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Carl Joseph

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

Many believers presume intercession and supplication are one and the same, but they aren’t. Join Carl now, as he clearly defines intercession and supplication, identifying them as separate and distinct in scripture. One simple definition, is that supplication is ‘for the saints’ and intercession is ‘for the unsaved.’ Our God delights in mercy, not judgment and it’s up to us, to pray for others who aren’t in a position to pray for themselves. Tune in now, as Carl discusses these two crucial types of prayer and the importance of following the Holy Spirit’s unction…

Here is a complete transcript of the podcast (below)…

I’m going to continue our discussion today along the subject of prayer and the types of prayer available to the believer. Today I’ll specifically address intercession and supplication. Now, Intercession by definition is standing in the gap in prayer for a person or persons, who’ve provoked judgment upon themselves through their wrongdoing, and deserve punishment for doing so. Or to put it plainly, intercession is prayer to hold back judgment. Now, intercession is generally for the unsaved or those without covenant, but in contrast supplication is for believers because God no longer holds Judgment against them, as they’ve been redeemed by the blood of Christ. Another definition of intercession is this, “Pleading with one party on behalf of another, usually with a view to obtaining help for that other.” Now, a believer in Christ is no longer subject to judgment regarding his eternal salvation, so we would be supplicating for him instead of interceding, because Jesus took their judgment on the cross as I have stated. The scripture says that God has not appointed us believers unto wrath and certainly for the Christian, all wrath we rightly deserve has been placed on Jesus, so we are now free from condemnation, praise God. Amen. Now to supplicate by definition, is an earnest prayer from the believer’s heart usually asking for help or mercy in a time of danger or trial, either for themselves or someone else. If you prayed, “Help Me Jesus!!,” you just supplicated. That’s not complicated or difficult understand is it friend? So what does the Bible have to say about supplication? Let’s read 1st Tim 2:1:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”

Notice that in this passage prayers, supplication and intercession are distinct and separate words, if they were all one and the same, there wouldn’t be any need to separate them. And also, Ephesians 6:18:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

Now it’s worth mentioning that the apostle Peter was released from prison through supplication by the saints in Acts 12:8-12 and this is a very good NT example of the saints praying always in the Spirit on behalf of someone else. The scripture says prayer was made without ceasing for Peter and as a result, God sent an angel of the Lord to release him from Prison. Notice this was a time of danger for Peter and the saints supplicated on his behalf to the father in heaven and their prayers were answered. May I remind you, supplication is for the saints (including for yourself), and intercession is for the unsaved, except for the unique case of Jesus who ever intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. A classic example of intercession is Father Abraham who interceded for his nephew Lot and his family in Genesis 18:16-33. For the puritans out there, you could also make the case; this is an example of supplication, because Lot was a believer in God. Friend, I would ask you to take the time to read this chapter for yourself, but Abraham is asking God not to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if there were 50, 30 or even 10 righteous people in the city, you know the story I’m sure. Abraham asked the Lord, “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?It’s fascinating that even today; people want to put the unrighteous and righteous in the same category when it comes to judgment but this is unscriptural. There are at least two instances in the OT where God delivered the righteous first, before he carried out His judgment on the unrighteous. One instance is here, in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, another instance occurred with Noah’s ark, where the righteous were placed in an ark, and separated in safety from the coming judgment upon the earth for the wicked. Other OT examples of intercession are King David praying for his sons, Job praying for his children and Manoah praying for Samson.

There’s a principle in Bible interpretation that’s called the law of first mention (or precedence) i.e., when God mentions something the first time, he sets a precedent and a pattern for future events and does not change His ways. I believe this distinct separation of the righteous and wicked is a precedent that will also hold true for the Rapture of the church. But lets’ save that discussion for another time, shall we? Now going back to our story of intercession, In, verse 20 and 21 of Genesis 18, it mentions that cries came up to God from the people, cries for justice and because God is just, there was a reckoning that had to take place. We see a pattern here in scripture, that the voice of injustice cries unto God the Father for recompense. For example we know that when Cain slew his brother Abel, God said “the voice of your brother’s blood cries unto me from the ground” Gen 4:10. You see sin has a voice friend and shed blood not only terminates that generation but the generations to come that could have been born through that bloodline. Even those who’ve been martyred for Christ also cry out for vengeance. As the scripture says in Revelation 6:10:

“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

Because we live in a sin infested world and man is fallen, there are gross injustices going on all around us. But this does not take away from God’s goodness. That’s not to say each and every one of these grievances have been ignored by God even if it may appear that way for the time being. No, sin provokes God, it provokes Him to justice and in the case of intercession particularly, God is holding back the judgment that’s rightly due to that person and we are pleading on behalf of that person for God to extend his mercy. Some people think the God of the OT is a wrathful God but let’s read, Micah 7:18:

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retains not his anger forever, because he delights in mercy.”

