1 Samuel 12:23 – 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.
Today my devotional gave me this verse to read. Of course, since I do thing in my own way I read the devotional first and came back to the verse a few hours later. When I read the verse I wanted to know the context. What was happening for Samuel to make this declaration. After going in and reading the passage I sat there for a while and thought about what had jumped out at me from this passage.
Samuel was talking to the people regarding their desire to have a king over them. Samuel said that God was giving them their king, and in a modern vernacular, he told them they could basically choke on it. This was not something God wanted for them, and Samuel was righteously angry at the entire situation. He even went so far as to call down God’s wrath in a storm. The people cried out to Samuel and begged him to make it stop and asked that he would pray for them. Samuel then spoke the words in the verse above.
So, as I thought about this I asked what God wanted me to get from it. I thought about Samuel. He was the prophet of God and the Judge of Israel. The people had rejected God’s leadership, and thereby had rejected Samuel’s leadership as well. You could say that he had been given a pink slip. Although, as the line of communication between God and the people, they still saw him as necessary. Samuel stood up and did the right thing when he could have checked out. He knew that he was still on the clock and had a responsibility to the people. To pray for them and instruct them.
So, how does that apply to me? Well, I am no priest, and I am not a prophet. I am a follower of Christ, and that makes me an ambassador called to reach out to others and show them His love. It’s not my only role though. I’m a husband, a father, a friend, a mentor, at times a teacher, and I am a manager. In many of those positions I have people I am responsible for in different ways. I have some that are more important than others, but they are all given to me by God. You could say they are in my charge.
My thoughts were drawn mostly to the people I work with. Especially after reading the devo again and seeing a phrase I have been hearing a lot lately, “We don’t pray enough.” Do I pray for my team at work? No. Well, not unless they are going through something tough like a family member passing away, or a sickness. I have been getting better of thinking of them then, but on a regular basis? It just had not really entered my mind. I know that many of them are not believers or are not sure what they believe, and I guess I have just been doing a blanket prayer of asking God to help me speak and live with the love of Christ in a way that they will want to talk to me about it, but I haven’t prayed for them as individuals with specific needs and hurts. I’ve been punching out spiritually from the people I work with.
So, I am going to start to pray for them in a different way. I want God to work in their lives. I want them to see that He is the answer to their questions, that He is the healer for their pains, that He is what they need to fill their hearts. I might not be with them all of the time, but until God removes me from their lives, or them from mine, I do have a responsibility toward them. I’m not off the clock.