Call – Opelika-Auburn News
remarkable power of intercession
Famous baseball pitcher Orel
Hershiser lacked confidence in himself until he started playing for Tommy
Lasorda, the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lasorda called Hershiser aside
one day and got in his face. What happened changed Hershiser’s life. You can
read more about it in the pitcher’s book, Out
of the Blue.
Shouting at Hershiser, Lasorda said,
“You don’t believe in yourself! You’re scared to pitch in the big leagues!
You’ve got good stuff. If you didn’t, I wouldn’t have hired you. I’ve seen guys
come and go, son, and you’ve got it! Be aggressive. Be a bulldog out there.
That’s going to be your new name: Bulldog. With that name, you’ll scare the
batters to death! Starting today, I want you to believe you are the best
pitcher in baseball. Look at that hitter and say, ‘There is no way you can ever
hit me.’ ”
Orel took Lasorda’s advice and became
a remarkable pitcher, winning 204 games before retiring. In 1988 he earned the
Cy Young Award and was named the MVP of the World Series that year. He credits
Lasorda’s inspiration for his success.
What you believe about yourself
makes a powerful difference. If you think of yourself as a poor sinner struggling
to be a Christian, you will live like a poor sinner constantly harassed by
Satan. You will experience defeat after defeat instead of victory after
But what if you think of yourself the
way God thinks of you? Consider what the Bible says about you once you become a
Christian. You are a child of God, a son or daughter of God. You are a saint, a
citizen of heaven, set apart to live as a holy
If that does not light your fire,
think of this: Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest of God, is constantly
praying for you! Jesus is alive forever and he is interceding with God for you! He is not merely praying for the Pope
and Christian leaders; he is praying for you! The Book of Hebrews says that
Christ “is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since
he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 17:25).
If, as James reminds us, the prayer
of a righteous person has great power (5:16), then imagine how much more power
the prayers of Jesus have! Jesus is not only God with us (Emmanuel), he is God
praying for us. Jesus knows everything about you and loves you in spite of your
sins, and he is constantly interceding for you before the throne of God.
The old covenant with the Jews was
replaced by a new covenant. The blood of animals was replaced with the blood of
the Son of God. In the fullness of time Jesus made with his own blood the one
sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. God made Jesus the great
High Priest and his priesthood is “permanent.”
How encouraging – to know that no
matter what Jesus is always there for you! He hears your cries for help and he
presents them to the Father on your behalf. My heart cries Hallelujah!
Andrew Murray wrote brilliantly of
the “great work of intercession.” Intercession, Murray insisted, is the most
important “work” Christians can do. There is remarkable power in intercession.
Jesus is our example. He ever lives to intercede for us; he inspires us to
intercede for one another. Reflect on those persons who have been intercessors
for you. My eyes fill with tears when I recall friends who for years have
called my name in prayer.
The eternal Christ empowers us to
live as priests in our homes. It makes a difference to our children to know
that their parents and grandparents pray for them. We cannot spare our loved
ones the consequences of their behavior but we can plead with God to grant them
help, hope and healing.
When as an intercessor you stand in
the gap between God and hurting people, you are imitating the great work of Jesus who “lives
to make intercession” for you. Give him praise! And think of yourself as “more
than a conqueror” because Jesus is interceding for you. You may not be a
bulldog like Orel Hershiser but you can be pray for others. Christ’s prayers
for you are not wasted. He is continually renewing your hope and replenishing
your strength so that you can complete the work he created you to do.
Be done with negative thinking! Come
boldly to the throne of grace. Your High Priest understands your weaknesses.
Receive his mercy. Embrace his grace. Live and love boldly for the Son of God
is praying for you! + + +