Deuteronomy 9:20 And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too.
Church leaders need prayer too! Most have not been as flagrant as to make an idol, but all have made mistakes. Even the ones who have made major errors, drawing many after them, are not beyond redemption if they will repent, so we need to pray for them. Often the person in the pew doesn’t grasp emotionally that their pastor faces the same temptations they do, and the pressures are often greater. That’s no excuse for sin, but it does point up the need for prayer support. I have seen leaders close to me fall, and in every case I’ve seen, there was a lack of transparency and accountability involved. When the leader is seen as unapproachable, pitfalls abound. When the leader is seen as above it all – especially by himself – disaster is just around the corner. All the English translations I checked say that Moses prayed for Aaron, but the Japanese specifies that he interceded for him. Intercession is “standing in the gap,” (Ezekiel 22:30) recognizing a need and seeking to meet that in prayer. God does anoint some people as intercessors with special gifts of perception and compassion, and they are marvelous gifts to the Body of Christ. However, every believer has the ability and the privilege of intercession, but many fail to recognize it. James 5:16 is very much to the point: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” All of us are righteous by faith, if our repentance is up to date, and there is great blessing in seeing God meet a brother or sister’s need through your prayers.
I don’t have the specific calling of Intercessor, but I am still called to intercede. That’s not a contradiction. I don’t have special gifts in that area, but I am to pray for others however the Lord guides and gives opportunity. At the same time, I am very aware that I also need people to pray for me, just as Paul did. (Romans 15:31, Ephesians 6:20, Colossians 4:4) I am as human as anyone else, and just as liable to deceive myself. (James 1:22) I must never neglect praying for others, precisely because I know my own need. The power is not in us, it is in the One to whom we pray, and he delights to listen to and make good use of the prayers of His children.
Father, thank You indeed for the privilege of intercession, both of doing it and receiving it. May I not neglect it but exercise it more and more, for everyone whom You indicate. May I be willing to stand in the gap even when I know it invites attack on me, resting in the assurance that Your presence in me is greater than anything that can come against me. (1 John 4:4) Thank You. Praise God!