Isn’t God full of compassion and love? I cannot imagine God saying “don’t pray” or “don’t intercede.” Hasn’t God always invited people to pray and intercede for others? It was God who often took the initiative to invite people to pray and to have a relationship with Him.
“As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you” (Jer 7:16).
But throughout the seventh chapter of Jeremiah, God reminds them that God was persistent in pursuing them and directing them to act with justice and mercy. He values these important characteristics and wants his people to emulate him.
God’s desire was that his people would be fully devoted to him and serve him only. But the people had walked away from the covenant. They fought the God who delivered them and saved them from the hand of their enemies.
When God sent prophets to them, it was an act of his mercy and kindness. But the people refused to listen. They hardened their hearts and continued in their rebellion.
Now the question still remains: “Why did God tell Jeremiah not to pray for the people? Was it because he had completely forsaken them? God knows that for his plans to work out, their sins need to be punished. The 70 years of exile and captivity planned for the people could not be revoked. Rather it was necessary for God’s plans to be accomplished.
So as we pray, listen to the voice of the Lord and discern his plans. Know God’s plans for the person or people for whom you are praying. Then pray with fervor.
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