The Meaning of Intercession – From Abraham

 Abraham was one of the first great intercessors.  When God told him that He was going to destroy the city of Sodom, Abraham immediately became concerned for his cousin Lot, and for any others who were righteous in the city.

Genesis 18:23-33

And Abraham came near and said, “Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 “Far be it from Thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.” 27 And Abraham answered and said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, wilt Thou destroy the whole city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.” 32 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.”


Notice, in Abraham’s intercession he began by questioning God:  “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? . . . Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

Already we can make two conclusions about what an intercessor is:

1. An intercessor has concern for another. Abraham was concerned for Lot and for any other righteous people in the city.

2. An intercessor is bold. Abraham was willing to face up to God and to tell Him how he felt. Likewise, he was extremely bold to question God and to even suggest that He was going to act unjustly by destroying the city.

Upon further observation, I have found two more things that are true of Abraham’s intercession, and that also must be true of any intercessor:

3. An intercessor is persistent. In his boldness and out of his concern for others, Abraham continued with persistence to intercede for the righteous.  For when God told him that He would spare the city if fifty righteous were found, that was not good enough for Abraham.  “What about forty-five”, he said, “or forty, or thirty, or twenty, or ten.” “Will you destroy the whole city if ten are found there?”  But as it turned out, not even ten righteous were found.  So God delivered Lot and his family, and destroyed the city with all the wicked.  The point we are making here is that Abraham, out of his concern for the righteous, was persistent in his intercession before God. Therefore, we conclude that an intercessor must be persistent.

 4.  An intercessor draws near to God.  Verse 23 tells us that Abraham “came near” the Lord.  I get the picture that he was eye to eye before the Lord, probably griping His shoulders and desperately begging Him to reconsider what He was about to do (No man has seen God, because God is a spirit; therefore, in this case, God [Yahweh] had made himself in the form of a man).  In all of our attempts to intercede for others we must also draw very near to the Lord—as close as we can.  We must look Him in the eye.  We must grab Him.  We must show Him how we feel.  It is required of an intercessor

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7th Grade: A New Life

Stephen Nielsen

As I sped down the hill on my new black Schwinn bicycle, a new assurance gave me an overwhelming joy. I was saved and I had a place reserved for me in heaven. This new assurance had come to me a few months prior, at a church camp, when my camp counselor explained to me from the bible how I could be saved. And then I knelt down beside him in his cabin, and prayed that Jesus would come into my life and take control of my life. Instantly, after my prayer, I received a new peace, that after I die, I would go straight to heaven. From that point on my life was changed, not because of anything external or because of changed circumstances, but because I had a changed heart due to a new life inside of me. I had Jesus in me and He had given me…

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Positive News Tidbits

Stephen Nielsen

On the road, from Minnesota to Texas

I thought it would be good, in these troubled times, to bring a bit of positive news.

  1. From my newspaper I read the good news that because of the bars being closed and far fewer people are drinking and on the roads, there are significantly fewer DWI’s, crashes, and injuries. So, even though the COVID-19 death toll is rising, at the same time the traffic accident death and injury toll is declining.
  2. A retired Venezuelan army general, Cliver Alcala, has surrendered to U.S. That’s great news. Also, I presume that someone just received a 10-million-dollar reward.
  3. Generally, I think people are praying more.
  4. Due to this pandemic, and all the precautions we are supposed to take, there seems to be more positive messages going out, especially among the youth.

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Visiting Grandparents, Part 2

Stephen Nielsen

This is grandpa and grandma Anfinsen celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

My grandparents on my mom’s side were a lot different than my grandparents on my dad’s side. Grandpa was a house painter for the first few years of his work life; and then, when he was about forty, he began working in the Minneapolis Post Office until he retired. I think what people most remember about Him was his dedication to Christian ministry. In his younger years he would travel around and sing gospel songs in a men’s group, and my mom would play the piano. She was only about 16 or 17; of course, I wasn’t born yet, but I heard about it and have seen pictures.

My grandpa was also a fill-in preacher. But I think his biggest mission was what he did with Christian literature. He and a few others would meet regularly and box up…

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A New Prayer Focus: Reopen the U.S. by Easter

Stephen Nielsen

President Trump suggests the high goal of reopening the county on Easter Sunday–April 12th.

woke up extra early this morning and was unable to fall back to sleep. I had on my mind what President Trump was hoping for: that we could reopen the United States by Easter. That after so much suffering and lock-downs and being isolated from the world due to the Coronavirus, that we could, very soon, by Easter reopen our country. Here are three quotes from him that I read in my Newspaper this morning. He said,

I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.

Wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full?

You’ll have packed churches all over our country.

It does seem a little early for that to happen. But President Trump seems confident that it could happen, at least in most of…

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Visiting Grandparents

Stephen Nielsen

This is my grandpa on the left after his successful deer hunt.

Our visits to the grandparents were always fun. My grandparents on my dad’s side were totally into farming. They had a huge farm, located not far from our farm, with many animals, and acres and acres of corn, oats, soybeans and flax. Besides my two uncles that were still living at home, Mike and Lyle, they always had hired help—as many as they needed. And grandpa was always working too. And so was grandma. She was the brains of the outfit—much more than grandpa. She kept the books, made the schedules, and I think even made sure grandpa got up in the morning to milk the cows! And then after the early chores were done, all the workers came in for breakfast, which grandma had all ready for them on the big kitchen table. Breakfast was always a…

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Human Rights: What Rights Do We have?

Stephen Nielsen

There are many cries these days about our rights. Some say that every person has a right to free health care. Some of these same people have been saying for years that every woman has a right over her own body, and that she has a right to choose whether she wants an abortion or not. Well, this is a topic that we all would do well to seek God’s will on—to seek the Scriptures. With some help from an internet source (listed below), I have come up with the following biblical directives.

According to The Bible, What Rights Do We as Humans Have?

1.Since we all are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), we have a certain dignity, and thus, we have a right to be treated with dignity.

2.God has said to us that we should not murder (Gen. 7:6), that we should treat everyone humanely. Thus, all…

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