“As for me, I will certainly not sin against the LORD by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right.” - 1 Samuel 12:23
Praying is a spiritual discipline. It takes work. Yet God expects us to pray! Samuel told the children of Israel that he considered it a sin against the Lord if he failed to pray for them. How easy it is to stop praying for people who never seem to change. After all, if our prayers aren’t working, why go on praying?
Samuel was called by the Lord to serve as a prophet to Israel (1 Samuel 3:20), and this he did faithfully. Although the people’s habitual turning away from the Lord had wearied Samuel, he persevered and promised that he would continue in his prophetic office. To pray and to teach those who wander from the truth takes spiritual tenacity. Samuel practiced such endurance. He had been Israel’s leader from his youth (1 Samuel 12:2); and now, old and gray, he committed himself to continue praying faithfully for the obdurate children of Israel.
It is also a spiritual discipline to teach others “what is good and right” (1 Samuel 12:23). It is an all-absorbing task to teach our families. It’s a sacrifice to prepare a Sunday school lesson or put time aside to meet young Christians and encourage them in the Lord. It also takes self-discipline to live a holy life, to hold people accountable, and to warn them that actions have consequences (1 Samuel 12:25). In other words, we need to be spiritually disciplined ourselves if we are ever to be used to teach others. We must earn the right to be heard. We must practice what we teach.
For Further Study: 1 Samuel 12:1-25
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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Renew your spirit for the year ahead!