When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him. Mark 5:21-24
This week we read of Abraham’s intercession for the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He is our example of pleading with God for the souls of those around us. Although we overcome no reluctance in God, God has designed spiritual reality to respond to intercession.
Before meeting a vengeful Esau, Jacob too realized this truth. , He wrestled with God on the night he feared might be his last. Rather than rebuke his lack of faith, God blesses him and changes his name. God responds to intercession. Perhaps this is who Paul is thinking of when he reports that Epaphras is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. (Colossians 4:12)
With those three men as our backdrop, we can have a new view of a father’s intercession. Mark 5 records the intercession of a worried father, Jarius.
Notice several characteristics that are worthy of imitation by fathers, mothers and all those who care about others.
First, he believed Jesus could heal his daughter. Rather than resigning himself to the fate of a dying daughter, he actively sought out Jesus. Perhaps he had heard of Jesus’ healing ministry. He was active not passive. How many times do we come up with all the objections that allow us to be lazy? How many times do we passively receive the circumstances that come our way, rather than actively believing Jesus. While it seem spiritual to accept whatever the Lord sends us (and we should ), how many times is that acquiesence a cover for passivity.
Second, he pleaded with Jesus. Here is true intercession is modeled. A man of some means and a synagogue ruler, Jarius threw dignity to the wind. He fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him. There is the definition of true intercession – Falling at Jesus’ feet and earnestly pleading. So much of our prayer is half-hearted mumblings to the Lord. True intercession is heart-felt pleadings.
Have you ever thrown yourself at someone’s feet? I have not. And yet if my daughters life was on the line and I thought the person could do something about it, I would do anything. I would throw myself at his feet, beg, plead – anything to receive what I wanted.
As fathers, parents and intercessors, are we willing to lay prostrate before Jesus, crying out for the spiritual health of our children? Will we fall at his feet physically to cry out for our children? Will we plead with Jesus, believing he is good and yet somehow knowing that intercessory pleading is powerful.
Jesus listened to that pleading and responded. As fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, concerned believers let us lay hold of Jesus’ feet. May we not let go of his feet until he comes and heals the people that we love.
Dads will you take some time this week to intercede for your children?