If you have ever had the experience of an earthquake, you know they can be quite frightening. They come on quickly, making you think you’re imaging things moving before you have time to react realize you’re not, and then you pray.
Science thoroughly and competently explains what an earthquake is. It is the shifting of two (or more) plates under the surface of the earth due to a building of pressure along a fault line. They can be so mild only sensors pick them up. They can be so large that whole cities can be destroyed. People often think of California when earthquakes are mentioned. Some New York, due to the creativity of the film industry. Few realize that some of the worst earthquakes and largest fault lines actually run through or near the Midwest, the bread basket of America.
In Numbers we see jealous, power hungry, frustrated people acting up (again) and God gets very ticked off and announces to Aaron and Moses to stand back because He’s had it and plans on killing them all.
Instead of stepping aside and ‘letting’ God do what He now planned on doing, Moses & Aaron bowed down and prayed (interceded) for the disrespectful, rebellious, sinful Hebrews. In response to their intercession, God grants a reprieve and tells Moses to tell the people to separate from the sinners and only those will He destroy. Moses tells them:
How frightening it must have been to see God’s anger caused by their behavior; and yet, they still didn’t get it. They questioned the authority again, and again Aaron & Moses bowed down and prayed (interceded) on behalf of the Hebrews. And again, God allows their intercessory prayer to be answered. This constant listening and responding to intercessory prayer shows us again that,
God says to come to him in prayer in ALL things. He wants us to be aware of what’s going on around us. To lift up the souls who do not know him or refuse to meet Him. To lift up the sick, hurt, healing, lost, scared, hungry, homeless, weak, orphaned or jailed. We can pray, and should, that God will bless them with what they need to heal and to find Him. He expects us to raise up those that can’t or won’t do it for themselves.
God does not tell us though that we can intercede for those that have gone on before us. Some ‘churches’ say you can pray for a wayward family member to be accepted into heaven, even though they died without the belief in Jesus Christ. Some say only the male head of a house can get to heaven and for the women in the community to get there, their male head of the house must get there; and when that male is weak and fails to get to heaven, the family can earn his way there through their prayers. Our God has made it clear. He listens to and considers the intercessory prayers of believers on the behalf of the living. The condition of their hearts can be changed. We cannot pray for those who have gone on before. If we were looking at a topical study, we would see that type of prayer is entering into a dark world we’re not to journey.