Can intercession ever mean we take the other's place?

I’m reading a book that speaks of a difference between prayer and intercession. Intercession is used in Romans 8, where Jesus intercedes for us. But in two places in the NT, we intercede. Here is more about it as well as those two scripture verses:

The Greek word is ἒντευξις, énteuxis, used as “petition,” and in the New Testament “intercession.” The English word is derived from Latin intercedo, “to come between,” which strangely has the somewhat opposed meanings of “obstruct” and “to interpose on behalf of” a person, and finally “to intercede.” The growth of meaning in this word in the various languages is highly suggestive. In the Greek New Testament we find the word in 1Ti_2:1; 1Ti_4:5; ἐντυγχάνω,:

~1Ti 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men,
~1Ti 4:4-5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. (Prayer here is translated intercession in 1 Tim 2:1)

In the book that I am reading, as Jesus took our place on the cross, this man feels called, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, to intercede which is essentially taking the others place or that their illness would be his. Jesus’ work paid it all, but he feels that if you are in need with finances and I have the means, I should give it to you. He doesn’t phrase it this way but it is as if the Lord, at His beckoning, would have us put our money where our mouth is in regard to someone’s health or possibly another area as well.

I posted this on the thread “What Exactly is Prayer” and one of the participants suggested posting it to a larger audience so here it is. What are other’s opinions?

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Hello Tim
My first thought was this passage that i often share when someone is facing an attack from the enemy. We all get to the point were we feel inadequate and no longer able to handle the burden, or weight.

I liken it unto fear knocking and Jesus answers the door in place of us.

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and “stand in the gap” before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
Ezekiel 22:30 NKJV

Hebrew: פּרץ
Transliteration: perets
Pronunciation: peh’-rets
Definition: From H6555 ; a break (literally or figuratively): - {breach} breaking forth ({in}) X {forth} gap.
KJV Usage: breach (14x), gap (2x), breaking (1x), breaking forth (1x), breaking in (1x).
Occurs: 19
In verses: 18

If I may put that in my words I believe,
he is sharing how great his love is that if he had it he would give all or take all for someone, whatever the need was.

No question about intent or how much he cares.
Just like when someone asks
can you do me a favor?
Hope I came across as understandable.
Mike

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Good question, @Tim_Ramey. I believe that intercession normally refers to speaking on behalf of another, or mediating on their behalf. I think any other figurative usage would be rare, and should not be our basis for understanding how the Bible uses it.

So while we should certainly follow the Lord’s leading when He prompts us to sacrificially give or serve to help another, that’s more an example of intervening than it is interceding. And while there are plenty of other verses that do teach that, I think using Christ’s intercession on the cross would probably not be the best one to make that point.

I hope this helps with what you’re concerned about.

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@mgaplus4 @jlyons
Mike and James, I appreciate your input and would tend to agree with you. I wasn’t trying to make it a scriptural doctrine but to get feedback as to its possibility in our lives.

Where the rubber meets the road is in a few places. In other words, should it be something that we do more often? And today in prayer, I realized that it was not only in health but in relationships.

I was praying for someone who I love and have a great relationship with but they are hurt by someone who has bruised them. I know that it is not always an either/or situation, but would I be willing to back off with the one that I love so that the other relationship could mend? I m not an obstacle nor a distraction but, for Jesus, would I give up my joy so that this relationship can be healed?

Then the other bump on the road is in regard to the physical intercession. One day, the person in whom was in serious condition, I wanted Jesus to take me and let them live. Throughout the day, I had a pain in the area that this person was having serious problems. Is there a correlation or am I just putting up with a pain that has nothing to do with this person? In other words, if I am asking Jesus if I could take on that person’s physical problems and then experience what I prayed for, I don’t want to medicate it away. Yet I do not want to put up with it if I am off the wall. Does this make sense?

I admit, I am sometimes off the charts…

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It sounds like you are asking if God could allow you to be some sort of Empath, a fictitious person who takes the pain of another onto himself. Actually, that sort of miraculous assumption of another’s pain was already done by the only One Who could ever really bear our griefs and be stricken, smitten of God and afflicted in order to give relief to us. Not even the apostles, who laid hands on the hurting and raised them immediately to health, ever transferred another’s pain to their own bodies.

Although we may sometimes wish we could take a loved one’s pain and bear it ourselves, that’s not really possible. The only thing even remotely like that in the Bible was when the leprosy of Naaman was transferred to Gehazi in II Kings 5:27 - but that was a judgment upon Gehazi for his sin.

My wife suffered from trigenimal neuralgia for decades - and I would have taken any measure of her pain that I could’ve had it been possible. But when she passed away last year, she awoke in the arms of the One Whose scars had purchased her ultimate healing.

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I’m so sorry about your wife’s passing away! How many years were you married? The longer it was - the more painful it must be for you.

