“Do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.” (Jeremiah 11:14)
Here is a dead end, literally. When God doesn’t want to hear our prayers, that is not a good thing. In the history of Israel we have seen God reverse a decision because of intercession, but in those cases there was no word from Him not to bother. Interestingly, the prophet may have compassion for his people and want to intercede for them and yet God, knowing the situation far better, has set His heart against them. How is it that God’s mercy can be less than humankind’s?
We need to realize that there are times when God stands firm and will not be moved from His decision. In those times we need to fully trust Him. Our finite minds cannot comprehend the things of our infinite God.
It is a terrible thing to reach a point in life when our relationship with God is no more, and He will not listen to us. That is a living hell. It is a terrible thing when we receive direction from the Lord to not pray for someone or a situation.
That very instruction tells us that our prayers are taken seriously by our God. Because of His love of us and our relationship with Him, He is inclined to answer our requests. We forget how awesome our communication with our Lord is. There is power in the One to whom we pray.
Heavenly Father, we know our life of communication with You is poor. At least we feel it is. And yet, we trust You daily and seek Your guidance. Hear our prayers, O Lord. Listen to our requests. May they be acceptable in Your hearing and answered with Your power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.