“For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel”
— Romans 9:3-4
There is no deeper form of intercession than praying for and on behalf of people who have wronged you. Three individuals in biblical history dared to pray this way. All three interceded when their love for a particular group of people outweighed ordinary limits of love.
Utterly aware of the Lord’s presence, while interceding, these three completely identified with the object of their intercession. Two embraced this intercessory prayer through a gradual process of movement toward people who had wronged them. More importantly, the Lord, the third, individual was born to pray this type of prayer.
These three individuals are Moses, Paul, and Jesus. All three prayed to be damned so that others could be saved.
It began with Moses. On day thirty-nine of a forty day fast, God told Moses that the people had broken two commands: “No other gods” and “No graven images”. In an orgiastic feast, they worshipped a carved piece of metal as the god of the Exodus. So awful was God’s rage that He said to Moses, “Leave Me alone…that I may destroy them…” (Exodus 32:10).
Moses refused to go!
Bolder yet, Moses asked God to change His mind (Exodus 32:12). Even stronger, he prayed from a place of participation in the destiny of the damned: Moses acknowledges that the people have committed a great sin and pleads, “Now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written” (Exodus 32:32).
Then God changed His mind.
Paul also prayed that he would be condemned for the sake of his Hebrew kin (Romans 9:3).
Jesus lived that prayer as His calling.
Not one of them had asked for this kind of praying—it was given—and these three did more to transform Earth than any others. There is no deeper intercession!
1. Is there an individual that God is prompting you to intercede for?
2. Is there a people group that God is asking you to pray for with this form of deeper intercession?
David Chotka is the Lead Pastor at Heritage Park Alliance Church in Windsor, Ontario.