George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
The Interceding Savior
He is able also to save them to the uttermost...seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them--Heb 7:25
The Strengthening Power of Prayer
There are times in life when it is very helpful to know that somebody is praying for us. It strengthens us when we are prone to faint. When some difficult duty lies ahead, when we have to undergo an operation or when death has taken away a loved one and we are overwhelmed with loneliness, the certainty that friends are praying for us is a mighty succor to our trembling hearts and often ministers quietness and confidence. I have often heard missionaries say that what sustained them was their assurance of the prayers at home. During the war many of our boys used to speak of the difference this made. It reinforced their hearts and kept them strong to know that folks at home were praying for them. Indeed, I have found that many who never pray are eager to have the prayers of others when facing a crisis in their lives.
"I Have Prayed for Thee"
Now our text tells us that somebody is praying for us, and the somebody is our risen Savior. That is the only meaning which our text can have, and with all its mystery we thankfully accept it. We light on the same truth again in the song of triumph in the eighth of Romans. John, too, in his old age, dwelt on the consolation of that thought (1Jo 2:1). And if we only let it sink into our hearts, we find it the good news of God. Others may forget us in their prayers; there is One in heaven who never does forget. Others may fail us when their lamp burns low; He ever liveth. We are engirdled by the prayers of One who loves us and has the ear of God and therefore is able to save unto the uttermost.
Nor was this ministry begun in heaven; it was carried over from the days on earth. Our Lord on earth was an interceding Savior. One remembers His words to Simon Peter recorded in the Gospel of St. Luke: "Simon, Satan hath desired to have thee, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." And if our Lord so prayed when He was here, why should it be thought a thing incredible that He would continue that ministry in heaven? Does not Satan desire to have us just as he desired to have Simon? And often when our foot has wellnigh slipped, have we not escaped out of the fowler's snare? And why should we be charged with being mystical because we adoringly ascribe our rescue to the intercession of the risen Lord? Did He not say, "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter"? Have we never experienced with an inward certainty that in the hour of need that Comforter has come? All fresh enduements of the Holy Spirit, whether for service or for suffering, are intimations of a praying Savior.
Again, we remember another intercession, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." And if He prayed that prayer when on the cross, we may be perfectly certain that forgiveness followed. Did not He say beside the grave of Lazarus, "I knew that thou hearest me always"? How little any of us know what we are doing! How often we say, "If I had only known!" Hence springs remorse and agony of conscience and thoughts which reproach us in the silent night. In such seasons, may we not lift our hearts to Him who ever lives to intercede and hear Him praying for our human ignorance as once He prayed upon the cross? So much of our sin is not deliberate. Evil is wrought by want of thought. We are such ignorant and foolish beings that we can rarely follow our actions to their issues. But He is praying for us just as He prayed on Calvary, and He is able to save unto the uttermost because He ever liveth to make intercession for us.
And then one thinks what this implies, for prayer is never an isolated thing. Whenever anybody prays for you, it means that he bears you on his heart. When a mother prays for her boy who is a prodigal, that is a token that she loves him still. When a sister prays for a brother who is careless, that means that he is very dear to her. If our Lord is praying for us in His ascension, that tells us He has not forgotten us but is eager to help us in our need. Prayers that do not lead to action are mockeries. True prayer issues in endeavor. Unless we are willing to help the man we pray for, our prayers are nothing else than empty breath. Thus do we find assurance of His help when the way is dark and the heart is very sore, in the good news with which the Gospel rings, that He ever liveth to make intercession for us.
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