Tuesday, June 25, 2013

When it's time to quit praying...

I wrote about Jeremiah yesterday, and I'll stay there today because it's fresh on my mind.  One of the things that's so surprising to me in Jeremiah is that more than once, God tells Jeremiah to quit praying for the people of Judah who are heading into captivity.

Quit praying.

How bad must it be?  Bad enough that God was bringing judgment and it didn't matter what kind of intercession Jeremiah brought to the table because God was having none of it.

Quit praying.

I can think of maybe one time where I heard the Lord speak to me in such a way.  Maybe once.  I'll leave it in the "I think it was the Lord but if I'm wrong then I'm wrong" category.  And I can think of two reasons why the Lord might have you to quit praying.

The first is when it's time to get up and do something.  Quit praying because it's time to act.  That's probably more accurately stated:  pray as you act, rather than praying as your act.  If you see someone in a wreck in front of you, pray and act simultaneously.  You get the idea.

The second is more like Jeremiah's case - when God is going to do what He's going to do and He's not going to have His mind changed by our intercession.  That's so rare, though, that I think Jeremiah is the only biblical character to whom God speaks as such.

Typically, in regard to the second situation, we need to pray until it's either over or God intervenes.  I tell our folks at church that if we go down, we need to go down swinging rather than looking.  I'd rather get a "No" praying in faith than fail to persevere in prayer.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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