GIVE UP…or…PRAY?

I SAMUEL 12:23-24:  Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.”

OBSERVATION:  What do you do when they just don’t get it?  This is a question every parent and every pastor asks themselves.  You teach, train, encourage, correct, lead, guide, exhort, and live out by example – and still at times it does not seem to make a difference.  Our children, our friends, our family members, our congregations, and…yes, even ourselves – continue to make the wrong choices.  Do we simply throw our hands in the air and give up?

Samuel was faced with the same situation.  He had spent his entire life judging Israel by leading them in the ways of the Lord and teaching them His commands.  Yet, at the end of his life, they rejected the rule of God as their King and asked for an earthly king.  They continued to make the same mistakes, and Samuel was sure that they would do so long after he was gone.  So what did Samuel do?  What should we do?  What does Jesus do for us?

Samuel prayed!  Jesus prays!  We are to pray!  With reference to Jesus the writer of Hebrews declares – “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (‭Hebrews‬ ‭7‬:‭25‬ ESV)

Jesus never gives up on us.  Samuel never gave up on Israel.  We are to never give up on our family, our friends, our our congregations.  WE ARE TO PRAY!

This call to prayer is not simply to remain on our knees.  It is a call to prayer and action.  We are to pray to be renewed in God’s strength.  We are to pray to be renewed in God’s vision.  We are to pray to be renewed in God’s hope.  We are to rise up from this time of prayer and pray for the hearts and lives of those we love – AS WE CONTINUE TO INSTRUCT THEM IN THE GOOD AND RIGHT WAY!  Prayer does not know the word “surrender”.  Prayer only knows the word “persevere”.  We are not influenced in our prayer and love for others by their response.  We are influenced in our prayer and love for others only by HIS GREAT LOVE!

Jesus called us to a New Commandment.  It was a commandment to love.  But this was not a call to simply love others, it was a call to love others – AS HE HAS LOVED US!  This is a call to sacrifice and service.  This is a call to intercession.  This is a call to never give up while we still have breath.  We cannot determine the direction of another’s final choices in life – but – WE CAN PRAY!  We can continue to pray, love, and point the way to Jesus.  What would happen in the lives of our families, friends, and congregations if we did just that?

Lord, help me not to sin in ceasing to pray for those you have placed in my life.  In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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