Prayer, Intercession, and Perseverance

The Christian's Reasonable Service, 4 Volumes Sometimes it’s hard to pray.  Sometimes Christians find themselves in a spiritual funk in which they can barely breathe out a prayer to God.  I’ve had it before where all I could really say was a weak, “Help me, God!”  It’s never fun or easy to go through these times in life; they are not good times!

Thankfully Jesus never stops interceding for us even when we stop calling upon him for a time.  Though we should pray as much as possible, our salvation doesn’t depend upon our works or our prayers – it depends upon Christ’s work and prayers!  In other words, Christ’s intercession goes hand in hand with the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints (e.g. see Lk 22.31-32).  Wilhelmus a Brakel (d. 1711) put it this way (note especially the second paragraph):

“…The intercession of Christ renders much support in prayer. If one considers and believes 1) that every prayer, every sigh, and the lifting up of the soul heavenward for God’s Spirit and grace is a fruit of His intercession, whereby each believer receives the Holy Spirit (John 14:16); 2) that He brings every motion of the soul and the expression of one’s desires before the throne, presents it to His Father, and 3) that all this transpires in His Name, in reference to His merits and by His Spirit; 4) that on the basis of His merits these prayers can rightfully be heard, and furthermore 5) that He makes their desires His own, adding His incense to them, thus making their prayer pleasing to Him — if all this is considered and believed, this will greatly stimulate prayer. It will cause us to pray attentively, fervently, and boldly. It yields confidence that our prayer, however feeble, is pleasing, is received, and will be heard” (numbers added – spl).

“Yes, when we are not able to pray, be it due to a negative spiritual frame, or in the hour of death, and contemplate and believe that the Lord Jesus prays for us even then and remains active as the faithful Intercessor who will not neglect our affairs, but will bring them to a certain conclusion, not resting until He has brought us to Himself — this yields much strength, causing us to surrender ourselves in quiet confidence into His hands. Due to His intercession we will be able to say calmly and confidently, “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me” (Ps 138:8).

W. a Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 1 pages 555-556.

shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)
hammond, wi

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