Monday, March 21, 2016

Intercessory Prayer, Christ, and Holy Week, Part 3


The third Old Testament example is the prophet Samuel, who speaks at length to the people of Israel when Saul is crowned king despite the warnings that a king could become despotic and enslave the people.  They wanted a king to be like everyone else.  This please sounds so much like politics today that I feel like using the abbreviation SMH!  “We want Bernie Sanders the socialist so we can be like the European countries.”  “We want Donald Trump so we can make America great again.”  In all three cases it seems that personal and corporate responsibility  for the future outcomes is being rejected to allow someone else to take care of the crowd.  A democratic republic demands the knowledge, responsibility,  and involvement of all citizens to work. 
In Samuel’s case, he says in I Samuel 12:22-24 some of the sweetest words in the Bible:  “For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has please the LORD to make you His people.  Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and right way.  Only fear the Lord and serve Him with all your heart, for consider what great things He has done for you.”
Samuel is interceding for the people through his prayer, but he is also interceding for God.  He is another imperfect example of the perfect Mediator.  And for him, to not engage in intercessory prayer for them is a sin.  Considering how often we are commanded to pray for others in the New Testament, it would seem reasonable to claim that a failure to pray intercessorily is also a sin. 

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