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My Prayer For You

My Prayer for You

    You may or may not know me, & I may not know you, but I still have a prayer for you. In fact, whether you are a Christian or not, my prayer for you is the same. It might even be surprising to some to know that the prayer I have for everyone is the same that Paul had for Israel, which is found in Rom 10:1. Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 
   However, Paul’s prayer for them could not save them. Neither can my prayer save you. In Israel’s case, they had a ‘zeal for God’, but it was ‘not according to knowledge’. Because they lacked sufficient knowledge, they went about to establish their own righteousness (follow their own desires and their previous religion). The result of this is that they would not submit to the ‘righteousness of God’. This means they refused to follow God’s Word. This can be proven from Psa 119:172b as we read: for all thy commandments are righteousness. When one is not following the Word of God (His Commandments), they aren’t being obedient to Him and God will not save the disobedient.
   My prayer cannot save you, because prayer does not save.   One can only be saved if/when they obey God’s Commandments for Salvation. In fact, per 2Thess 1:8, God will take vengeance on those who “know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God will not “help” such a person. This is expressed in the O.T. as well. God, through his prophet in Judges 10:13-14, said to Israel (His own people under the Mosaic Law) -Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. 14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.  There was no rescue for Israel if they persisted in their disobedience to God.   Today, there is no Salvation to any who serves, follows, or is in allegiance to that which is in opposition to God’s Word.
   Neither will God “hear” such a person. Jer 11:14, again in the context of Israel serving other gods, shows Jeremiah was divinely instructed to warn faithful Israel against praying for even God’s own people who refused to follow His Commandments. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.  God will not accept the prayer of those that oppose Him.  Previously, in Jer 7:16, the Lord also said He also would not accept the prayers of the righteous on behalf of the unrighteous. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. 
     Then why did Paul pray for Israel? Should he not have been praying for them? Should I not have a prayer for others? Am I doing wrong in praying for others? No! Paul’s prayer for Israel, and my prayer for all today is that they become “righteous”. 1Pet 3:12 tells us that God hears the prayers of the righteous, but not the unrighteous. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.  Paul’s desire was that Israel would forsake their “own righteousness” and submit to God.
   Paul desired that Israel be saved. I desire that you be saved. In fact, that is God’s desire as well.  In 1Tim 2:4, the Spirit had Paul tell Timothy this in the context of prayer. He wrote (in reference to God) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. This meshes perfectly with the Words of Jesus Himself toward some who “believed on Him” from John 8:31-32. He said: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” From this, it is obvious that it is not prayer or belief that “makes one free”, but obeying truth does.
   John 9:31 confirms this as the once blind, now healed man spoke in response to the Pharisees. He said: Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. This is ‘inspired testimony’ as the Spirit gave it to the apostle John to record. The Spirit also had James direct the church in the same way. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (Jas 1:21-22)
   Those who are ‘hearers only’ and not doers, cannot be righteous. If one is not righteous, they must be unrighteous. If unrighteous, are they not ungodly sinners? God addresses this in His Word as well. We read in1Pet 4:18 what fate awaits those folks. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  My prayer for all is that they come to a knowledge of the truth, will embrace the truth (gladly receive it), and will obey the truth, so they can be saved.
   I can pray that you become righteous (obey and follow God’s Word), but that won’t save you. You have to do the work. Why not look into God’s Word, obey what He says to do, lay hold on Salvation, and then remain faithful till death.   My prayer for you will then be answered and we can be together with God for eternity.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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