Monday, February 8, 2016

The Hedge and the Hedgehog

UV 1669/10000 The Hedge and the Hedgehog
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none
Ezekiel 22 v 30

The Spirit of God is a spirit of intercession. The Lord looks for intercessors for people. He is actively searching far and wide for such watchmen, spiritual guards of their homes, cities and lands. The intercessor’s role is to stand in the gap between the people and God, to plead that His mercy and grace fill the gap. They act as a hedge around homes, cities, states and nations. They are a hedge of protection to prevent the Lord’s wrath being released upon the land. Abraham interceded for Sodom and pleaded that even if there are ten righteous people in the city, the Lord should not destroy it. Abraham almost negotiated with the Lord and brought down the threshold of the Lord’s patience to a minimum of ten righteous people in a city for it to be saved. Intercession is a kind of reverential negotiation with the Lord. Moses interceded often for the people of Israel and prevented them from being punished for their frequent rebellion and faithlessness despite having seen and experienced the great salvation of the Lord from the bondage of Egypt. Samuel, the prophet and priest interceded for the nation of Israel. The Holy Spirit and Jesus intercedes with the Father for His children. Each age and each nation has its intercessors. The miracles that we see in every day life are often the answer to someone’s prayers. I recently prayed for the United Nations and the opening of the eyes of everyone starting from the Secretary General downward. I was surprised a little later to see the testimony on youtube of a man of God from the US who suffered a cardiac arrest in Australia, died and was resurrected by Dr Jesus. He shared this amazing story in front of the Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and other delegates of most nations in the General Assembly and stated that Jesus is the answer for the world’s ills. Who knows but the Lord that the opportunity he got to share that testimony in the UN came because of an intercessory prayer of someone in faraway Chennai. On another occasion, I heard the innocent prayer of our younger daughter for safety for those who travelled on airplanes. Some months later, I was amazed by the miraculous safe landing of an aircraft in distress on the Hudson river in New York. I repeat, the miracles we experience are the answers to someone’s prayers.

We need to form a hedge around our families, our children, our co-workers, our cities, states and nations. The Lord loves to see us as burdened with compassion to others as He is with us. It is in this spirit that I in my half hour daily prayer walk pray for the city, the nation, the police, the army, the leaders of the world and of the church, the persecuted across many nations, the travellers, the children, the youth, aged, the workers, farmers, the poor, the victims of trafficking, for Israel and the salvation of the people of the house of Jacob that they recognize that Jesus is the Messiah they are still expecting.
The hedgehog is a creature who when attacked by any fox or other creature just rolls into a ball with only hard spines visible all round. It remains that way till the threat is passed. Similarly, we need to roll into a ball or go into a time of prayer whenever we sense a threat to others or us. The hedgehog does it only for itself in order to survive. But we need to roll into a ball on our knees to place a hedge around the lives and souls of countless numbers of people who need our prayer every day in a perilous world affected by perversion, false doctrine, temptations of wealth and power, violence, terrorism, exploitation and oppression. We are to be both the hedge and the hedgehog. In order to be a hedge or a hedgehog, we need to be not only tough skinned but we need to have tough spines. We cannot be namby-pamby. We cannot be fearful, indecisive or weak. We cannot be over sensitive and react in the flesh to words or happenings in our lives. We cannot be conscious of only our own needs and comfort but be moved by the conditions and needs of others. Prayer is not the first resort of the weak minded or weak willed. It is the consistent resort of the resilient. When the going gets tough, the tough get praying. Our prayers, our faith and trust in the promises of the covenant, both old and new, make us the impenetrable perimeter of protection and safety for many people, the channel of blessing and healing for the nations and for generations, present and to come.

Prateep V Philip

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