These verses remind me of the old Hymn, “What a Friend I have in Jesus.” When our burdens are too heavy to bear…our friend Jesus is there, ready to take those burdens and offer support and comfort. When pain and sorrow fills our body…our friend Jesus is there at the right hand of God interceding, and pleading on our behalf. Yes, if we think about it, there really is no better friend than Jesus.
We’ve all been there. That deep moan of grief or pain escapes our lips…but that’s all. No words are spoken…because there are no words. Our mind is a confusing jumble of our frail mortal condition. That’s when the Holy Spirit can express for us the unutterable, inexpressible words we can’t find. And that’s when the Holy Spirit can step in and make intercession for us according to the Will of God. (Romans 8:27) The indwelling Holy Spirit is always there to pray…when we can’t.
As it tells us in Romans 8:34, at this very moment, Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf. Jesus is our advocate…one who comes forward on behalf and as the representative for another. He is then also our intercessor and substitute…standing in our place before God…intervening in our defense. We have no greater advocate than Jesus…no greater champion and friend.
I’ll admit, most of my prayers are very selfish and self-centered, and begin with “I”. But what the Lord is trying to teach us here… is that regardless of how Job viewed his own personal crisis…it was only after he had prayed for his friends that God moved. The ministry of intercessory prayer takes the I and Me out of our prayers and replaces it with our friend’s names. Intercession is so wonderfully described in Ezekiel 22:30, “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap…” When you intercede for a friend in prayer, you are standing in the breach of their broken down life…a life split open by divorce, torn apart by job loss, or ripped asunder by cancer. By standing in that gap of their wall of life…you make their wall whole and complete again. When the Holy Spirit lays someone on your mind…respond immediately and pray for that person…stand in the gap of their life’s wall. For you may never know how crucial your intercessory prayer was for them at that moment.
Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross atoned for our sins, removing the condemnation and power sin had over us. But when He rose from the dead He took His rightful position at the right hand of God becoming then our advocate, mediator, and champion. I John 2:1 reminds us, “We have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ.” Remember, you have someone who is ever-present at the elbow of God appealing on your behalf…intervening for your good…defending your case – Jesus Christ is His name.