Death tolls are rising, unemployment lines are getting longer while people are becoming more hopeless as the days go by. In the midst of this sweeping virus across the world, an out of the blue, earthquake shakes Idaho Tuesday afternoon adding to our fear-soaked society. There’s a need for God’s people to stand in the gap for the land.
My oldest daughter Joy was away at college when she was unable to sleep one night due to a burden she was carrying for her sister. Joy sensed an urgency and pressed into prayer not even knowing the details. The next day I called and shared with her that Aimee had been in a serious car wreck but miraculously was not hurt. God had used Joy to stand in the gap for her sister in her time of need. Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us.” The Christian who chooses to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading will be used in God’s divine purpose and plan in the earth.
In Ezekiel 22:30 we see God’s heart in intercession. “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” God is still looking for willing believers to stand in the gap. He is still touching different hearts with a burden to pray for different situations and people. Have you responded to His nudge to stand in the gap or like this scripture states, has God found you unwilling?
What really does it mean to stand in the gap, anyway? Well, let me explain by asking you a question. Have you ever seen a hedge lining some ones property border where the neighborhood kids have made a trail right through it leaving a big gap? This pathway through the hedge makes way for anything to go in or out. Many times that is how it looks in the spiritual realm. When there is a gap, God calls his prayer warriors to stand and plug the hole, keeping out the activity and injustice of the enemy. That is the call of an intercessor in the body of Christ.
We find a fascinating example of intercession in this story of Abraham pleading and standing in the gap for the righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah. The story begins in Genesis 18:18-33 with a visitation from the Lord to Abraham’s house. It says that Abraham stood before the Lord. It’s a picture of an intercessor going before the Lord with prayers for mercy because the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were tipping them towards God’s judgment. Abraham saw the possibility that believers would be destroyed in this judgment and pleaded on their behalf. He started with the question, “What if there are fifty righteous? Will you destroy it?” God said He would not. Abraham then asked, “What if there are forty-five?” He kept asking until he got all the way down to ten. Unfortunately, there wasn’t even ten. Yet, this story illustrates the incredible principle of standing in the gap for others.
In this passage we get a good look at the mercy and love of the Father through Abraham’s pleadings for the righteous in those cities. One man’s plea for others pulled on God’s heart for mercy. He has designed you and I to be gap-fillers and wants us to come boldly before Him on behalf of others. Our society is in desperate need for willing individuals to pray and cry out to God on behalf of our land for mercy and deliverance.