Friend, our God delights in mercy, not judgment. But according to the law, the punishment for sin is judgment, in this life or the next. The purpose of a priest in the OT times was to minister to God on mans behalf, as opposed to a prophet who ministered to the people on behalf of God. Jesus Christ is the ultimate High priest because his blood sacrifice paid the penalty for sin once and for all and he now intercedes for humanity at the right hand of the Father in His priestly role. Therefore, Jesus stood in the gap, between us and God, he is the ultimate mediator, and he’s interposed between two parties at odds with each other. It also says in Heb 5:7; that Jesus offers up supplications for the saints. Friend, we were at odds with God due to our rebellious nature; God was at odds with us because we didn’t meet his perfect standard of righteousness. Jesus was the go between for us; he solved the problem of original sin, once and for all Hallelujah. Just for the record, God does not delight in people receiving judgment, it’s the last thing He wants to do. But because he is a just God, and he will defend the innocent, judgment must come nonetheless. Now, in the Old Testament, particularly before Moses, Jesus had not yet shed his blood, so there was no-one to stand permanently in the gap. It speaks of this in the Book of Ezekiel 22:30:

“And I (the Lord) sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

It also discusses this problem of no intercessor in the earth in the book of Isaiah 59:16:

And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore, his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.”

Before the time of Moses man was at a significant disadvantage in the earth because there was no mediator between man and God. Christ had not yet come in resurrection power and the Bible speaks of this in Rom 5:14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” Even after the Mosaic Law was issued, it was still only a temporary solution for fallen man’s predicament of being at enmity with a Holy God. The annual sacrificial offerings made by the high priest on the Day of Atonement only provided temporary atonement, but not a lasting solution for man’s sin. However, after the resurrection of Christ, Jesus now resides in this intercessory role and it speaks of this in, 1st Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” and also in Hebrews, Hebrews 7:25 “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them (the church ).”So as I have said, to solve the problem of there being no intercessor for mankind, God sent Jesus the mediator and intercessor. So, to recap friend, when we intercede for people it’s usually for those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Most of all people come to me concerned about their lost family members and relatives, and I can understand their concern. They usually say something like, “I’m going to pray that my family is going to get saved, and keep praying until they do“. Now, although this is a noble request no doubt, it’s actually unscriptural. Man was designed to preach the Gospel and the best way to pray for unsaved friends or family members is like this, “Father God, I ask you to send laborers across the path of my family members to preach the Gospel so they might know you. “ From this day forth, remind the Lord of this prayer and continue to thank him over and over for it. Our scriptural basis for praying this way is Matthew 9:36 and Luke 10:2. Let’s read Matthew 9:36:

“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they
fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”

This clearly doesn’t come by default; we need to pray and ask the Father to send laborers across our loved one’s paths. This is true intercession, not just saying, Oh Lord save them. Now when it comes to praying for others, or even for those in danger, God can use you to do that and most of the time I do this is by praying in the Spirit. Once a person has been Spirit filled or Baptized in the Holy Ghost, he is able to intercede through a supernatural language and this aspect of intercession is mentioned in Romans 8:26:

Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

In studying this portion of scripture in the Greek, we learn that there are three literal words which when combined, means, “to take hold together with against”. Therefore, a more literal translation would be that the Spirit “takes hold together with us against our infirmities”. This implies that if we don’t take a stand, The Spirit doesn’t have anything to take hold with us against. That is why prayer is so essential to a successful Christian walk. If we don’t cooperate with the Holy Spirit then we collectively cannot take hold together in manifesting God’s desire for what we are praying for. Friend, I hope this broadcast helped you along the lines of Intercession and supplication which are not always commonly understood. These forms of prayer are separate and distinct and I hope this helped you.

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