When Samuel addressed Israel as Saul was being made king, he demonstrated that the reason the people asked for a king was sinful. God gave a sign by sending a thunderstorm during a time of year in which it never rained. The people cried out, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil to ask for ourselves a king” (I Samuel 12:19).
Samuel responded that even though they had done evil in the past, if they would follow the Lord from this point on, God would care for them and their new king. However, the statement that most catches my eye is I Samuel 12:23. “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you…”
He didn’t say, “Far be it from me that I should sin against you by ceasing to pray for you…” He said he would have been sinning against the Lord. Perhaps it would have been a sin for Samuel because of his special place as judge and priest. However, I just can’t help but think about what this statement says about us today. Even if it is about Samuel’s role as priest, I remember that we are priests of God according to I Peter 2:9.
If Samuel’s role as priest meant that he was to pray for the people, what about ours? If it was a sin against God for Samuel not to pray for his brethren, what about us? Before we spend time castigating others because they have done wrong, even in the Lord’s body. We need to spend time in serious prayer. We are sinning against God when we don’t.
In Ephesians 6:18, Paul asked that the Ephesians pray for him and his work. Are we praying for the workers in God’s kingdom that we know about? If not, we are sinning against the Lord.
I Timothy 2:1 says, “First of all then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” God has asked us to pray for our brethren, but also to pray for all men. He has especially asked us to pray for those who are in government. Are we doing it? If not, we are sinning against the Lord.
We are to be a praying army for the Lord. We are to intercede for all who are around us. Do not sin against the Lord by not praying for others. Spend time on your knees today on behalf of your family, friends, brethren, co-workers, neighbors, government, and any others you can think of.