Faithful Intercessors Arrive
Major Terry W. Griffin –
Have you ever listened to one of those preachers who uses big theological words and wondered, “What in the world is this person talking about, and does it have anything to do with real life?”
I have had the “privilege” on many occasions, and question the value of such academic exercises. It may challenge my mind, but does it challenge my heart?
There are other occasions when I hear the Word of God proclaimed simply and clearly. The message comes through “loud and clear” to my mind and heart, and I must respond. It is also during these times that I hear hard words which are easy to understand but difficult to put into practice. It is the putting into practice which makes it hard. It’s easy to listen to the Word of God and to agree with what is being said. But when it comes to making the “hard stuff” part of my lifestyle, that’s another issue.
Consider with me these words, “Faithful Intercessors.” They are just words, but in today’s world, they are hard words. Take the word “faithful.” To be faithful to anything or anyone is certainly not “in” in our throw-away society. What does it mean to be a faithful Christian or a faithful Salvationist? I have seen many, and I know what one looks like. There have been many who impacted my life through their faithfulness. These people are faithful to their promises in spite of adversity; faithful to their commitments even when it’s hard; faithful to people even when hurt by them. “Faithful” is a hard word which we can choke on; however, it is a word that defines character and commitment. Faithful people can be counted on and don’t give up when it doesn’t “feel good.” If we are going to win souls for the Kingdom we must be faithful to the cause of Christ and to the community of believers in which we live and serve. It’s tough, but it must be done!
The other hard word under consideration is “Intercessor.” An intercessor, in the Christian context, is a person who prays for others. Prayer is a discipline of the Christian life that has not won many popularity contests lately. How many of us get excited about going to a “prayer meeting”? Prayer meetings don’t draw the crowds you will find at a local cinema or amusement park. Prayer meetings rarely show up on the weekly schedule of events, because people just won’t go. Perhaps part of the problem is that we Salvationists are “doers” of the Word. We get busy about the business of the Kingdom, forgetting that prayer is Kingdom business.
What is prayer? It is communicating, having a discussion, with God himself. Prayer is meeting with the Almighty. Prayer is giving praise and adoration to God because we love him. It is confessing our shortcomings and sin because we want to be right with him. Prayer is thanking God for his sacrificial love and the blessings he bestows on us. It gives us the opportunity to make sure we are in his will and allows us to bring before him the needs of others. Prayer is a key to remaining faithful to our high calling in Christ Jesus.
The Faithful Intercessors session of cadets has just arrived at the College for Officer Training. It is a hard name to live up to, not just for the cadets, but for all of us who are committed to Jesus.
Hard words are never easy to listen to. The disciples heard some hard words which are recorded in the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel. It says in verse 66 that the words were so hard, some of the disciples withdrew and walked with Jesus no more. It is my prayer that the hard words, “Faithful Intercessors,” will cause us to examine our relationship with the One who has the words of eternal life. As hard as they may be, they are the words of life for us, our families, our corps, and our communities.
After some of the followers of Jesus discovered that being a disciple was hard and they had given up, Jesus turned to the 12 disciples and asked, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. And we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-68)
Hard words. Yes, very hard, but they are the words of life. May we have the courage to do the hard thing and be Faithful Intercessors–to be counted faithful.