Recently in a time of prayer and worship I started to think, “I’m making all these requests of God, but am I praying what He is praying right now? I wonder what Jesus is praying right now?”
Think about it, how many of us bombard heaven praying the promises of God, which we should, but we never stop to ask Jesus, “What is on your mind right now? Which of your promises should I be praying? What are your wanting to do today?”
As I begin to meditate on this concept, I began to think about Hebrews 7:25 which says:
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
This verse says Jesus lives to make intercession for us. The word intercede means to converse with or plead on the behalf of. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and is continually pleading for each of us individually and for the entire human race collectively. The context of this verse in Hebrews 7 is a comparison of the old covenant law of Moses and the new covenant of grace. The writer of Hebrews reveals legalism was never able to produce the results God wanted by permanently cleansing humanity of sin so we can be in right standing with God. This is why God sent Jesus. Jesus is the high priest of the new covenant that makes us the righteousness of God.
I wanted to give some context to this verse to help you understand what Jesus is pleading for each and every one of us right now. He’s pleading we receive the mercy of God. He’s not pleading God extends mercy. God did that at the cross. He’s pleading we put faith in God’s mercy and that we receive it!
So far what I’m saying has been pretty easy to comprehend and not too demanding on each of us. Here’s where it gets tough:
Jesus is pleading the mercy of God over the person or group of people you don’t really like and would like to see judged. Ouch!
Look at Romans 5:10:
10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Jesus died for us when we were His enemies, not when we were His friends. He extended grace to the people who put Him to death. He healed the ear of a Roman soldier sent to arrest Him. What does this mean? Jesus thinks entirely different than much of the body of Christ. We see an enemy and we want to withdraw or harm and Jesus sees an enemy and He wants to heal and restore. We are playing checkers, while He is playing chess. His ways are at an entirely next level.
All this became personal to me in the last couple of weeks while I’ve watched the news from Afghanistan. It breaks my heart to hear how the Taliban has overthrown the government, is holding Americans hostage, killed our soldiers, and killed innocent Afghan Christians. I’m angry! It’s not right! And as I thought about how they should be nuked off the planet, the Holy Spirit reminded me that these are the same people that Jesus is praying for right now.
This is not to say that there shouldn’t be consequences for the actions of the Taliban. They should be held responsible for what they have done wrong and justice must come, however, justice must come with a heart of grace and reconciliation. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have all the political answers or how this works out practically, but I do believe that Christians should be praying that God sends laborers across the paths of the Taliban.
The best practical example I can think of what our strategy should look like is when my spiritual father, Andrew Wommack, fought in the Vietnam War. Prior to the war, He had an encounter with God where He experienced the unconditional love of God is such a way it revolutionized his life. He says that when he fought in the war, he prayed for the salvation of Viet Cong while having his gun pointed at them. He was ready to pull the trigger if needed, but his heart was that they would yield to Jesus and repent.
We need to pray God draw the Taliban to Jesus just like He drew us to Jesus. This is the same thing He did for the Apostle Paul. Paul was killing Christians and Jesus saved him because Jesus loved him. Jesus was interceding for Paul when He was at his worst because Jesus loves and pursues His enemies. I believe Jesus is in heaven right now interceding for many of the folks we would classify as enemies right now.
I was encouraged to find out some friends of mine who are very involved in politics began to pray this way about the situation. They were frustrated and angry just like I was and the Lord showed them to pray for the salvation of the Taliban. To me this was a conformation of what the spirit of God is saying right now.
As I close, I want you to think about what the world would be like if our worst enemies got saved? What if the people who hate us had radical encounters with Jesus and sold out to Him? I know this is tough to read and even tough to write because natural human reasoning wants vengeance when we are done wrong. We aren’t wrong for wanting vengeance, but we are wrong to take it into our own hands as Jesus is wanting to extend grace to those who are against us the same way He showed grace to us when we were His enemies. This is how His kingdom comes and His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven!
If you’d like to learn more about how to love your enemy, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church.