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April 2017 Issue

The Gift of Intercession

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Devotion for Sunday, April 2, 2017

We Talk to God

Read Hebrews 10:1-25

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This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father, in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Matthew 6:9

When she was a teenager, Rifqa Bary came to Christ out of Islam. In hertestimony, Hiding in the Light, she recounts how she was first attracted to Christianity when she witnessed a prayer meeting at a friend’s house. Coming from the cold and regimented prayers of her Muslim home, she was astonished by how intimately these Christians prayed, as if they were simply talking to God.

This is the great delight of Christian prayer: calling on God our Father as an expression of our relationship. But as we see in today’s passage, the problem of our sin must be addressed before we can approach a holy God (v. 1). To demonstrate the immense burden of sin, the writer of Hebrews describes the great cost and effort required for the
Old Testament sacrifices. The blood of animals, which was offered by human priests, was designed to point God’s people toward the better sacrifice that was to come (vv. 9–11).

Jesus is both the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate priest. His once-forall sacrifice is better than the ongoing presentation of the blood of animals. His perfect obedience, death, and resurrection makes us holy and secures our relationship with the Father. His sacrifice is so complete that the writer tells us “he sat down” (v. 12), not needing to do anything more in order to bring us to God.

Through the blood of Jesus, our prayers can be confident, sincere, full of faith, free from guilt, unswervingly hopeful, and encouraging to those around us (vv. 19–25). If we trust in Christ, we are free to call out to God in prayer with all the eagerness of children calling to a parent, fully assured that we will be heard with love.

Apply the Word

Prayer is not like a birthday wish or a magic abracadabra. It is our confident communication with God in the context of a mutually loving relationship. Our Savior Jesus Christ died so that we can pray to the Father with “a sincere heart” and “full assurance” (v. 22). Pray with this assurance today!

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