Intercede. Kind of seems silly in a book with the title Never Pray Again. Isn’t intercession what this whole book is about? Short answer: yes.
The long answer is yes, but… what motivates us to intercede? Do we intercede out of privilege or power? Do we intercede out of our weakness or remembrance of our weakness? Because we need to remember that “we were once slaves in Egypt”, in other words, do we intercede because someone once stood up for us?
I stayed away from the default human being and the super hero mentality for this, but still feel that I hit at the heart at what the boys were getting at.
I chose the story of Esther for this worship service. I believe, as you can hear from the sermon that Esther is one of the greatest stories of human intercession in scripture. It is relational, as the boys talk about in the book is the root of suffering, but it is also risk. I disagree however, that Esther was not in a position of power. She had the ear of the king; she had his trust (after the assignation attempt) that does not mean there was not risk. There was major risk.
This is what this sermon is about. Intercession is about vulnerability. To put oneself in a position of advocacy is risky. Put your body in-between the weak and the powerful is risky- to risk is to make ourselves vulnerable. It is through intercession that our strength, our power, our giving give voice to the voiceless that we become vulnerable in our power, in our strength.
But vulnerability begets vulnerability. Esther made herself vulnerable to the king on behalf of her people who were vulnerable. This is the biggest hurtle to get over and what stops us from interceding.
We used another Work of the People video in worship this week. It could be used as a benediction, but we used it as a call to worship.