Connecting Heaven and Earth
We’ve been talking about the Hebrew word for intercession, paga. Let’s review. Like most Hebrew words, paga represents more of a general concept, which can be applied to various scenarios. The concept of paga is of two or more people, places, or things meeting, coming together, for pretty much any reason. (1) Therefore, it is used in the context of: encounter, meet (in order to visit, request, attack, and more), land or light upon, boundaries (land joining or meeting), burdens being placed or laid upon someone,” and more. These meetings can even be by chance - “happening upon.”
Paga is translated as “intercession,” not because it means asking or petitioning - it doesn’t - but because intercession is meeting with God, creates meetings between God and others, meets and attacks spiritual enemies, builds protective boundaries, etc. Looking at references where paga is used to describe various activities, regardless of the English word used to translate it, gives us different pictures of what intercession (paga) can accomplish.
In the account of Jacob’s God encounter in Genesis 28:10-19, paga was used to describe Jacob “happening upon” Bethel. Yet, what was “by chance” to Jacob was not actually happenstance; God was directing him. A similar thing occurs when we intercede. God directs us and causes our intercession to “land upon” the right place or person, releasing blessings from heaven. If you did not see/hear the last two posts, consider checking them out.
Several other significant truths can be seen through Jacob’s meeting (paga) at Bethel, valid pictures of what paga produces. I want to briefly mention four more of them today.
The first is that through intercession, heaven and earth connect. In his dream at Bethel, Jacob saw a ladder extending from earth up to heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it. The activity of heaven was being released to earth. Jesus told us to pray for this very thing when He taught us to ask for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven (see Matthew 6:10).
Jacob said Bethel was “a gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:17). He realized it had become an entry point for God’s will to penetrate earth. Paga creates gates to heaven through which God’s will can be released onto the earth.
Secondly, through intercession, divine-human partnerships are formed. Not only did heaven and earth connect at Bethel, but God entered into the same partnership with Jacob that he had with Abraham: “I will bless you, and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 28:14). A part of our destiny as Christians is the privilege of partnering with God in helping others find their destinies. Intercession releases this.
“When George McCluskey married and started a family, he decided to invest one hour a day in prayer, because he wanted his kids to follow Christ. After a time, he expanded his prayers to include his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Every day between 11:00 a.m. and noon, he prayed for the next three generations.
“As the years went by, his two daughters committed their lives to Christ and married men who went into full-time ministry. The two couples produced four girls and one boy. Each of the girls married a minister, and the boy became a pastor.
“The first two children born to this generation were both boys. Upon graduation from high school, the two cousins chose the same college and became roommates. During their sophomore year, one boy decided to go into the ministry. The other didn’t. He undoubtedly felt some pressure to continue the family legacy, but chose instead to pursue his interest in psychology.
“He earned his doctorate and eventually wrote books for parents that became bestsellers. He also started a radio program heard on more than a thousand stations each day. The man’s name - James Dobson.” (2)
That is the power of intercession, meeting with God on behalf of others. George McCluskey partnered with God in the place of intercession, and God’s destiny for James Dobson was realized. His ministry has indeed blessed millions of families on the earth. Thank God for the intercession of George McCluskey.
Still, another important truth about paga is that it releases angelic activity. “And behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” (Genesis 28:12). Thetus Tenney, in her book Prayer Takes Wings, relates a story about two men who were protected from harm through intercession and the intervention of angels:
“Dave Wright and Eddy Wiese had attended a church service in Oklahoma and were flying home to Fort Worth, Texas, in a Beechcraft Bonanza plane. Alerted to the possibility of threatening weather, the believers in Oklahoma were covering them in prayer. As the men prepared to land, a strong downdraft caused the plane to collide with a power line and crash. The men ran to safety - amazingly, the only injury to them was a minor cut. When they looked back, expecting to see the plane explode, they saw two extremely large men dressed in grayish-white robes, hovering over the plane.” (3)
Angels had been summoned through paga, intercession. Although the intercessors did not know the exact details of how to pray, Holy Spirit caused their prayers to hit the mark.
The final picture of what occurred during Jacob’s paga encounter is the building of altars. “So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on its top” (Genesis 28:18). The word “pillar” could be translated as a memorial stone or a monument. In Old Testament times, altars were built not only as places of sacrifice, but also as memorials to mark and remember significant events. We do much the same today in building memorials at great battle sites or remembering great leaders.
Joshua erected two memorials where he and Israel crossed the Jordan River into Canaan (see Joshua 4:8-9). Abraham built an altar to the Lord at Shechem, where God appeared to Him and promised him the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:7). The prophet Samuel built a memorial near the town of Mizpah to mark a victory the Lord gave Israel over the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 7:12). He named the memorial Ebenezer, meaning “the stone of help,” and declared, “thus far the Lord has helped us.”
How does this relate to us today? Are we supposed to build literal altars or memorials? That, of course, isn’t necessary. Yet we should build them in our hearts. I have many. When nagging doubts attack my mind, trying to convince me God will not come through in a particular situation, I revisit my Ebenezers. Quickly I declare as Samuel did, “Thus far, He has helped me.”
Build some Ebenezers. As you live a life of intercession, meeting with God, creating meetings between Him and others, lighting on Bethels where destinies are shaped as heaven meets earth, or simply receiving personal help from your faithful Father, you’ll find appropriate places to erect Ebenezers. Build them strong enough to stand the test of time and tall enough to be seen from far away.
Pray with me:
Father, so few understand that we can be used to connect Heaven and Earth. And yet, how else could we possibly steward or manage the Earth for You, if not by releasing Heaven’s will and ways into it. Our King told us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done, on Earth as in Heaven!” If we could see the unseen spiritual realm, we would see that our prayers, worship, and decrees create gates and position “ladders” - entry points - for angels to enter earth’s realm.
We determine to partner with You at a higher level. You want this and need it. You actually entrusted Christ, Your Son, and Earth’s redeemer, to the care of humans! You want and need partners here. We volunteer! Change Earth through us!
We decree Your Kingdom power and will into the churches of America. We declare Your Kingdom authority over the ungodly government of America. Their rule cannot stand. They have built on sand and have no firm foundation. Now, send the winds and rain to tear down their evil strongholds. And we declare Your Kingdom rule over the children, youth, and young adults in America. They will be rescued by Holy Spirit and Heaven’s host. The Captain, the Head, the Owner of Earth has declared it, and we agree. We do and say all this in His name, for He is Yeshua.
We decree that our appeals are hitting the mark, creating meetings between God and Earth, opening heaven’s gates, and activating angels.
Today’s post came from my book, The Essential Guide to Prayer, published by Baker Books.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
James Strong The New Strong’s exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 6293.
Edward K. Rowell, Fresh Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker,, 1997), 165.
Thetus Tenney, Praying Takes Wings (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2000), 92.