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 http://pharos.bu.edu/cn/lessons/intercessions.txt).
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.
GLORY BE TO GOD FOREVER. AMEN.