May 27, 2017: the Beautiful Power of Intercession
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)
1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
“O God I pray for Chancellor Wilson at the University where my grandson goes. I hear of reports of trouble on campus for many of your children there. Would you please work in Chancellor Wilson’s heart and mind and help him to see his need of you. Cause him to repent and trust you. Send someone to share your message of redemption so he can find his way to you soon.”
John’s grandfather had been experiencing a growing sense of urgency as he entered his prayer room each morning to intercede for those he would never see in this life. He could not see how his prayers were being used by God to accomplish things in the real world. For now, he was content to just obey the word of God and pray for all those in authority. This had been his practice for years. Ever since he attended a World Literature Crusade Prayer conference in St. Louis back in the late 1970’s he had been faithful to pray for many he would never see in this life.
He had no idea what he would get to see in just a few short years.
Chancellor Wilson was just leaving his office walking toward his car when he saw a woman who was having car trouble.
“Can I be of some assistance ma’am,” he asked.
“Yes, I have had a very bad day. First, my alarm went off an hour after it was supposed to and I was late to work at the Health Center on campus. Then we were swamped with all these students getting sick all of a sudden. I have never seen it like this before in all of my fifteen years working here.”
“So you work here on campus at the health center?” Chancellor Wilson asked.
“Yes. I really love my work here, but these past few weeks have been very strange. It all started a few weeks ago when this small group of students from a philosophy class came in to see about having one of their friends treated for a hard fall he had on campus on his way home after their study group.”
“That sounds quite intriguing. I guess I best help you with your car. Here let me see if I can jump your car and get it started.”
That would be great,” Sally replied.
After several attempts, the car was not going to start. “Looks like I need to call you a tow truck to finish off your very fine day,” Chancellor Wilson said, attempting to lighten the mood of this woman alone on campus.
“Thank you very much for the encouragement sir,” Sally replied with a slight sense of humor.
“Can I at least offer you a lift home? Don’t worry about not being safe with me. I am the Chancellor of the University and I assure you, you are quite safe with me.”
‘Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? You are not really the chancellor of this university?”
“Guilty as charged!”
“Listen I have a bone to pick with you about what is happening on this campus these past few days,” Sally offered, sounding quite perturbed.
“Well, perhaps our meeting was meant to be. It is not too late. Can I treat you to a cup of coffee or some dessert at one of our late night cafes on campus? I figure that would be a safe place for us to carry on this conversation.”
“Perhaps God has allowed my car to have trouble tonight for a greater purpose than I could see at first,” offered Sally, thinking of what she had heard Pastor Henry teach about God’s sovereignty.
“Listen, to make sure you are ok with this arrangement, let me call campus security and have them bring a golf cart over and we can ride with one of our campus security team to the café. Would that be ok with you Ms.?” Hesitating because he did not yet know this woman’s name.
“You can call me Sally, I work with Dr. Williams in the Health Center and have been for over fifteen years now.”
In just a couple of minutes the golf cart arrived.