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[Originally posted August 14, 2014]

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Ezekiel 22:30, KJV; emphasis added

Let’s take a closer look at gaps: What are they, what is your responsibility concerning them, and how do you interact with them?

Gaps—what are they?

A gap is a gaping hole in a hedge—an unprotected opening through which bad things can gain access to a person, a relationship, a family, a church, a community, a people group, or a nation. The original gap was sin—Adam and Eve blasted a gap in the protective “bubble” surrounding the human race by disobeying God. Ever since then, sin has been the common denominator for all gaps, both large and small. And the common denominator for closing the gap blown opened by Adam and Eve—and every subsequent gap—is Jesus Christ.

Gaps exist wherever there are people. They happen because the devil wants access to lives—saved and unsaved alike. Conflicts between husbands and wives, if not dealt with appropriately, create gaps. Hurts, misunderstandings, miscommunication, and the like can tear open gaps between friends, neighbors, and colleagues. I call these “micro-gaps” due to the limited number of people involved. How do you approach these micro-gaps? Simply, you pray and then you obey; you stand your ground in love before God and you walk by faith—not by feelings or by sight.

Macro-gaps also exist, affecting hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions of souls. Very likely each one of these gaps began as micro-gaps—unresolved conflicts between two parties which eventually became infected by unforgiveness, bitterness, and unrepentant, hardened hearts. “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled (Hebrews 12:15, emphasis added) In effect, this is how micro-gaps morph into macro-gaps

Here are some of the glaring macro-gaps in today’s world: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; ISIS; terrorism; racial conflict; culture war; political polarities; etc. How do these issues qualify as gaps? They are openings through which the devil has gained entrance to create turmoil, confusion, terror, destruction, and the like. They are opportunities for Satan to create a smokescreen, obscuring the gospel. They are openings through which ungodly men and women gain access to positions of influence so as to steer entire cultures away from both godly values and the Lord Himself. Have you noticed any gaps in your world lately?

Gaps—what is your responsibility concerning them?

Because of the immense number of gaps on every hand, recognize that you won’t be able to cover everything you see. But as certain issues pop up on your “radar”—especially repeatedly—you can be certain that those are gaps in which you are to stand in prayer. Trust God to direct you to those specific people and issues about which to pray. Then believe that He will lead you as you pray.

Due to the avalanche of issues out there, I frequently ask God to orchestrate the prayers of believers all over the nation and around the world, divvying up all the various situations, people, and crises, depositing them separately into all the different hearts so that every gap gets plugged and every broken hedge gets addressed. A great company of men, women, boys, and girls are called by the name of Christ; if each one of us prays our part, then much will be accomplished.

You may ask, How much time should I pray about an issue or a person? You pray about it until it lifts off of you or until it resolves. This doesn’t mean, though, that you do nothing else but pray; you set aside time to pray specifically and you pray as you go about your business. This is one reason I like to pray in the Spirit quietly as I move through my day—I keep my spirit open to input from God, making myself available to pray when He brings something up.

And although you’re responsible to pray and stand in the gaps He assigns to you, you need to stay balanced. If you get “heavied out”, back off for a while. Talk with someone. Sing. Laugh. Have fun. Eat a good meal. Get some sleep. If you wipe yourself out as an intercessor, you diminish your effectiveness. You aren’t God; He is, and He’s the only One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. You will need to give it a break from time to time—and then, just like a soldier who has been on leave—after you have rested, you return once again to the front lines.

Gaps—how do you interact with them?

Once you become aware of a gap, simply ask God how He wants you to pray. If you can, pray in tongues as you think about it. The Holy Spirit will direct you. It may lift off of you quickly; that’s OK. A lot of the time, you will be a “stop-gap” gap-stander. In other words, you may be led to pray about something in passing. Sometimes that’s all the Lord leads you to do; perhaps you’re plugging the gap while some other intercessor takes a break. God has all the angles covered; your part and mine is to be ready and willing to participate however He leads.

In the case of the Ferguson, Missouri, situation, I know that I’m supposed to stand for the dissipation of chaos and the resolution of conflict. It’s my region that’s under attack; I must stand for my people—both black and white. I could shrug it off, denying any responsibility to pray by saying that God is sovereign and His way will prevail, but to do so ignores the fact that He searches for folks to stand in the gap.

So how do you stand in the gap? You pray, both in the Spirit and with the understanding. You pray the Word over the situation. You make time to pray; you pray quietly as you go about your day. When God brings light, you pray what you see; when He speaks to your heart, you pray what you hear. If you get no direction, you trust God and pray for His intervention. If your faith is wavering, you build it by feeding on the Word and praying in the Holy Spirit. And you stand, refusing to believe that the situation is hopeless. And you stand, resisting the temptation to throw in the towel. And you stand; having done everything to stand, you stand.

Know that your Father girds you up as you stand. “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10). Although this verse speaks of financial seed, know that as you pray for crisis situations by the leading of the Holy Spirit (often far harder on the flesh than giving money), you are sowing precious seeds of life and deliverance. And He—who has given you that seed to sow directly in the gap of the hedge—will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and He will increase the harvest of your righteousness—a tall, robust hedge!

That’s how you stand in the gap.


Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13