We have been seeking God for Nation Transformation for quite sometime now. Intercession is where you start with. God is looking for one man to stand in the gap for the lost and the perishing. Throughout the Bible we always see that God has a remnant, one man standing and crying out to God. We see Moses talking to God for the people of Israel. We see Abraham bargaining with God for the city of Sodom and Gomorrah!
When there is a cry for souls, the Bible assures us that our God hears and answers us. When we sow in tears, we will reap in joy. Tears in the presence of the Lord God Almighty will become seeds that have the potential to produce a great harvest.
Let us look at three saints of God who wept, mourned and interceeded for the Nation and her leaders and how God changed the political climate.
God chose Jeremiah even before He was conceived in His mother’s womb. Jeremiah’s prayer was so profound. He said, “Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.” (Jer.9:1). The call on his life was to be a prophet. It means to cry, to intercede for the people. He chose to cry day and night. James 5:10 says, “ …the prophets as an example of suffering and patience.” Look at the way he cried. He says, “My eyes overflow with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people, My eyes flow and do not cease without interruption.” (Lam. 3:48,49) “Let my eyes flow with tears night and day, and let them not cease” (Jer. 9:1, 14: 17). He mourns with great agony, “My eyes fail with tears… because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.” (Lam. 2:11).
Jeremiah remembered what happened to the king of the nation. One day, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon came against Zedekiah with a big army. Being afraid of him, Zedekiah did not open the doors of the fort. Yet, Zedekiah was caught by Nebuchadnezzar. When Nebuchadnezzar killed his lords and his own sons in front of him, Zedekiah must have wept on seeing that brutal scene. Further, when Nebuchadnezzar ordered that his eyes should be blinded with the red hot iron, how much Zedekiah would have cried bitterly, unable to bear the pain! “The king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. And he killed all the princes of Judah. He also put out the eyes of Zedekiah and the king of Babylon bound him in bronze fetters, took him to Babylon and put him in prison till the day of his death.” (Jer. 52: 10, 11)
On hearing the painful cry of Zedekiah and the wailing of his lords and sons, Jeremiah would have been traumatized. The cry of the people would have been ringing in his ears. He would have lamented, “I’m not able to forget that woeful cry.”
Look at Jeremiah’s future. When Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon captured the nation, he commanded the captain of the guard to take Jeremiah and do him no harm; but do him just as he says to you (Jer. 39: 11, 12). And therefore, Jeremiah dwelt among his people. What an honour! Once, he cried unto God for his people day and night. God, in His own time honoured him.
2. Esther, the Queen
Ahasuerus, the king of Babylon, was ruling his country well. But, he had a wicked counselor, Haman. He told the king that the Jews were a threat to his monarchy and advised the king that they should be destroyed. The king also complied to his wish without any enquiry. Hearing this sad news, there was a great lamentation in the midst of the Jews in Babylon. There was one, Mordecai, who was among the captives who were brought to Babylon from Jerusalem and he was greatly troubled. He came to the palace shouting and wailing. “Mordeacai tore his clothes and put on sack clothes and ashes and went out into the midst of the city he cried out with a loud and bitterly cry. (Esther 4:1, 2)
Look at what Esther did on hearing this: Esther was a Jewish orphan, a virtual nonentity, heard this weeping and wailing. Esther was grieved. (Esther 4: 4) She said, “My maids and I will fast likewise and so I will go to the king, which is against the law and if I perish, I perish”(Esther 4:16). Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet and implored him with tears. (Esther 8:3) The king’s heart softened. In the very day it was decreed that the Jews should be killed, the same day “there was light, gladness, joy and honour.” (Esther 8: 17) as the decree was revoked.
Look at Mordecai’s future! “…Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for the man Mordecai became increasingly prominent. (Esth.9:4). “…Mordecai the Jew was second to king Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and seeking peace to all his kindred”(Esther 10: 3). What a blessed life! He was raised to the second position, next only to the king, in the very palace where he was standing out and lamenting and wailing for his people. .
“They said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and the wall of Jerusalem is also broken down and its gates are burned with fire. When I heard these words, I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days. I was fasting and praying before the God of Heaven.” (Neh. 1: 3, 4)
Nehemiah also, like Jeremiah and Mordecai, was caught in captivity in the difficult days. Yet, he became the cup bearer for the king. (Neh. 1; 11) He became a trusted official of the king. Only if he gave the king the drink by his own hands, the king would drink. He was so close to the king. Yet, when he heard that the people in his country were suffering reproach and distress, he fasted and prayed day and night. (Neh. 1: 6) Till then he had never been sad in the king’s presence. (Neh. 2: 1). But, seeing his face being very sad, the King said, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.” Nehemiah trembling, looked unto the king and said, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my father’s tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire.” (Neh. 2: 3) Then the king sent an army with him and said, “Do whatever you want to do to your people”(Vs. 9).
What happened to Nehemiah? Nehmiah pleaded with God, “Remember me, my God, for good,according to all that I have done for this people” (Neh. 5:19). His prayer was, “If you remember, that is enough”. God has made his name remain forever, to be remembered in history for generations. Nehemiah was appointed governor in the land of Judah (Neh 5:14)
My dearly beloved! It is by our intercessory prayers that the future of our nation is being determined and the people of our nation are being blessed. We may be ordinary in the eyes of the world. But, we are the people who determine our nation’s leaders and bring blessings upon our nation. So let us pray with fasting, He will honour us as well.