Summary: When those whose lives are in danger ask for prayer, it would be a sin to fail to pray for them. Born again Christians can take their rightful place among such giants of intercession, such as Moses, Daniel, The Apostle Paul,and Jesus.
Turn your Bibles to 1 Samuel 12:23
Title: Becoming a Soldier’s Shield
Theme: Praying for Those in Harm’s Way
Introduction: Our key text today is set in the time when the prophet Samuel is giving his farewell speech. In this speech Samuel confronts the people with evidence of the righteous acts performed by the Lord for the people of God. (1 Samuel 12:7) Samuel tells the people, “If you fear the Lord and serve and obey Him and do not rebel against His commands and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God – Good! But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against His commands, His hand will be against you…” (1 Samuel 12:14-15)
It was harvest time and Samuel called upon the Lord to send thunder and rain so they would know what a great evil they had done in the eyes of the Lord when they asked for a king to rule over them as the other nations had kings. (1 Samuel 12:17) The same day Samuel prayed the “…Lord sent thunder and rain and all the people stood in awe of the Lord…” (1 Samuel 12:18) Listen to the response of the people to Samuel, “…Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to our sins the evil of asking for a king.” (1 Samuel 12:19)
After a few more instructions, Samuel tells the people, “For the sake of His great name the Lord will not reject His people, because the Lord was pleased to make you His own.” (1 Samuel 12:22) These words of promise lead us to our key text:
Listen as I read 1 Samuel 12:23, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord for failing to pray for you.” Let us pray!
Proposition: I would propose to you that when those whose lives are in danger ask for prayer, it would be a sin to fail to pray for them. Born again Christians can take their rightful place among such giants of intercession (The Expositors Bible Commentary) such as Moses, (Exodus 32;30-32) Daniel, (Daniel 9:4-20) The Apostle Paul (Romans 1:9-10) And Jesus. (Romans 8:34)
Interrogative Sentence: Are Christians called to pray for each other and for those who risk their lives for their country? Just what are the benefits in praying for those in our armed forces?
Transitional Sentence: God who called us to Christ sent His Holy Spirit to have the Apostle Paul write, “I urge, then first of all, that request, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone…” (1 Timothy 2:1) Ephesians 6:18 tells us that Christians are to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers…”
Samuel could had said, “Now that you Israelites have the king you wanted and sinned against God, go to Saul and have him pray for you. God knew that Saul’s heart would not remain faithful to Him and His prayers would be superficial and self-centered. Therefore, The Lord would call forth a true man of God who knew Him and would pray so as not to be found in sin.
The Christian’s call is to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and they sin when they restrain prayer in general, and in particular when they cease to pray for those who ask for it.