Devotional for Day 26 – 31 August 2013
Margaret Whyte Dravikula of Scotland and Fiji, formerly missionary in the South Pacific.
Intention: Who is there to stand in the gap and intercede for the nations, for the poor and needy and the unborn?
Scripture: I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV)
Reflection: In the days of Ezekiel, God was looking for a godly leader who could stand in the gap and intercede for the people. Jeremiah had a similar search and could not find one (Jeremiah 5:1-6). Isaiah also failed to find an intercessor. Isaiah laments that “The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no-one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene” (Isaiah 59:15-16 NIV).
Praying makes a difference. Prayer changed the dynamic and invites the Lord to get involved. Prayer opens the gates, the windows and the doors for the Lord to act. We may feel like our small prayers do not count for much. But one righteous person standing in the gap could have saved Jerusalem from destruction (Jeremiah 5:1).
Standing in the gap is more than praying for those who have not yet heard the gospel. As Isaiah 59:15 shows, intercession is also about interceding for social justice. This was one area where Israel went wrong. They did not stand in the gap for the poor and needy and they oppressed the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow (Ezekiel 22:7).
Intercessory prayer is not passive, it is active. When our heart breaks for the nations who are dying to a lost eternity, when we live alongside those in need and see their poverty, when we think of the unborn children not given a chance to live, we can stand in the gap. We can make a difference. We can pray.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that when we come to you in honest prayer on behalf of others that you hear. Help us to deeply feel the needs of the nations, spiritually and physically. Help us to get alongside and stand in the gap for those who need you and are born into cultures who have never heard the good news. We also pray for those who need justice and relief from poverty and crippling debt, for those suffering hunger, disease, war and famine. We intercede for the widows, the orphans and the fatherless and for those who have never had a chance to live. We invite you to act on their behalf. Thank you for hearing our prayer. Amen.
[Blogger’s Comment: Today Magi’s devotion continues on the theme of intercession from yesterday with this much quoted verse about standing in the gap. I suggest you read the whole chapter and note how many times it talks about the alien, mistreated, fatherless and widow. Then there’s the phrase ‘the shedding of innocent blood’ – which is exactly what abortion is. Throughout the chapter warning is given of the coming judgement of God.
The Life Application Study Bible says of verse 30, “The wall spoken of here is not made of stones, but of the faithful people united in their efforts to resist evil. The wall was in disrepair because there was no one who could lead the people back to God. The feeble attempts to repair the gap – through religious rituals or messages based on opinion rather than God’s will – were as whitewash, only covering the real problems. What the people needed was total spiritual reconstruction [revival and transformation]! When we give the appearance of loving God without living his way, we are covering up sins that could eventually damage us beyond repair. Don’t use religion as a whitewash; repair your life by applying the principles of God’s Word. Then you can join with others to stand in the gap’ and make a difference for God in the world”.
We end the month of August today and enter into September for the final 14 days of our 40 days of prayer and fasting with repentance. How has the Lord met you in this time? What lessons have you learnt and what challenges have come to your life? I encourage you to journal about these so you can return to them at a later time.
There are a number of prayer initiatives in September that begin this week. Check out these two.
- 2 Sept – 40 days of Prayer and Repentance in the UK begin culminating in their National Day of Prayer and Worship when Christians will gather together in . on October. This event is called Saints in the Stadium
- 4 Sept – 22 days of International Prayer for Jewish People begins – they too have produced a prayer guide with devotions written by Messianic Jewish leaders (Jews who follow Jesus as the Messiah) around the world – for details go to Jewish Prayer Focus
Through my internet search this morning, I found this photo and prayer initiative happening on 8 Sept called Grandparent Day of Prayer
If you are a grandparent maybe God is burdening your heart to stand in the gap for your grandchildren especially if their parents aren’t praying for them.
As I type this another urgent prayer request from the International Prayer Council has come into my inbox (it is not normal for them to do this – God is needing us to stand in the gap as never before). This time it is for Turkey. Will you stand in the gap with the people there?
Ask God to burden your heart for those things he wants you to take your stand on against evil in these days. MR]
Continue earnestly in prayer with fasting and repentance with what burdens God’s heart.
- Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
- Pray for a billion people to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
- Pray for an end to abortion and for God to turn back the tide of death and immorality that is sweeping the nations of the world.
- Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.