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The Concept of Intercession

What is Intercession?‎

The formal definition of intercession is a “supplication to God in behalf of another ‎person. Christ intercedes before God the Fr. on behalf of the repentant sinner, and ‎God’s people intercede for one another.”‎

We ask the intercessions of Saint Mary, the Angels, and Archangels. We ask the ‎disciples, apostles, martyrs, fathers, and saints to pray on our behalf.‎

Not only do we intercede to the saints are in heaven, but also to one another here on ‎earth.‎

A special type of intercession, redemptive intercession, was the act of Our Lord Jesus ‎Christ on the cross. Christ is the only mediator between God, the Fr., and man in ‎salvation. There is no other savior or redeemer.‎

Where is Intercession in the Bible? Examples from the Old and New Testaments‎

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken ‎against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that he take away the serpents from ‎us.” So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery ‎serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at ‎it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a ‎serpent had bitten anyone, when looked at the bronze serpent, he lived (Numbers 21:7-9).‎

Continue earnestly in prayer being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying ‎for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for ‎which I am also in chants, that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak (Colossians ‎‎4:2-4).‎

‎ Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should ‎pray for as we ought, but the Spirit, Himself makes intercession for us with groanings ‎which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26).‎

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the ‎church…Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, a light shone in prison; and he ‎struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell ‎off his hands. (Acts 12:5,7).‎

And again he entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He [Jesus] was ‎in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to ‎receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to the,. Then they came ‎to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not ‎come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when ‎they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When ‎Jesus saw their faith, He said to paralytic, “Son, you sins are forgiven you” (Mark 2:1-5).‎

Why do we have intercession? Why is it important?‎

We may encounter this argument: “Why do I need intercession? I can just pray to God ‎directly.” Of course there is no doubt that you could, but let us give an example. Have ‎you ever asked your priest, for instance, to pray for you so that God might help you at ‎school, or because a family member is ill, for instance? Sure, we probably all have. So, ‎if we ask someone on earth to pray on our behalf, how much more can we ask of the ‎saints and angels, who are in communion with God in heaven. ‎

‎”If we believe in the value of praying for one another, then we should believe in the value ‎of intercessions. Not to believe in the intercessions of the saints is either to deny that ‎these saints are alive or to deny that they are capable of praying. Both of these are ‎obviously wrong assumptions as clear from the scripture above. Therefore, denying the ‎value of intercessions is to reject the scriptures” (William Hanna Intercessions at ‎‎

The Orthodox Church firmly believes in the power of prayer and intercessions. It is an ‎integral part of our worship and rule of prayer. It is through the prayers of these saints ‎that we continue to ask for God’s guidance and help, and to grant us salvation.‎

May the Prayers of the all the Saint be with us all.‎


Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

April 9, 2009