Intro: Throughout the scriptures we see what is known as “Intercessory Prayer”. Intercession is the practice of coming into the presence of God on behalf of others.
Moses intercedes on behalf of Israel when they worshiped the golden calf;
31 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! 32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”
Moses intercedes on behalf of Miriam who God cursed with leprosy;
13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “Please heal her, O God, I pray!”
David interceded for the life of the sick child of Bathsheba;
16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.
Jesus interceded for His disciples and us before He was crucified;
9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Intercessory prayer is every believers responsibility. Not just for individuals but also for the country. Tonight I want us to look at Amos’ Intercessory Prayer for the nation of Israel and make application as we pray for America.
Text: Amos 7:1-6
1 Thus the Lord God showed me: Behold, He formed locust swarms at the beginning of the late crop; indeed it was the late crop after the king’s mowings. 2 And so it was, when they had finished eating the grass of the land, that I said: “O Lord God, forgive, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, For he is small!” 3 So the Lord relented concerning this. “It shall not be,” said the Lord. 4 Thus the Lord God showed me: Behold, the Lord God called for conflict by fire, and it consumed the great deep and devoured the territory. 5 Then I said: “O Lord God, cease, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, For he is small!” 6 So the Lord relented concerning this. “This also shall not be,” said the Lord God.
God has shown Amos two visions of calamity that He has planned for the nation of Israel. In either case it is such a devastating situation that the nation would not survive and the suffering would be so terrible that Amos interceded for the nation.
1. Vision of Locusts; 1-3
1. Vision of Locusts; 1-3
Locusts are certain species of short-horned grasshoppers. As the locusts mature, they grow wings and take to the air. Giant swarms of locusts can number in the billions. They devour entire farms in hours, wiping out people's livelihoods, and causing mass starvation and misery.
Late Crop- There were two crops that could be harvested from the land in that day. The early harvest or first crop was turned over to the king as payment for taxes to support the government and the military [ref. 1 Kings 4:7]
The second crop was for the people themselves. If the locusts came after the kings mowing, the people and their livestock would perish.
The following verses detail the extent of a locust swarm in Joel’s time, 75 years earlier;
Loss of grapes for making wine: “The sweet wine . . . is cut off from your mouth” (Joel 1:5).
Destruction of figs: “It has laid waste my vine and splintered my fig tree” (Joel 1:7).
No grain or wine for offerings at the temple: “The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off from the house of the LORD” (Joel 1:9).
Destruction of grain, which would result in no bread: “The fields are destroyed, the ground mourns, because the grain is destroyed” (Joel 1:10)
Destruction of wheat and barley: “The wheat and the barley . . . has perished” (Joel 1:11).
Loss of the fruit from trees: “Pomegranate, palm, and apple, all the trees of the field are dried up” (Joel 1:12).
Loss of olives: “The oil languishes” (Joel 1:13).
No food for the livestock (Joel 1:18).
Amos was overwhelmed with fear for the people and interceded for God’s forgiveness because they were “small.”
Small- they were helpless. If the kings and rich of Israel took advantage of the common man in good times, what do you think will happen to the poor in bad times. They would perish!
The rulers and the rich in this country don’t care about the poor, homeless or the common people. If they did, they would help us instead of using us for their political power and private gain!
 Amos’ intercession for the people was heard by God and He withheld His judgment for a period of time to give the people an opportunity to repent.
9 “For My name’s sake I will defer My anger, And for My praise I will restrain it from you, So that I do not cut you off.
2. Vision of Fire; 4-6
2. Vision of Fire; 4-6
Conflict by Fire- severe drought
Drought- a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water.
Great deep- water supply
The drought would be so severe that it scorched the earth and dried up all the water supply from springs, streams, rivers, wells and cisterns. Without a water supply, vegetation, animals and people would suffer and die of thirst and starvation.
In the Book of 1 Kings 17, we see God calls for a period of 3 1/2 years without rain through the prophet Elijah because of the wickedness of king Ahab.
5 And Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go into the land to all the springs of water and to all the brooks; perhaps we may find grass to keep the horses and mules alive, so that we will not have to kill any livestock.”
Ahab was not concerned about the people but about his livestock. He put the welfare of his animals above that of his people!
Today in America we have more politicians and people concerned with PETA and animal rights than we do people who are concerned about abortion! [61% of all Americans support abortion rights, Pew Research 2022]
Amos again interceded on behalf of the nation and asked God to cease the drought for Israel would not survive the ordeal. God again relented His judgement to give the nation opportunity to repent!
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
3. Our Intercessory Prayers; 1 Tim. 2:1-4
3. Our Intercessory Prayers; 1 Tim. 2:1-4
Paul encourages christians to pray for all men starting with rulers and those in authority that the people of the community and the country can live in peace, with godliness and dignity.
Intercessory prayer means that we pray for them persistently, passionately, and expectantly for God to hear and answer our prayers. Our prayers should be for people to repent and be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
How many people would have been saved … from a life of sin, from self-destruction, from certain trials and misfortune, from disease, from financial difficulties, from divorce, from poor choices and reckless behavior if we had interceded on their behalf to be saved?
Because people make up a nation, and if the people are saved and walking in righteousness, so does the country!
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
11 Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, Whose mouth speaks lying words, And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood— 12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; That our daughters may be as pillars, Sculptured in palace style; 13 That our barns may be full, Supplying all kinds of produce; That our sheep may bring forth thousands And ten thousands in our fields; 14 That our oxen may be well laden; That there be no breaking in or going out; That there be no outcry in our streets. 15 Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!
If we want to live in an America that is prosperous, strong, beautiful and free, then we need to intercede for the souls of men to be saved, not for a political party to be in power!
Scriptures demonstrating how we should intercede for men;
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Luke 18:1 (NKJV)
1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,
John 15:7 (NKJV)
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
1 Chronicles 16:11 (NKJV)
11 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 pray without ceasing,
If we will be intercessors for one another and for the land that we love, I believe that God will hold off His judgment and give men opportunity to repent.
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.