If you are like most evangelical Christians this banner is probably disconcerting right now. After all, we have been taught from the beginning of our conversion that we are to Pray without ceasing, and commanded to pray for everything.
Yet there are three incidents in the Bible when God says or implies “Do not Pray.” The first is when Mosses is banned from crossing the Jordon, the last is in 1John 5:16, and then in the middle, we find Jeremiah 7.
CONTEXT: In Matthew Henry’s Commentary we find: The prophet having in God’s name reproved the people for their sins, and given them warning of the judgments of God that were coming upon them, in this chapter prosecutes the same intention for their humiliation and awakening. I. He shows them the invalidity of the plea they so much relied on, that they had the temple of God among them and constantly attended the service of it, and endeavours to take them off from their confidence in their external privileges and performances (v. 1-11). II. He reminds them of the desolations of Shiloh, and foretels that such should be the desolations of Jerusalem (v. 12-16). III. He represents to the prophet their abominable idolatries, for which he was thus incensed against them (v. 17-20). IV. He sets before the people that fundamental maxim of religion that “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sa. 15:22), and that God would not accept the sacrifices of those that obstinately persisted in disobedience (v. 21-28). V. He threatens to lay the land utterly waste for their idolatry and impiety, and to multiply their slain as they had multiplied their sin (v. 29-34).
In our text for today the key verse is verse 16, where God tells Jeremiah to stop praying for Judah:
“Therefore, do not pray for this people [of Judah] or lift up a cry or entreaty for them or make intercession to Me, for I do not hear you.
There comes a time in the history of every nation where they decide that they are greater than He who created them. In our text, Judah had again forsaken God, and God was fed up, resolute in His determination to punish that nation he tells the prophet to stop praying for their benevolence.
We in America and many other “civilized” countries around the world are on that threshold, where God will forsake us, where He will give us over, to our own reprobate minds. Are we there yet? I do not think so and it is incumbent upon every believer to pray for our nation until such time as God clearly says “Do not Pray.” Below is a list of prayers for your nation that you may find helpful.