James, I realize that Jesus paid it all. But as you run out and are killed because you pushed a child out of harms way, could we not be asked - and again I am not saying we choose, but the Holy Spirit chooses us, to lay down our lives for another? I read of many in the persecuted church, who take the blame for an enemy and are killed. That persecutor then realizes the love of Jesus and give their lives to Him.

So the premise is not our initiative, but Jesus’.

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Ah - that clarifies your meaning very significantly. You’re speaking more along the lines of, say, a medical worker in a leper colony exposing himself regularly to their disease in order to bring them relief. It is true that a man has no greater love than to lay down his life for the brethren. And as Christ died for us, we should be willing to die for others if that is what God calls upon us to do.

Ruthie gave me the best 40 years of my life!

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James, when I was paralyzed 21 years ago, for some reason I developed a greater capacity for compassion. I really mean it when I tell you that I am so sorry about you losing Ruthie. I have been married nearly 47 years and I don’t know what I’d do without my Nancy. I would always be thinking of things that I need to tell her, only to realize that she isn’t there. I am profoundly sorry.

Regarding your answer to my post, you phrased it concisely. In fact, you gave me a different position in which to view my question. I do think that even in these Covid 19 days, are we to keep ourselves safe? Maybe because if we don’t, we can spread it. But what does Jesus ask of you or me?

I really like how you put it. I wonder if, in Jesus, He’s not calling His people to action - whatever that is.

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Hello, @Tim_Ramey @jlyons, we all three have some things in common. I as well extend my sympathies at your wife’s passing. We just passed 40 years last October. We both have some health issues but hers have been chronic long term.
Being empathetic towards a persons needs has had me ask God at times to let me take her pain myself hasn’t she suffered enough.
Well He didnt give it to me but has helped her, though my empathy being one I feel her pain. I know you both as well have felt that for your spouse.
Tim, James, may I also say thank you for your many encouraging posts and insights I have read on connect. I enjoy the perspective you both have.

My choices at many times now in doing the Lords will is impacted by those who love us and concerned for our safety. In the early years not a big deal as they did not grasp the gravity of the situation I was involved in. That balance is a constant thought for me right now. I am fine with whatever He asks.

Do I take a chance and maybe make them mad or angry with God because I did this or that for Him after they said no.

Could I get some insight from you guys on this. We are of the same generation, and for those like us this is a timely question?
Mike

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Are you saying that you have loved ones who are concerned that your Christian service may at times put you at personal physical risk? And that if something serious happened to you as a result, you wonder whether they might blame God for it?

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I don’t intend a hasty, unthoughtful reply to your well articulated remark. Isn’t the biggest issue how is the Lord leading? The book that I am getting the basis of my questions is an old book called, “Rees Howells:Intercessor” In it, he does some things that were not copacetic for the times but the Lord had him do it anyway. If the Lord leads, we will do anything for Him. For me, it’s just the certainty that it is the Lord and not me.

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Yes, thank you both, but to clarify how would I respond?
When I do what God wants and I suffer physically after they said I shouldn’t.

It’s a question not a fact at this time.

If my obedience caused someone to stumble and fall away from God?
Mike

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Does Rees address this in his book?

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Mike, his main point is that the Holy Spirit is so strong on him that he obeys. He KNOWS what the Holy Spirit is telling and the results show that he was right. He doesn’t seem concerned about what others think but rather, obedience to the Lord is the issue.

Could it be that due to our obedience to Jesus, that someone would fall away?

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When you say that they might stumble or fall away from God, this gives me the impression that the loved ones in question are fellow believers – so I will answer on that assumption. If the assumption is wrong, please let me know.

First, if loved ones who are fellow believers that love the Lord are advising you against something that would put you at personal risk, then I would consider carefully their words of caution – especially if they are supported by appropriate scriptures. You might check with a godly pastor or other mentor whom you trust. Proverbs 11:14, Where no counsel is the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

But if, after prayerfully considering their advice, you still feel an unshakeable burden to move forward, if you are convinced that you will live with regret if you fail to follow in this, then share your heart with your loved ones – assure them that their advice has been seriously considered, and ask them to pray for you as you commit yourself to the will of God – Acts 21:10-14.

Might a believer stumble or fall away from God if they perceived your obedience to Him as resulting in some form of disaster? Well, their faith might certainly be shaken. They might rant against God as they vent their pain and question His goodness and wisdom. Sometimes it takes the perspective of hindsight for others to finally see how God used tragedy to bring forth triumph.

Remember how, in the last chapter of John, Peter (fine apostle he turned out to be!) decided to just return to his fishnets? But as the Lord restored Him, so He will help your loved ones on their journey.

Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat – but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not – and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren – Luke 22:31-32.

Jesus prays for all his followers that their faith fail not – John 17:15; Hebrews 7:25.

And God always answers Jesus’ prayers (John 11:41-42)!

I hope this helps!

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Thank you both for sharing such great insight and wisdom, in this “hypothetical scenario”. I am sure it has happened, but our obedience is the ultimate question.
Mike

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