Praying For You

The prophet Samuel called the people of Israel together one day and reminded them of God’s authority over their lives and over their nation.  Samuel’s sermon was powerful in their hearing, and the people’s eyes were opened to the terrible situation they found themselves in.    

At the end of the day the people repented.  God’s Word tells us,  “And all the people said to Samuel, “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” (1 Samuel 12:19).

How did Samuel respond? 

After reminding the people of their responsibilities to God, Samuel affirmed:  “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you…” (1 Samuel 12:23).

As a Levite in the tradition of Moses, Samuel was required by the law to pray for Israel; to intercede between the people and God.  It would be a sin for Samuel to neglect his responsibility to bring the people’s request to God, particularly in light of their having begged him to do so in verse 19.

Samuel may not have wanted to pray for them – he had warned them not to demand a king but they ignored his counsel – and now they’re wanting him to put his neck on the line to go before God and plead their case?  Let them live with the consequences – Samuel didn’t need to worry about it, it wasn’t his fault after all.  Samuel didn’t have to care about them.

And his prayer on their behalf by no means guaranteed their blessing or their deliverance.  God did not need to show mercy or grace to these people who had turned their backs on Him, either. But the people had asked Samuel to pray for them.  His heart rightly replied, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.”

Later in our Bibles, but earlier in time, a man named Job had suffered terribly under problems and persecutions which came his way.  He was an upright man, loving God and living in His blessing, until Satan turned his hateful eyes toward him.  You know the story – Job lost everything in this world, never had any answer to the question of “why.”  And along came his friends, those on the outside stepping into Job’s life with perhaps the best of intentions but with the worst of advice.   

Job 42:7  “After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.

Job 42:8 – “Now therefore…  And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of Me what is right, as my servant Job has.”

Their words had hurt Job, had cast guilt and shame upon Job, and accused him of deserving the persecution which he was suffering.  God cleared up the confusion, but He did something else – He put Job in the middle.  He put the 3 friends in a place where they NEEDED Job to intercede for them, to plead their case to God.

And that meant that Job would have to forgive them.  He would have to love them enough to bend his knees and submit his heart before God on their behalf.

Job 42:9 – “So Eliphaz and Bildad and Zophar went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.”

 Would God have accepted Job’s prayer if Job hadn’t really meant it?  Was Job just going through the motions?  Not likely.  It is genuine and heartfelt.  He prayed for his brothers and sought to intercede with God in order to meet their need – even in the midst of his own trials and struggles of life!

Job 42:10 – “And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

Eliphaz looked to Job to pray for him and his 2 friends.  Job essentially replied as did Samuel, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you…”

Of course, the veil hadn’t been torn in two during the days of the Old Testament.  Today our brothers and sisters in Christ do not need to go through someone else for God to hear their prayer.  But that does not change either their need nor our responsibility. 

Proverbs 31:8-9:  “Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  In today’s world, perhaps the most meaningful and powerful ways you and I can do this is to bow our hearts in prayer, speaking up for the destitute, the poor and needy, the persecuted believers in the world around us who are in desperate need of our prayer support in the middle of their most trying circumstances.

Gal. 6:2  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Heb. 13:3   Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the Body.

Col. 4:3   At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—

HAVE YOU EVER NOT SHARED THE GOSPEL WITH SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO BRING IT UP – BECAUSE YOU WERE EMBARRASSED ABOUT SAYING SOMETHING?  Imagine how you might then be tempted to hesitate all the more if you know that in simply saying the word “Jesus” might bring immediate death to you and your family!

There are untold numbers of stories of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world who have, and are yet, suffering persecution for their faith. Think of them as you consider the command of James 5:16:  “pray for one another.”

Then listen to them call out to you as they echo Paul’s plea in 1 Thessalonians 5:25:   “Brothers, pray for us.”

Will this be YOUR response? “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you…”

Aborting Kansans

The Kansas Constitution says, “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This was a clear statement until the lawyers started gnawing at it, and in 2019 the Kansas Supreme Court justices decided that this right to life does not apply to a child – rather like the democrats decided the same clause in the U.S. Constitution didn’t apply to their slaves.

In the 1860’s Kansans volunteered in mass to stand against this discrimination on behalf of the African-American people. On August 2, 2022, the Kansas people no longer maintained the courage to protect the lives of the vulnerable and endangered in the State, and voted to allow the courts to continue their false interpretation of the Constitution which results in thousands of babies being sacrificed to the idol of self-appeasement each year.

The 2019 Kansas court wrote concerning the “All men are possessed of… rights, among which are life…” clause, “Is this declaration of rights more than an idealized aspiration? And, if so, do the substantive rights include a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, including the decision whether to continue her pregnancy? We answer these questions, ‘Yes.'” Such word-twisting and disconnected logic is not a Kansas value, despite its common over-use in Washington.

The fallacy of the court’s argument is obviously clear to anyone who thinks about it. The clause was never intended to argue that somebody’s right to the pursuit of happiness included a right to kill her own child, regardless of the age. The fact remains that every woman has a clear and inalienable natural right to keep men out of her bedroom. If she chooses to prostitute herself without payment, she has the right to use birth control. If she chooses to ignore the responsibilities associated with these two rights and then finds that a child has been created due to his and her negligence, murdering the child is nowhere protected as a natural right – nor did the authors of the Constitution ever intend it to be. It ceases to be “her body” alone when she chooses to share her reproductive organs with a man and allowing her womb to be shared by a developing child, naturally clinging to its mother for its life.

I am disappointed that 450,000 Kansas chose to continue the unhindered ability of women to hack their children to pieces simply because they don’t want the responsibility – or because their boyfriends force them so they personally won’t be liable for child support payments. Abortion should never be a protected birth control method.

For 150 years of Kansas Statehood, women who killed their own children and those who enabled them were prosecuted as murderers under our same Constitution. Do we owe them reparations and apologies because we missed the “fine print” that the Kansas judges only noticed in 2019? Should we allow for the murder of our elderly parents once they become a burden to our “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness?” as well – especially if they are invalid and no longer productive? Do women have the right to ignore their children and force them to raise themselves once she decides that they are too much of a burden to her? It is still her body that is being affected, after all – probably causing her headaches and sleepless nights and all manner of anxiety.

When God gave the 10 Commandments to man, He made it clear – “Thou shalt not murder.” There is no “fine print” or “hidden meaning” in His Word. There is no exception for the pre-born. In fact, regarding parents who chose to kill their own young children, He said clearly, “And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her. You shall not give any of your children to sacrifice them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:20-22). Further, condemning the people, He said, “They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— ” (Jeremiah 19:5).

It will only be by God’s mercy that the State of Kansas will be spared God’s judgment for the decision of her people rendered yesterday. If we want “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in Kansas, we had best repent – and soon. “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (Romans 2:1-8).