‘Prayer also shall be made for him continually.’ Psalm 72:15
Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 6:9–13
‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,’ is the blessed assurance that Jesus is our Captain in the great fight of faith, and is still present in the battle field. His great cause is here, his enterprise and business are here below. The work which he undertook to accomplish is not yet accomplished in the person of every one of his elect. His blood has been fully shed and his atonement has been perfected, but those for whom the atonement was made are not yet all ingathered. Many sheep he has which are not yet of his fold. We are therefore to pray for him, that the good work which he has undertaken may be prospered, and that one by one those whom his Father gave him may be brought to reconciliation and to eternal life. Brethren, the Lord Jesus Christ describes himself as being still persecuted and still suffering. He said to Saul, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?’ He calls his people himself; they are his mystical body; and in praying for the church we pray for Christ. He is the head of the body, and you cannot pray for the body except you pray for the head. We must put them all into one prayer. He is still struggling with the hosts of darkness in his church, still striving for the victory over sin in his people, and his people are waiting and longing for his second advent, which shall fulfil their brightest hopes. We must still pray for him, not personally, but relatively; for his cause, for his kingdom, for his gospel, for his people, for his blood-bought ones who as yet are in the ruins of the fall, for his second coming, and glorious reign. In this sense, I take it, the text is meant that ‘prayer also shall be made for him continually.’
For meditation: In the first half of the Lord’s Prayer, the Lord teaches us to pray for the Lord (thy name, thy kingdom, thy will—Matthew 6:9–10); after that we pray for ourselves. Do you pray for him? If you are one of his people, don’t forget that he is continually interceding for you (Hebrews 7:25).
Sermon no. 717
21 October (1866)