Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The Peace of the Lord be with you!
Have you ever been called an “intercessor”? Or have you ever called yourself one? What is the role of an intercessor? The Book of Esther is a practical example of intersession resulting in the aversion of the genocide of God’s people. Haman had “cast lots” against the Jewish people in Persia, but because of Esther’s courage and intercession (and that of her uncle, Mordecai), the plan was ended and reversed. What we note then is that intercessions are not just mere words but help to create the ministries of the church.
The ministries of intercession call the pray-er beyond the needs of him/herself to see the needs of others, lest our prayers become too selfish. One of the petitions in the Intercessions in the Prayer Book of the Methodist Church reads, “And so increase in us the spirit of compassion and care that we may be ministers in your name for their recovery and relief” (MPB 75). Hence, intercessions are not the domain of a few “prayer warriors” or “intercessors”, but the task of the church in general.
Sadly, genocide is alive and well today. Sometimes it is targeted against a certain class of people (women, children, religious groups, sexual orientation, or persons from a different ethnic background). Sometimes it is against a whole people sanctioned by a government. Sometimes it is simply about power and control over land and other resources. Interestingly, we note that Esther does not exact revenge against Haman but simply seeks deliverance for her people while appealing to the honour of the King. In its intercession to Christ the King, the church is always challenged to practice truth to power as it seeks to live out its mandate in solidarity with the poor, oppressed and marginalized.
Have prayerful week in Jesus, the Intercessor,
Your pastor and friend,
Mark S Christmas