2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Intercessory Prayer

In pray­ing to His Father, Jesus prayed for His peo­ple, (cf John 17) He Him­self is the only com­pe­tent inter­ces­sor for men before God.

For there is one God, and one medi­a­tor between God and men, the man Christ Jesus who gave Him­self as a ran­som for all. (I Tim­o­thy 2–3)

Jesus in His res­ur­rect­ed glo­ry, prays eter­nal­ly to His Father on behalf of His crea­tures.

…He holds His priest­hood per­ma­nent­ly because He con­tin­ues for­ev­er. Con­se­quent­ly He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make inter- ces­sion for them.

For Christ has entered, not a sanc­tu­ary made with hands … but into heav­en itself, now to appear in the pres­ence of God on our behalf (Hebrews 7:24–25; 9:24)

In and through Christ, Chris­tians become com­pe­tent to inter­cede before God. In the name of Jesus, Chris­tians are com­mand­ed and empow­ered to pray for each oth­er and for all cre­ation: “on behalf of all and for all.” (Litur­gy of St. John Chrysos­tom)

First of all I urge that sup­pli­ca­tions, prayers, inter­ces­sions and thanks­giv­ings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions,…This is good and accept­able in the sight of God our Sav­ior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowl­edge of the truth. (I Tim­o­thy 2:1–4)

There­fore con­fess your sins to one anoth­er and pray for one anoth­er, that you may be healed. The prayer of a right­eous man has great pow­er In its effects. Eli­jah was a man of like natures with our­selves and he prayed fer­vent­ly that it might not rain and…it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heav­en gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit. (James 5:16–18)

Inter­ces­so­ry prayers can be made for every “good gift” from God for the sake of the sal­va­tion of oth­ers. Such prayers can include peti­tions for every kind of bless­ing, both for the body and the soul. They can be made for the inspi­ra­tion and instruc­tion of men, as well as for their heal­ing and sal­va­tion. What­ev­er one can ask for one­self, one can ask for all men. What­ev­er one does ask for one­self should be entreat­ed for all. “It is right to pray not only for one’s own purifi­ca­tion, but for the purifi­ca­tion of every man…” (St. Nilus of Sinai, 5th c., Texts on Prayer)

To under­stand inter­ces­so­ry prayer, one must remem­ber the eter­nal prov­i­dence of God. One must grasp the fact that God knows all things eter­nal­ly and takes into con­sid­er­a­tion each act of man in His over­all plan. With this per­spec­tive one can then see that even before the cre­ation of the world, God has heard, or rather, more accu­rate­ly, eter­nal­ly hears, the cries of His peo­ple. He con­sid­ers man’s prayers in all that He does in His deal­ings with men. Thus it is the case that God does not wait to see what we do or how we will pray. He con­sid­ers our actions and prayers from the per­spec­tive of eter­ni­ty. And in the light of our desires and deeds He sees that “all things work togeth­er for good for those who love God.” (Romans 8:28)

If we under­stand this we can see how our prayers are con­sid­ered by God, for our­selves and for oth­ers. We can under­stand as well how we can pray even for those who are dead, whose lives on this earth are over and done. For the Lord does not hear our prayers “after” some­thing is fin­ished, because for God there is no “after” at all. God knows what we ask before we even ask it, for He knows all of man’s life in one divine act of all-embrac­ing vision and knowl­edge. Thus all of our prayers, even for those who are dead, are heard and con­sid­ered by God before we even make them. If we fail to pray, this too is known to God, and it takes its effect in God’s plan of sal­va­tion. There­fore we have to “pray for one anoth­er” and our prayer will have “great pow­er in its effects” through the eter­nal and prov­i­den­tial action of God.