In Ezekiel 22:30, there is the Lord’s cry, “I looked for someone to defend [stand in the gap for] the city and to protect it from my anger, as well as to stop me from destroying it. But I found no one” (Contemporary English Bible).
1. THE ATTITUDE OF AUTHORITY
Moses was one who “stood in the gap” and defended the People of Israel. In Exodus, chapter nine, following the plague of thunder and hail, Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. He feigned repentance, but Moses realised his true heart and with strength and authority, requested God for deliverance. Moses did so to show Pharaoh that the earth is still the Lord’s, in spite of Pharaoh’s hardened heart.
As we intercede for Chinnor and the Chilterns, we are to pray with authority, always for the glory of God and the proclamation that the earth is God’s. It must be, “Your kingdom come on earth (here in Chinnor) as it is in heaven.” Intercession is never a beggar’s act, but an establishing of God’s rule and authority.
2. THE ATTITUDE OF SUBSTITUTION
Exodus 32:30-35 records the moment when the Children of Israel had heard God’s Law and had seen Moses climb the Mount to put the Law into writing from the finger of God. While he was gone, they became restless and turned to idolatry, worshiping a golden calf. Moses returned and was overwhelmed by their sin, breaking the tablets of stone. He interceded on their behalf, asking that God “forgive their sin, but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written” (verse 32).
In Romans 9:3, Paul expresses the attitude of substitution when he writes, “For I could wish myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers…” Can we comprehend the significance of his heart?
3. THE ATTITUDE OF PATIENCE
In Numbers Chapter 14, the spies had been dispatched to Canaan and they returned with their report. Only two of the twelve (Joshua and Caleb) wanted to enter the Promised Land. The people began to complain and God’s justice demanded destruction. Moses stood in the gap and calmly appeals to the Lord for forgiveness.
Likewise, not always is our intercession rewarded with immediate results.
But Hebrews 10:35-36, remind us, that we need patience after we have done God’s will, that we might receive the promise.
So then, let us continue to pray with authority, a heart of substitution and with patience. It will give our community A FRESH START.