“I pray for them.” -John 17:9
There is no part of Christ’s Priestly office more soothing to the sick, tried, and suffering believer, than His intercessory supplication on their behalf. To know that we are borne upon the prayerful hearts of our fellow-Christians, in times when providences are trying, and our hearts are breaking, is unspeakably soothing. How much more so is the thought that Jesus, our merciful High Priest, Friend and Brother born for adversity, is praying for us in heaven–our names worn upon His heart, our woes and needs, sins and sorrows entwined with His prayers before the throne; that, His intercession for us is not a past, nor even an anticipatory intercession alone; but, that it is a present intercession, an intercession moment by moment, “NOW appearing in the presence of God for us.”
O sweet thought that, when some new trial comes, and some dark cloud lowers, and some bitter sorrow crushes; at that very moment Jesus is praying for us, asking His Father on our behalf the strength that will support; the grace that will sanctify; the love, comfort, and precious promise applied by the Spirit, that will calm, soothe, and sustain us. Thus consider Him.
Intercessory prayer for others is one of our most spiritual and richest privileges. “Pray one for another.” “Praying for all the saints,” is the divine and apostolic precept constantly enforced, and by arguments the most persuasive and touching. How many of the Lord’s tried ones, through bodily pain, or mental depression, or crushing sorrow, cannot pray for themselves! What a privilege to pray for them, to be “God’s remembrancers” on their behalf, to imitate Jesus, and intercede for them outside the veil, while He intercedes for them within the veil! Thus, intercessory prayer on earth, and intercessory prayer in heaven, will envelop them as with a cloud of incense, and the tried saint will be upheld, and the weak strengthened, and the tempted shielded, and the sorrowing comforted, and the sick soothed, and the dying one supported and cheered, as he passes down the valley, homeward to be forever with the Lord.