and the promised future return of our conquering King.

    "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."

    I'm glad He is praying for me so that I can be His friend, and no more his foe.


  3. Someone once said, "Can you hear Jesus speaking your name right now? Hear him!"


Feel free to respond to anything written in the posts, or to the comments left by others. All comments are reviewed before they are published.

Please be charitable. If you disagree, do so with grace. Keep your words positive, focused, and on-topic. We don't expect everyone to agree, but we do expect everyone to treat everyone else with respect and grace, speaking the truth in love.