“Morning sex on Sunday is better than church.” Bill Maher said that.
Okay, I have three things to say in response to Maher.
One, I don’t disagree with him.
Two, but I see sex and church as two distinctly different things. We’re not comparing contacts with reading glasses here.
Three, I don’t see the two as being mutually exclusive, as in, you need to choose—which will it be, morning sex or church?
Having said that, I want to start with Maher’s statement, which I’ve done, and end with the significance of intercessory prayer.
No, I’m not.
So you started with a gratuitous sexual reference just to get our attention?
Not exactly. It actually has something to do with where I’m going.
Yeah, I bet it does.
Maher’s statement reflects an attitude that people have about spiritual matters in general and that I have with intercessory prayer in particular.
Yeah, right. You’re just making that up.
Stick with me on this one. Then decide.
Here’s what I’m thinking.
Worship, prayer, Bible study, devotions are all things that people approach with a sense of duty. You’ve got to do this stuff whether you like it or not. It’s like eating your vegetables. They may not taste good but they’re healthy for you. At least, that’s the word on the street (and from the pulpit).
Some of those spiritual disciplines appeal to me …
And some of them don’t.
I specifically struggle with intercessory prayer, placing the needs of others before God in prayer. Those who know me well would tell you my mercy-and-compassion gene is pretty miniscule. Someone gets hurt on the basketball court and I grab the ball to wait for the floor to clear. I’m not making this stuff up (I only wish I were).
So recently, before hearing Maher’s statement, I was reflecting on Jesus, where he is, and what he’s doing right now in Heaven.
Where He is. Jesus is “at the right hand of God …” (Romans 8:34b NIV). I would say that’s pretty darn close to God the Father. Close enough that Jesus wouldn’t have to shout. So what’s he doing in Heaven “at the right hand of God …”?
What He’s doing. Jesus is “interceding for us …” (Romans 8:34c NIV).
Maher finds sex pleasurable (and so do I for that matter) and church a pain. For me, it’s not church but intercession. It goes against my less-than-compassionate nature.
Yet Jesus through whom all pleasure, sexual or otherwise, entered the world finds pleasure in speaking to the Father on our behalf.
Think about this for a moment—the options open to Jesus.
He could …
… surf in Maui …
… lunch in Paris …
… ski the Alps …
… dive the Caribbean …
… hike the Appalachian trail …
… dance across the Milky Way …
… and so much more than you or I could imagine.
Yet He “is at the right hand of God interceding for us.”
I would even venture to say that intercessory prayer for Him isn’t a burdensome duty but a pleasure.
If Jesus finds intercession both necessary and pleasurable, perhaps I need to spend more time on my knees carrying the needs of others to God in prayer.
I’m curious. Do you agree with my line of thinking? I’m also curious about something else. How can we intercede on one another’s behalf? I’ll think about that last question and get back to you in the comments section.
Kisses from Katie blog (God at work in Africa through a young woman’s life; I encourage you to watch the video as well)
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