Samuel was frustrated. He had put up with Israel's disobedience and hard-hearted attitude for years. He had every reason under heaven to throw up his hands and walk away from the stubborn, rebellious nation.
Sam asked Israel for a list of all the ways he had mistreated them as a nation. They couldn't think of one. In 1st Samuel 12, Sam gave Israel a verbal highlight film of the many ways Israel had been unfaithful to God.
Score? Israel plenty, Samuel zero. Israel skunked Samuel in the game of disbodience. No one could blame Sam for his frustration with Israel. He could never be bad-mouthed if he chose to quit praying and interceding for the disobedient nation.
Hmmm... How are you doing when it comes to YOUR homeland? Do you get a wee bit frustrated with the direction and disobedience of this nation? America is racking up the points on the scoreboard of disobedience. Do I hear a collective sigh from the saints (not the fans in New Orleans, but the fans of the new covenant)?
Samuel did not give up on Israel. You and I shouldn't give up on America, either. Notice Sam's attitude, "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right" (1st Samuel 12:23, NIV).
Sam considered it a personal sin to stop praying for Israel. Though he had every reason under heaven to stop, Samuel's allegiance did not stop short of heaven. He was committed to obeying God, praying for his homeland, and spreading the truth of God's way.
Praying for others is a privilege and a responsibility God has granted us. To not pray for others, according to Samuel, is to fail God. Sounds like a good reason to pray!
The list is long of those who need our prayers. From the leaders to the laborers, the entire country needs the entire body of Christ praying fervently and consistently on behalf of this nation. We are off course. We have drifted into dangerous waters. We're trying to have a pool party in a cesspool. We need to plead before the throne of heaven for forgiveness of the mess we've made on earth.
The good news is, you will never run out of reasons to pray and heaven will never run out of resources to answer. When you put those two things together, a miraculous moving of the entire nation back to its foundations of faith is more than a possibility.
"Father, here we come to ask Your forgiveness for where we've been..." Ok. I've started the prayer.
You finish it...