"The Conditions of Prayer"
Christ Our Intercessor
In His death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ finished the atoning work whereby God saves and secures all who believe.
"But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God… for by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:12; 14).
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
Nothing more needs to be done by our Savior in order to provide full pardon, newness of life, and His indwelling presence to those who receive His grace by faith. However, Scripture teaches an ongoing Heavenly ministry for Christians fulfilled by the Lord Jesus:
"He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
As the God who is man and the man who remains God, the Lord Jesus spans the gap between the Divine and the human in His own Person, and in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. "How should man be just with God?" asked Job (Job 9:2). Christ is the answer, both in terms of imparting righteousness to us as a free gift, and then of serving as our eternal intercessor between ourselves and God. His simple presence in Heaven at the Father's right hand establishes such mediation - "now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24). Moreover, the word "intercession" is often related in Scripture to prayer. "I exhort therefore that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men" (I Timothy 2:1). Thus, we may believe the heart filling and heart thrilling truth that prayers are being offered at the right hand of God for us - the intercessory prayers of no less than the Lord Jesus Christ. Thereby God receives us freely, and thereby we approach Him faithfully as we make our journey upon the narrow and Blood-stained path to the throne of God. "We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2).
What a wonderful thing to know that brothers and sisters in Christ pray for us. What an even more wonderful thing to know that Christ Himself prays for us. Again, He does not need to pray for the salvation already secured by His atoning work and our reception thereof. He likely prays that we will know the magnitude of "so great salvation" in order to experience the abundance of Life available to us (Hebrews 2:3). Moreover, His presence at the right hand of God assures our access to the same place and grace. Because He is there as our intercessor, we can be there as the beneficiaries of who He is in the sight of His Father, and what He has done for our benefit. Yes, our Savior's Heavenly ministry of intercession for us provides a primary condition of prayer, granting the confident access and entree proclaimed by the writer of Hebrews…
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
Next: Conditions we fulfill
Weekly Memory Verse
"I exhort therefore that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men."
(I Timothy 2:1)