“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30
My stomach still gets queasy when I consider of it. Honestly, I’m moved to tears when I think back.
On September 1st, 2004 a group of Chechen rebels took over a Beslan school in Russia. It was the first day of school and many parents and relatives were there to celebrate the “First Bell”.
The Islamic militants held children, parents and teachers captive for 52 hours while Russian troops were outside. It ended in a conflagration of explosions and shooting.
Of 1,100 hostages 334 people were killed, including 186 children. 700 were wounded. 31 of the 32 attackers also died.
I prayed strongly for the deliverance of those hostages while the siege was going on. I grieved for the brutality and the loss of those precious lives.
During the siege I began to conceive of a whole new type of Christian Intercessor. I thought:
What if at the first note of the siege Christians around the world were rallied?
What if 1000 intercessors from 30 nations immediately boarded planes and flew to Russia to be on-location intercessors?
What if they took intercession to an altogether different level by standing between the school with its hostages, and the Russian soldiers?
I’ve been brewing the concept of a rapid deployment intercessory force for the past 16 years. Some would say:
That’s so unrealistic
It meddles with other nation’s internal affairs
It puts mobilized intercessors in mortal danger
It would be logistically too difficult
Who would be responsible if some of the intercessors never came home?
Yes, it would take a different breed of Christian to participate in such an intercession.
They would have to value others more highly than themselves. They would have to give up the luxuries of their own safety or comfort. They would have to put their lives on the line.
We pay soldiers, police and firemen to do dangerous things. There would be no pay for such intercessors, rather the expense of a plane ticket or all-night drive. Perhaps such people could not be found.
I’ve been gratified to learn of Saints from our congregation as well as others going to Capitol Hill in Seattle where there have been legitimate protests tainted by rioting. They have interceded and shown their light among sheep without a shepherd! It is a true blessing to see Saints in action, engaging for the sake of Christ and for those He loves!
Metro Seattle has a population of 4 million. What if 10% of them were Christians. What if 1% of the Christian’s really wanted to intercede for the welfare of their city, were willing to take up a different type of cross, and do it on location. Image four thousand Christians lifting their burning lamps, praying up a storm and sharing the earthshaking love of Christ in that setting!
I wonder what tragedies could be averted by embodied intercessors who would stand in the gap.
It’s been said, “Soldiers may run from the battle, but warriors run to it.” What do you think? Can we be intercessors – not just in our prayer closets but on the front line, person to person, incarnating ourselves in the culture?
Steven C Johnson