The Christian life by its very nature is dependent on other people. This is especially true when it comes to prayer. Every Christian has three people interceding for them:
Our Lord Jesus finished His work on earth when He ascended to heaven. But He continues His work in heaven by “interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).
According to Paul, the Spirit “intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27). The question may be asked: how is the intercession of Jesus and the Holy Spirit different? There are two primary differences.
First, the difference is what they intercede. Jesus’ prayers are geared toward our perseverance and salvation. Hebrews tells us that Jesus “is able to save forever . . . since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). The Spirit’s prayers are geared toward our help and aide. “The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).
Second, the difference is where they intercede. Jesus intercedes from “the right hand of God” (Romans 8:34). The Holy Spirit intercedes from within our hearts (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19).
To summarize the differences in a concise way, we might put it like this: Jesus intercedes for us; the Spirit intercedes within us.
If Jesus intercedes for us and the Spirit intercedes within us, other Christians intercede with us. James tells us to “confess our sins to one another and pray for one another” (James 5:16).
If you are a Christian, you have three powerful people interceding for you: Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Christians. What an encouragement! We are not alone. Praise God for their powerful intercession for us.
For more on intercession of others, listen to the recent sermon on prayer from 1 Timothy 2:1-7 here.
For more on the intercession of the Holy Spirit, listen to the sermon here.