Obliged to Pray

Lee DeYoung

READ : 1 Samuel 12:19-25

Israel was desperate. Fearing God’s righteous wrath, the people begged Samuel to plead for the Lord’s mercy. The prophet responded sympathetically and agreed to seek God’s forgiveness as they had asked.

Samuel’s motives for doing so went beyond mere compassion for his wayward countrymen. He felt absolutely obliged to pray on behalf of his people: “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you” (v. 23). God’s forgiveness certainly de manded true repentance from Israel: “Be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart” (v. 23). But God also required Samuel’s fervent prayers as well as the prophet’s stern warning against idolatry: “Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you because they are useless” (v. 21).

God expects each of us, like Samuel, to intercede on behalf of others even those who don’t yet know His name. With millions of believers around the world, continue praying during the next week for the Indo-Iranian peoples of South Asia. Today, petition the Spirit to move in the hearts of India’s Gujarati, Marathi, and Hindi-speaking Hindu peoples, as well as the Islamic Guijar of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

PRAYER

Lord of the nations, seek out Your wandering children from among these large people groups in India and Pakistan. Draw them to Your risen Son in whose name we pray. Amen