Title:  The Prayer of Intercession

Summary:  God wants us to earnestly pray for our brethren even when they have
sinned instead of distancing ourselves from them like we so often do.  After all
they are brethren and we are all sinners.

Function:  To motivate hearers to pray for each other, not distance themselves
from each other

Text:  Exod 32-33

Scripture Reading:  John 17:20-26

1.  Prayer for Jeremy - Answered without a doubt
	- That is a prayer of supplication
	- But I wan’t to talk about a particular type - intercession
2.  How do we intercede for one another?
3.  Text:  Exod 32

I.  By remembering God want’s us to intercede (32:7-10) 
	A.  God gives intercessors the opportunity to intercede
		1.  v.10 - God says “let me alone that my anger may burn...”
		2.  Let me alone?  Can Moses stop God?
		3.  Moses can’t force God, but God invites him to intercede
	B.  This is not an isolated case
		1.  In the Old Testament
			a Gen 18:16ff - God invites Abraham to intercede for Sodom
			b Amos 7:1-6 - God invites Amos to intercede
		2  God changes his mind when it for his people
			a.  Changed his mind when Moses prayed
			b.  Changed his mind when Amos prayed
		3.  In the New Testament
			a.  (Jas 5:16) - Confess sins and pray for one another
			b.  (1 John 5:16) - Pray for brother when he sins
				- What is a sin unto death?
				- 2:18ff - Denying Christ?
				- 1:7-10 - Unrepentant, unconfessed sin?
		4.  One thing is clear, we should pray for each other
	C.  ILL:  One of my boys
		1.  I was angry and about to punish one of them
		2.  Another of them said, “Dad, please don’t be too mad at him”
		3.  That immediately softened me
		4.  I wasn’t angry with the intercession
	D.  God is not displeased when we intercede
		- We should remember God invites us to pray for each other
II.  By remembering they are God’s people (32:13-14, ) 
	A.  God refered to them as “this” people
		1.  Moses calls them “your” people
		2.  Moses reminds God again (33:13)
	B.  There are times we need to remind OURSELVES of this
		1.  Like Israel, bellyache, talk behind back, rebel, etc.
			a.  Might cause nothing but grief as they did to Moses
			b.  ILL:  Remember a family growing up that was like this
				- Always complaining about something
				- Hard to remember that they were God’s people
		2.  When pray for a brother, praying for someone God loves dearly
			a.  That’s why the Bible calls us “children’ of God
			b.  (Hos 11:1-9) - God loves his children even when sin
				- Parents rarely give up on their children
				- God even more so - He is God not a man
			c.  God paid great price to save his children
		3.  We need to remember how valuable we are to God
			a.  All humans are made in God’s image
			b.  But all Christians are re-made in God’s image
	C.  ILL:  I used to have a pair of gaudy glasses issued in Basic Training
		1.  How much could I sell them for?  Could I give them away?
		2.  I know of a pair more gaudy, and worth possibly thousands
		3.  Why?  Belonged to Elvis
		4.  Value determined by who belongs to
	D.  Let’s never forget as we pray for each other we are God’s children
		1.  Pray for each other, even when we have sinned
		2.  Dont’ limit selves to just praying for sick

III.  By Indentifying with Them (32:30-31; 34:8-9)
	A.  This is the acid test of a true intercessor
		1.  Moses would stand or fall with his people
		2.  How many of us would do that for people like this?
	B.  Most of the time we are more like Aaron (32:21-24)
		1.  Tried to distance himself from the people, isn’t that like us all?
		2.  He was supposed to be priest, and failed miserably
	C.  But there was a High Priest who who did not fail  - John 17
		1.  Amazing thing - He identified with them
		2.  On the cross he interceded for he persecuters
			a.  Like Moses, he stood with his people
			b.  But he did something Moses could not do
			c.  He procured atonement for sins
		3.  You would think we would not have a problem identifying
			a.  After all, we all have sinned 
			b.  We all were in the same predicament
			c.  But too often we do like Moses did
	D.  Yet Jesus didn’t.  He was sinless, so he didn’t need to identify with us
		1.  The sinless stood in the place of the sinful
		2.  Couldn’t we sinners at least intercede for other sinners?
		3.  Need to be more like Daniel in Daniel 9
			a.  He prayed “we” have sinned to God
			b.  He could have said, “they” have sinned
		4.  We need more intercessors in the church
			a.  An intercessor will not abandon his brethren
			b.  An intercessor will stand with his brethren
			c.  An intercessor will say “we” not “they”

1.  Oh that more people would pray as Daniel, or Moses, or Jesus did
2.  How will you intercede for your brethren?
	a.  God wants us to intercede
	b.  Recognize we intercede for God’s people
	c.  Identify with them

Questions for Small Group Discussion