"And another angel came ... and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne" (Revelation 8:3)
Are the thoughts to which this little book has given utterance not a sufficiently grave indictment of the subordinate place given to intercession in the teaching and practice of the Church and with its ministers and members? Is it not in very deed of such supreme importance as to make it an essential, altogether indispensable element in the true Christian life? To those who take God's Word in its full meaning, there can be no doubt about the answer.
Intercession is, by amazing grace, an essential element in God's redeeming purpose - so much so that without it the failure of its accomplishment may lie at our door. Christ's intercession in heaven is essential to His carrying out of the work He began upon earth, but He calls for the intercession of the saints in the attainment of His object. Just think of what we read: "All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation." As the reconciliation was dependent on Christ's doing His part, so in the accomplishment of the work, He calls on the Church to do her part. We see how Paul regarded intercession day and night as indispensable to the fulfillment of the work that had been entrusted to him. It is but one aspect of that mighty power of God which works in the heart of His believing people.
Intercession is indeed a Divine reality. Without it, the Church loses one of its chief beauties, loses the joy and the power of the Spirit life for achieving great things for god. Without it, the command to preach the Gospel to every creature can never be carried out. Without it, there is no power for the Church to recover from her sickly, feeble life and conquer the world. And in the life of the believer, minister, or member, there can be no entrance into the abundant life and joy of daily fellowship with God, except as he takes his place among God's elect - the watchmen and remembrancers of God who cry to Him day and night.
Church of Christ, awake, awake! Listen to the call, "Pray without ceasing." Take no rest, and give God no rest. Let the answer be, even though it be with a sigh from the depths of the heart. "For Zion's sake, will I not hold my peace." God's Spirit will reveal to us the power of a life of intercession as a Divine reality, an essential and indispensable element of the great redemption and therefore also of the true Christian life.
Dear Heavenly Father, help us to know and to fulfill our calling! Amen