Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 1 Samuel 12:23
Samuel had just appointed Saul king over Israel. He did it reluctantly as he knew God was their true king, but the Israelites wanted to be like "all the other nations" and have a king over them. He showed them what a horrible decision they were making by replacing their Lord with a king. But they insisted. So, God told him to go ahead and give them a king, in spite of what both God and Samuel knew what would happen to the nation of Israel under the rule of a king. Samuel was giving an address to Israel after anointing Saul king in front of all the people, and the verse above was toward the end of his speech.
It was another one of those verses (aren't there many??) that I haven't seen/noticed before. He said that ceasing to pray for the people would be a sin. He was to keep praying for Israel even though the Lord had already revealed what would happen to them in the time ahead. Even though it looked bleak for them and it seemed praying for such a stubborn people would be useless.
Woah. Do you have anyone like that in your own life? Someone you just "know" is never going to change? Maybe at first, you prayed for them fervently, but after awhile, you felt it was a waste of time. You give up on any hope for change in them. I know there's people in my life I have felt that way about. But here it is right here in 1 Samuel. If it was a sin for him to cease praying for a people who desperately needed to get right with God, wouldn't it be the same for us? If there is someone you know who needs prayers, and the Lord puts in on your heart to pray for them, don't shove those thoughts away thinking it's useless. Even if we don't feel like it, we need to be on our knees for those in our lives who need our prayers. It doesn't matter if *they* are receptive to them or can "feel" them. What matters is that GOD hears our prayers. Keep petitioning Him and He will answer...maybe not when or how we *think* He should, but in HIS own way and HIS own time.
So, please join me in re-committing to praying for all in our lives who need prayers, but especially for those who we feel like giving up on. Someday, you may just be surprised...and GOD will be glorified.