As people called into the ministry of reconciliation and intercession, there is a status we should aspire to attain with God.
Though a great Intercessor, Jeremiah realized that some men, in their lifetime had achieved even greater standing with God in the school of mediation. Ironically, it was in the place of deep intercession for the Israelites that God made this known.
“Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth” (Jeremiah 15:1).
Even though God may not listen to them in this case, it is clear that Moses and Samuel were two men who could prevail on God as to change His mind or act in one way towards a people or situation. The question that comes to mind then is how were they able to climb this ladder? Considering Samuel, four scriptures give us some insight.
- 1 Samuel 12:23 – Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.
- 1 Samuel 15:10-11 – Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.
- 1 Samuel 15:35 – And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.
- 1 Samuel 16:1 – And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? …
Among other things, the scriptures above point to the heart posture of the intercessor as a weapon for great success with God and men. The intercessor must have a burden-bearing heart of overwhelming compassion and unrelenting persistence.
As it were, Samuel had no personal or special affiliations or interests in Saul, but he tarried all night in prayer for him when God hinted about replacing him. After that, he mourned many days, as though he had lost someone very dear to him.
Even though, he had come to their rescue before God countless times, as far as Samuel was concerned, ceasing to pray for the Israelites, even when he was no longer their Judge, was a grievous sin.
The admonition is obvious. If indeed we seek progress in the ministry of intercession, such heart condition of Samuel is what we must deliberately cultivate and plead for.