The Kind of Person God Desires to Use
God has always been on the lookout for those who He can use to bring about radical change in a society that has gone astray from Him. If ever there is a person or group of people needed, it is certainly today. But what kind of person is He looking for? He shows us in His Word.
“I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it.” Ezekiel 22:30
He’s not looking for talented people, skilled people, experienced people, nor important people. He is looking for men and women of prayer, those who will cry out to Him on behalf of the land and humbly plead for His mercy.
The Lord looks down from heaven at the human race, to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God. Psalm 14:2
Throughout the Scriptures we find those who intercede for their nation. The Lord remembers them on the pages of eternity and uses them as an example of His heart for us today. I don’t need to elaborate on these. His Word speaks for itself.
When the Lord was about to destroy Sodom, where his nephew and family lived, Abraham cried out to the Lord:
So the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant … The two men turned and headed toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord. Abraham approached and said, “Will you sweep away the godly along with the wicked? What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge of the whole earth do what is right?” Genesis 18:20, 22-25
Abraham continues to intercede and each time narrowing down the number of righteous people in the city so the Lord will not destroy it:
Finally, Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” Genesis 18:32
He threatened to destroy them, but Moses, His chosen one, interceded with him and turned back his destructive anger. Psalm 106:23
At Horeb you provoked Him and He was angry enough with you to destroy you. When I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord made with you, I remained there forty days and nights, eating and drinking nothing. Deuteronomy 9:8–9
Then I again fell down before the Lord for forty days and nights; I ate and drank nothing because of all the sin you had committed, doing such evil before the Lord as to enrage Him. For I was terrified at the Lord’s intense anger that threatened to destroy you. But He listened to me this time as well. The Lord was also angry enough at Aaron to kill him, but at that time I prayed for him too. Deuteronomy 9:18–20
As for me, I stayed at the mountain as I did the first time, forty days and nights. The Lord listened to me that time as well and decided not to destroy you. Deuteronomy 10:10
That’s hiking up a mountain twice and 80 days of fasting and prayer on behalf of the people! Perhaps this reveals that the greatest responsibility of a leader is to pray for the people.
A plague had already killed 24,000 people because of their immorality
Phinehas took a stand and intervened, and the plague subsided. Psalm 106:30
…and he contends with God on behalf of man as a man pleads for his friend. Job 16:21
Even after all that happened to Job and the bad counsel of his friends Job intercedes for them.
After the Lord had spoken these things to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job will intercede for you, and I will respect him, so that I do not deal with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So, they went, … and did just as the Lord had told them; and the Lord had respect for Job. Job 42:7–9
Don’t allow Him to rest until He reestablishes Jerusalem, until He makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. Isaiah 62:7
As he saw the destruction of the land and the people because of their disobedience.
Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the Lord for it. For as it prospers you will prosper. Jeremiah 29:7
Cry out from your heart to the Lord, O wall of Daughter Zion! Make your tears flow like a river all day and all night long! Do not rest; do not let your tears stop! Get up! Cry out in the night when the night watches start! Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord! Lift up your hands to him for your children’s lives; they are fainting at every street corner. Lamentations 2:18–19
Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. Tears flow from my eyes and will not stop; there will be no break until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees what has happened. Lamentations 3:48–50
After reading in the Scriptures the prophesies of God’s people he went to God on prayer on behalf of the nation:
So, I turned my attention to the Lord God to implore Him by prayer and requests, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. Daniel 9:3
Ezra and all the people of Israel
While Ezra was praying, and confessing, weeping and throwing himself to the ground before the temple of God, a very large crowd of Israelites—men, women, and children alike—gathered around him. The people wept loudly. Ezra 10:1
Upon receiving news regarding the state of God’s people and the land:
When I heard these things, I sat down abruptly, crying and mourning for several days. I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4
Let the priests, those who serve the Lord, weep from the vestibule all the way back to the altar. Let them say, “Have pity, O Lord, on your people; please do not turn over your inheritance to be mocked, to become a proverb among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, “Where is their God?” Joel 2:17
The Church in Acts
When Peter was imprisoned:
So, Peter was kept in prison, but those in the church were earnestly praying to God for him. Acts 12:5
He urges Timothy, a new pastor in Ephesus to pray for all:
First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1–2
Epaphras, … He is always struggling in prayer on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. Colossians 4:1
He prayed for His followers:
“Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat,32 but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31–32
All of John 17 is a prayer for His disciples and for all those who will follow Him in the future, His Church.
… they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on His right and one on His left. But Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:33–34
During his earthly life, Christ offered both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the One who was able to save Him from death and He was heard because of His devotion. Hebrews 5:7
He prays for His followers now:
And the others who became priests were numerous, because death prevented them from continuing in office, but He holds His priesthood permanently since He lives forever. 25 So he is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:23–25
… Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. Romans 8:34
You and I Today
Join Him in prayer on behalf of the people today! It is desperately needed and it is the very thing He is looking for. His heart is for mercy and when we pray on behalf of others we exhibit that mercy.
“I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, BUT I FOUND NO ONE.” Ezekiel 22:30
MAY HE FIND US!
Clark Crebar is Pastor of Community Bible Church in Folsom, California and a 6:4 Fellowship Regional Resource Leader. He is a husband to Lisa and a father to five children.