“What comfort do we get from Christ’s ascension to the right hand of God?” Martin Luther asks in the Second Article in his Small Catechism. It’s a question worth exploring, don’t you think? I mean, all of us could use some comfort now and then.
Actually, with Jesus’ ascension, we receive these two amazing promises: “Christ is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Rom. 8:34) and “If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1). Now that’s comforting!
In one of our School of Ministry sessions this past year, Pastor Joe Johnson asked the students to think about what Jesus might be asking the Father for each of us at that present moment. It was deeply thought-provoking. To make intercession for someone is to plead in prayer on behalf of another. Jesus is doing that for us right now. Wow!
I often find myself thinking of someone out of the blue, and I’ve come to take it as a sign from the Holy Spirit that I need to pray for that person. I may or may not know something they are going through; some struggle, trial or test. Sometimes thinking of them just brings me great joy, and I shoot an arrow prayer for God’s blessing and favor. But, no matter who it is, I know the Holy Spirit knows their need since he prompted me to pray. I like being connected like that, you know? And truth-be-told I’ve heard some amazing stories of people praying for others at just the exact moment intercessory prayer was most needed to avert a crisis. Wow!
So, what might Jesus be pleading for you right now? Have you verbalized your request to the Father yourself? I’ve found that there’s nothing quite so releasing as telling the Lord exactly what I’m wanting and feeling. I may not always get what I’m asking for, but I seldom come away feeling neglected, misunderstood or shut out. The psalmist said, “…he who watches over you will not slumber,” (Ps. 121:3) and I take that literally. Experience has shown me that, unlike the rest of us, the God of the universe doesn’t need naps!