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Ezekiel 22:29-31 (ESV):

29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. 30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord God.”

Why did God seek for someone to intercede for the land? Why is intercessory prayer so important to God? Why does God condition his divine intervention and mercy on human intercession (or lack thereof)?

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    This is the great mystery of intercessory prayer for which these is really no answer. My only answer (an incomplete one) is that the main purpose of prayer is not to change God's mind or talk Him into anything but to bring us to god and make us realize our dependence on God.
    – Dottard
    Sep 20 at 1:55
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Ezekiel 22:

30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.

It showed the extremely sad state of the affair at the time, in contrast to Psalm 106:

23 So He said He would destroy them--had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach to divert His wrath from destroying them.

Why does God condition his divine intervention and mercy on intercessory prayer?

God prefers to work with men, even just one man as the minimum.

Why is intercessory prayer so important to God?

The passage does not focus on the concept of intercessory prayer. The point is that just one intercessor is needed in order to prevent God's punishment. It is not so much about intercessory prayers but about only one intercessor is needed. The focus is on the one person, not on the prayers.

Ultimately, the search ended in Jesus, Romans 8:

34 Who is there to condemn us? For Christ Jesus, who died, and more than that was raised to life, is at the right hand of God--and He is interceding for us.

Jesus is the ultimate intercessor.

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This response hopefully provides something for consideration. First, the contention is with the land, and not man, that is, not those that inhabit it.

The earth is not* inanimate. It is not a neutral entity. When Adam ‘fell’, that [seriously] affected the earth. The ‘curse’ effected this. In Noah’s ‘flood’, it was the earth that reacted to [excessive] unrighteousness - and the waters came up from the depths.

So using Genesis 6 as a model, the ‘earth’ (which God created with righteousness.) reacted against man’s unrighteousness. And it’s exactly the same here in Ezekiel 22:29. The only way around this is for ‘man’ to repent of the unrighteousness - and this relieves the earth. That is, for ‘man’ to intervene. (intercede).

It always takes ‘man’ to intercede between God and unrighteousness. If ‘man’ doesn’t….. ‘stuff happens’. Man is the one who was given responsibility for this ‘earth’. And Man’s actions make the difference. Just what one ‘man’ did brought a curse on the earth, resulting in ‘thorns and thistles’.

This ‘thinking’ might, at first, be difficult to consider, let alone accept, so let me bring in some other incidents to ‘add’ consideration. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by an ‘earth’ based catastrophe. As were Jobs sons. In each incidence the ‘earth’ reacted to ‘man’s’ unrighteousness.

Jerusalem (the city) was in danger here. That same city that was demolished via the wickedness of the people. Unrighteousness affects ‘geography’ as much as it might ‘man’. And only ‘man’ can ‘fix/prevent/put off’ the consequences via repentance - as obviously the ‘land’ can’t do it ‘for itself’.

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