A pastor went to a local coffee shop and placed a sign that read “Free Prayer” on his table. Soon a customer asked the minister to pray for a need. Since then, the pastor has gone to a coffee shop weekly to intercede for others. Some pour out their hearts, such as a man whose wife had left him and who had lost several friends and family to death. Regarding this man and others, the pastor states, “Sometimes we have to move beyond the shadows of a steeple to take care of our people.”

And so he stands in the gap for others.

During Ezekiel’s day, God was looking for someone to stand in the gap for His people. He said, “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap . . . but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30). God had allowed the Babylonians to attack and cart off some of Judah’s upper crust, and they subsequently killed Judah’s king in a siege that included the plundering of the temple in Jerusalem. But His divine discipline didn’t change the people’s polluted hearts (Ezekiel 22:23-24). The leaders were lousy priests who weren’t teaching the people God’s law, and the prophets were filling the heads of God’s people with false visions (Ezekiel 22:25-29). Not pretty.

There was no one to intercede for the people (Ezekiel 22:30).

God’s eyes are searching today for believers in Jesus who will stand in the gap for those in bondage—not to the Babylonians, but to sin. One way for us to do this is to pray for and build relationships with people who need the saving grace that only Jesus can provide. He alone can free them from spiritual death and destruction (Romans 3:23-25).

By God’s strength and leading, may we stand in the gap for others today.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Philippians 2:1-18