down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD."God wanted to spare his own people. They deserved judgment, but he would have let his grace bea greater force if only there had been someone to intercede on behalf of his people. o one cameforward to do so, probably thinking that it was too late, and their flimsy defense would beworthless. The result was, because man did not pray and give God a reason for mercy, that hehad to go through with the judgment and pour out his wrath on his own people. God's will in thissituation was dependent upon human choices. He would be merciful or wrathful depending, not just on his own will, but on the will of a human intercessor. Everyone who did not pray for God tobe merciful brought the fiery wrath of God on his people, and they would be a part of that peoplewho suffered his wrath. They could have been a part of his people who experienced his mercifulgrace, but they blew it. They had the power through prayer to change history for the better, butthey said, "o thanks. I have other things to do."The end of Job gives us a real look into the importance that God places on intercession. "Afterthe Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My wrath iskindled against you and your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as myservant Job has. ow therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, andoffer for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept hisprayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right,as my servant Job has done." So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar theaamathite went and did what the Lord had told them; and the Lord accepted Job's prayer. Andthe Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Jobtwice as much as he had before." (Job 42:7-10)We know that God sometimes answers a prayer while it is being prayed, but here is a case wherehe answered it long before it was prayed. His forgiveness of these friends of Job he madedependent upon Job's prayer for them. They deserved judgment, for they were wrong and hadreally bad theology about suffering, but God was willing to forgive them because Job was willingto pray for their forgiveness. Had Job not been willing, they would also have to come under thewrath of God. Prayer does change God's attitude and response to people.What about the prayer of Jesus from the cross, "Father for give them for they know not whatthey do." That was an intercession that saved the lives of all the evil men who plotted to killJesus. They were spared for nearly 40 years because of that intercession. Most all of the adultswho had anything to do with the death of Jesus would have been dead by the time of the greatdestruction of Jerusalem in 70 A. D. The prayer of Jesus postponed that judgment that the onesresponsible for the cross deserved. They escaped by his grace and intercessory prayer.Heb. 7:25, "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, becausehe always lives to intercede for them." Jesus specializes in intercession, and there is no way toknow how much judgment is escaped because of this ministry of Jesus on behalf of men.Rom. 8:26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we oughtto pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." TheHoly Spirit also specializes in intercession. We should learn from this fact that two of the threePersons of the Godhead are involved in intercession, that it should play a major role in our livesas believers.