If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14
I have been often walking in prayer on the streets of Bangalore around midnight hours, been witnessing a lot of drunkenness, revelry, lust and all sorts of Godless behavior. Was once wondering, if the righteous ruler of the whole universe will ever forgive the wickedness in our land. When God apprehended me asking if i will pray for their forgiveness!
All of Israel’s history had witnessed major rebellion against God. But God always chose to forgive and give them a second chance. Because of a few intercessors like Moses, Samuel, Jeremiah, Amos, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah! Moses once prayed “But now, if you will forgive their sin–but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.” (Exo 32:32) To pray a prayer of that magnitude requires tremendous compassion, prevailing burden and unshaking trust in God’s forgiveness.
As a matter of fact if we have the slightest revelation of the forgiving and gracious attitude of God, we will want to cry out for the forgiveness of people all around us! Nehemiah prayed “You are a God ready to forgive” (Neh 9:17) Jeremiah declared on God’s behalf “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer 31:34) If we believe, then we need to start preaching about a sin-forgiving God and practice that by praying on behalf of people who are away from God.
There is another principle that Jesus introduced in the new testament, post the cross and resurrection. Jesus said “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld” John 20:23. In other words, God has rested the authority to forgive sins to a bunch of people who themselves aren’t free from the presence of sin. What an amazing grace and undeserved authority we enjoy! Unlike the old testament folks we don’t have to ask God to blot our name from Heaven for the forgiveness of our land, instead we can walk around everywhere forgiving people on God’s behalf!
That is the power of intercession- through intercession we attract God’s forgiveness and gracious attitude towards the wicked and perverse generation that we live in! Will you take a decision today to walk releasing God’s love and forgiveness everywhere you go?