Author: Ron Graham
Word Study: Intercession
Word family: Intercession, intercessor, intercede.
Synonyms: supplication, making a plea on behalf of someone, conciliation.
Related ideas: priesthood, mediation, paraclete or advocate, prayer, confession and forgiveness of sin, trials and troubles.
Definitions: The Macquarie Dictionary gives this definition: "intercede...to interpose on behalf of one in difficulty or in trouble, as by pleading or petition..." In the gospel, an intercessor is a go-between or advocate who represents and pleads our case to God.
Intercession by Christ
- Romans 8:34 “Christ Jesus is he who died, and yet rather was raised up, who is at God’s right hand, who also intercedes for us”
- Hebrews 7:25 “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, because he always lives to make intercession for them”
- Isaiah 53:12 cf Isaiah 59:16 “Yet he himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors”
Intercession by the Holy Spirit
- Romans 8:26 “The Spirit also helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”
- Romans 8:27 “The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God”
Intercession by Believers
- Romans 11:2-4 “Elijah... intercedes with God against Israel”
- 1Timothy 2:1 “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings, be made for all men”
- 1Timothy 4:4-5 “Everything created by God is good... sanctified by means of intercession and the word of God”
- Jeremiah 7:16 Equivalent phrases: “lift up a cry of prayer for them ...intercede with me”
Comment: The intercession for the saints by Jesus and the Holy Spirit is easy enough to understand. We must be very careful, however, when talking about ourselves, as believers in Christ, being intercessors. We may speak (as the scripture does) of our making intercession by prayer for someone. However, we should mean that we pray for someone through the Holy Spirit and through Jesus Christ. When referring to something that we ourselves do, the word “intercede” means no more than to pray and plead for somebody. We must remember that it is Christ and the Spirit who have special access to God. No believer has access to God except through the Son of God and the Spirit of God. No believer has a greater privilege than any other. In praying or making intercession for others, we do not ursurp the intercessory work of Christ and the Spirit.
Greek References: entuxis 1783 (Strong), and entunkano 1793 cf 5241