This verse really catches my attention. Just the idea that God wondered intrigues me. That an all knowing God “wondered.” I could spend time speculating about what that means, but the one thing that comes through to me is that somehow God thought that there should be an intercessor. The rest of the verse goes on to explain that because of this, God determined to bring salvation and to send a Savior to be an intercessor for mankind. But there is still that initial concept that God wondered. I find myself wondering, “Is God wondering about us today, that there are so few intercessors among us?”
God already knows everything. Sometimes we give God a list of things as though He didn’t know them. But the purpose of prayer isn’t to get God to do something, the purpose of prayer is to keep us connected to Him so that we recognize who we are in relationship to Him.
The fact that God wondered that there was no intercessor was before the truly great promises that our Savior made concerning prayer. God wondered back in the time of Isaiah. He wondered at the folly and unbelief of His people in neglecting such an apparently obvious thing. Similarly, Mark 6:6 says that Jesus, “marveled” because of the unbelief of some of those in His own territory. It’s interesting that those guilty of the unbelief were not particularly believers at all. Yet Jesus marveled that they did not believe. They should have believed on the basis of what they had seen Him do. Some of them saw no reason why they should listen to Him. The very fact that He was even speaking with such authority irritated them and caused them to have a bad attitude toward Him. I’m suggesting that God looks at us as individuals and perhaps wonders why we don’t intercede more for the needs around us.
Not to pray is a sin against ourselves, our fellow man, and toward God. You used to see everywhere with the motto “Prayer Changes Things.” Something like that can seem so trite. But it’s been proven over and over again, that prayer does change things!
I don’t think God has ever given an optional command. So many times we seem to take commands from the Scripture as though they were just advisories. You’ve seen the ten commandments quoted in such a way that they come across more as the “Ten Suggestions.” God does not relate to us in this way. God does not give an optional command. He actually means for us to follow through on the commands that He gives. The three great commands in Scripture are pray, do, and go. Many times we tend to emphasize the doing and the going, but not the praying.
Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, who was wounded and bruised for our iniquities, yet makes intercession. His last prayer on earth was, “Father forgive them.” A prayer for those who were taking His life. Can those of us who have caused God to wonder at our lack of intercessory prayer change our careless ways and be forgiven? Sure! 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Many times Christians talk about prayer more than they pray. Let’s be people of prayer! Let’s use the trauma of these days that we live in to help mold us, make us, and push us toward that place of becoming intercessors. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” I Timothy 2:1