And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him. ~1 Samuel 7:9
One of the greatest examples of intercessory prayer is the prophet Samuel. His very name means “asked of the Lord.” Intercessory prayer is the privilege we have to plead and pray for other believers. Paul said in I Tim. 2:1, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.” Intercession is a priority. Intercession is a privilege. Let us see how Samuel models for us intercessory prayer.
We see an evil MENACE.
“And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines,” vs. 7. The Philistines were a thorn in the side of the Israelites. The Israelites were in the initial stages of a spiritual revival when the Philistines went up to fight with them. The size and the sound of the Philistines brought fear to the Israelites. The world, the flesh, and the devil seek to intimidate and weaken us. These spiritual enemies do not want God’s people to get right with the Lord. Be prepared that anytime you want to do right for the Lord, the enemy rises up to hinder you.
We see an effective MEDIATOR.
“And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him,” vs. 9. The Israelites were moved with urgency, and asked Samuel to pray for them. We see two things that make Samuel’s intercession effective and powerful. First, he took a lamb of the first year, and offered it wholly as a burnt sacrifice. This sacrifice is a beautiful picture of the entire and complete sacrifice the Lord Jesus Christ made for us when He died on the cross for our sins. Samuel was able to enter into the presence of God because of the shed blood of this lamb. We can be effective as intercessory prayer warriors because of the shed blood of Christ. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,” Heb. 10:19. Second, we see that “Samuel cried unto the LORD.” Samuel prayed as if his life depended on it. He prayed as if he only had one opportunity to pray. Effective intercessory prayer is when we mean business with God just like Samuel did.
We see an encouraging MONIKER.
“And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar. Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us,” vs. 10-12. The Lord answered Samuel’s prayer, and overcame the threat of the Philistines by thundering on them. The thundering that the Lord sent could have been the word of the Lord. It was a powerful “sonic boom” that shook the enemy up. As soon as Israel saw the favor that the Lord gave them, they were encouraged, and pursued after them. However, Samuel did one more thing. Samuel did not want Israel to forget that the Lord gave them this great victory. He took a stone and placed it between Shen and Mizpeh, and named it “Ebenezer.” He called that place of victory, “Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.” He wanted Israel to always remember that the victory was from the Lord, and not from him. This name would serve as an encouragement for many generations to come of how the Lord is pleased to help us through intercessory prayer.
Take time this morning to be an effective intercessor. It is a privilege for us to pray for others. Your greatest ministry you have as a Christian is to bring others before the throne of grace. Paul said, “First of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.”
Have an intercessory God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 28-31