I appreciate Eugene Peterson’s explanation of Christ’s ongoing intercession for his people (Heb. 7:25). We often say, “I’ll pray for you,” but forget to do so because of all sorts of different circumstances. Jesus, however, never forgets to intercede for his sheep.
“This may be the most thing to know, not how he prayed, although that is important, but that he is at this very moment praying – for us. Jesus is our master in prayer; he is also our companion in prayer. He says to us, ‘I’ll pray for you…’ – and does it. His promise to pray for us is not lost or overlooked in a vast heavenly clutter of petitions and intercessions, confessions and thanksgivings, ascending in a cloud of incense to his altar. it defeats our imagination to understand how this takes place, but we have it on authority that it does.”
“The letter to the Hebrews elaborates this continuously contemporary praying priesthood of the ascended Jesus. The text insist that Jesus did not just pray for us once and leave it at that; instead, ‘he always lives to make intercession’ for us (Heb. 7:25). Jesus prays. He is praying for us right now. He was praying for us yesterday. He will be praying for us tonight as we sleep and tomorrow morning as we wake up. Jesus praying for us is a current event.”
“You don’t think you know how to pray? Yes, there is much to learn; meanwhile Jesus is praying for you. You don’t feel like praying? Relax, feelings come and go; meanwhile Jesus is praying for you. You don’t have time to pray? Jesus doesn’t mind waiting; meanwhile he has plenty of time to pray for you.”
One great aspect of the gospel is that Jesus’ intercession is effectual; those whom he died for are those for whom he also intercedes. Definite atonement is linked to definite intercession. Christ’s people have this dual assurance that they will make it through tough times, trials, temptations, and afflictions, just as Peter made it through his, for example (Lk. 22:32). Remember, Christian, Jesus is praying for you. And he will not stop doing so.
Here’s the book where the above quotes can be found: Eugene Peterson, Tell It Slant, 163-4.