Is Praying Ever Futile?

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. Jeremiah 7:16 KJV

“So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. Jeremiah 7:16 NIV

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. Jeremiah 11:14 KJV

Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress. Jeremiah 11:14 NIV

Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. Jeremiah 14:11 KJV

This is what the LORD says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the LORD does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.” Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”  But I said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’ ” Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. Jeremiah 14:11-14 NIV

This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:10-14 NIV

For those who think that the answers is to always pray for some people–think again. There are times when we’re told NOT TO PRAY for those who refuse to acknowledge and obey God. That’s what Jeremiah’s thankless job was as a prophet of God. God’s messengers–those He selects–do not always have a message of “pie in the sky” and because those in positions of influencing others–they like to think their message is the only right message. It would have been redundant for me to say everything Jeremiah said to a rebellious nation, but I would encourage every Believer and those who read this blog–to read, with understanding, all Jeremiah said and see with God’ Wisdom and insight how that message then-is relevant today.

Is it possible that we are faced with the possibility of captivity (naturally and spiritually) if we continue on this path of blatant disregard for God’s Word? Can we trust any religious leader (false prophets) who proclaim messages that do align with God’s Word?

Not every person who proclaims their belief in God is telling the truth. We know by what we see and hear them do. Therefore, The Word of Lord tells us how to discern–spiritually those who truly belong to Him. Do they say what God says or they are intertwining personal feelings and opinions into The Word to convince? When we allow our feelings (which are fickle) and opinions to distort the message of The Gospel, we betray God’s trust in us. What is the message of The Gospel? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (as a sacrifice for all) so whoever believes in Him would not perish but would have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (paraphrased)

“This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” I John 3:10, 11

Therefore, if the message is not about LOVE FOR ALL PEOPLE, the message is not from God and the messenger is a liar.

Okay, let me clarify this for those who think this is simply a rant–it is not. If we are not saying what God says and promoting love and not hatred–we are on the path to certain captivity–opening the door to all sorts of depravity–and evil. When we see evil and won’t address it–we are condoning it. And for this reason–just like He did with Jeremiah, God is warning us–there’s no point in praying for people–either as an individual or a nation–who refuse to obey God. The better prayer is for us to be able to endure until the end.

We see the evidence, daily, at the political rallies that are simply stoking the fires of hatred and then it spills over onto the crowds and people feel empowered to hate others simply because they are different. This is not of God and we have been warned about the consequences in His Word. Now, we have a choice to make and our choice–will lead us into a place where God desires us to be–into captivity to get our attention–or to keep us on the path He has planned for us. It’s up to us. Do we listen to God or the false prophets? Will God listen to us or ignore us? When people tell us to pray that God will change a person’s heart, we miss the mark. God will not change a person’s heart who doesn’t want their heart to be changed.

I’m praying that God’s wisdom will be received into the hearts of all who know Him and overflow into the masses and we will know love as God defines love–not us.

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