Standing in the Gap

I have been a Christian for almost nine years now. For the longest time I was hesitant to ask people to pray for me. Not because I thought it wasn’t important, but because I would feel like I was burdening people by asking them to pray for me. I didn’t want to add the weight of my problems to someone else, and it seemed mentioning requests to a few close friends was good enough.

Now things are different. More and more I’m asking people to pray for me because I want as much prayer as I can get! I know that with more people praying for me, the far better off I am.

Intercessory prayer is when a person intercedes on another's behalf and pleads their cause. Essentially, they are standing in the gap between God and that person. This intercession is a calling placed on all Christians. Not everyone is called to pastor, write, sing, or lead bible studies, but everyone is called to a ministry of praying for others.

One Bible scholar defined standing in the gap as the call “to expose oneself for the protection of something.” That isn’t always the easy thing to do, but it's certainly the necessary thing to do.

Ezekiel 22 shows what happens when there is no one to stand in the gap between God and others.Verse 30 says, “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” (NIV)

Israel was in a bad place. Murder, idolatry, mistreatment of others, and adultery are just a few of the sins listed in the chapter. It was here in Ezekiel 22 that God’s anger began to burn against the sins of the people and he looked for one righteous man to plead the cause of the wayward nation. But he found none. Therefore, the wrath of God was poured out upon the nation. It was destroyed, along with the temple, and the people went into captivity.

What if there had been one, just one person, who would have stood in the gap between God and Israel? It had happened before. Psalm 106.23 illustrates a moment that it did, “So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the Lord and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.” (NLT)

You could read further of Moses intercession in Numbers 14. Moses was one man who stood in the gap between God and others, and a nation was spared judgment. Just think of what could happen if one person stood in the gap for another. If YOU stood in the gap for another. Imagine what would happen if you became an advocate for others. Perhaps you can’t sing, or you’re not gifted with preaching, but prayer is more effective than anything, so if you would pray for another, imagine what could happen?!

Charles Spurgeon said when referring to Moses, “Like a bold warrior who defends the wall when there is an opening for the adversary and destruction is rushing in upon the city, Moses stopped the way of avenging justice with his prayers.”

To intercede in prayer is to be like a bold warrior. If the battle is won in prayer (and it indeed is), then there must be warriors who will be willing to stand in the gap and fight. Moses isn’t the only one either. Romans 8.34 in the ESV reads, “Christ Jesus…who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Every moment, of every day, Jesus is standing in the gap between God and you. Fighting on your behalf.

There is something very powerful when one person will pray for another. Even more powerful, when many will intercede and advocate on behalf of another. My prayer is that God’s people would turn to these examples given, to Jesus Christ, and incorporate intercessory prayer for others into their daily lives.

Give me a man of God, 
one man whose faith is master of his mind
And I will right ten thousand wrongs
And bless the name of all mankind. 
Give me a man of God, one man, 
Whose tongue is touched with heavens fire
And I will flame the darkest hearts
With high resolve and pure desire. 
Give me a man of God, one man, 
One mighty prophet of the Lord, 
And I will give you peace on earth
Bought with prayer and not a sword. 
Give me a man of God, one man, 
True to the vision that he sees
And I will build your broken shrines
And bring the nations to their knees. 
One man.


Who has God placed in your world for you to be an advocate for? Your family? Certainly. A neighbor, a friend, or a casual acquaintance from the soccer games? There are people all around you that God has placed there for you to be a warrior for. So fight for them.

Stand in the gap between God and that person!