Because every child knows, when your father is mad at you is not the time to ask him for things!
1 John 5:16 NKJV If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do NOT say that he should pray about that.
Can you imagine saying to your brother “no, I won’t pray for you”? Even under the most extreme circumstances, for the worst sins? If not, then there is a great deal about prayer you don’t understand.
Imagine what would happen if a Christian were asked “pray for me!” and he responded “why should I?”
Can you imagine the shock and scorn he would be faced with? Yet the Bible commands us to do that. We aren’t supposed to pray for everyone!
Christians today feel it is their duty to beg, bribe, and plead with God about every stranger’s problems. But as always... Does God not know? Does He not care? Does He not have a plan? (Matthew 5:45).
If someone is hungry and cold, it is because God chose not to provide these things. And if God has not blessed someone with food then by all means – give them food (Romans 12:20). But before you ask GOD to feed them and bless them... ask yourself if this is your problem?
Proverbs 26:17 NKJV He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears.
Let’s consider your human brother and father again, to better understand how this works. If your brother steals a car, he deserves to be punished by your father. Surely you agree?
Now if your brother comes to you and says “this punishment sucks, talk to Dad and try and get him to lighten up”, what should you do?
This is a serious crime, and for the sake of everyone – including your brother – he needs to learn that this isn’t acceptable. And while you may feel sorry for your grounded brother, that doesn’t meant he should get off so easy! (Hebrews 12:17).
You may hope for his sake this is over soon... but to ask your father for leniency, you would need a very good reason, something like “Dad, I’m sure he’s learned his lesson”; “Dad, it was really my fault”; “Dad, the punishment is unfair, no one should suffer like this”.
So first, your brother would need to convince you that his suffering was unfair; and then, you’d need to come up with a pretty compelling argument to get your father to change his mind.
Right? I mean, this is how we’d all handle this. So why does no one handle prayer this way?
If someone wants you to pray for them, it’s on them to convince you why they deserve mercy! And if you want God to change His mind about them, it’s on you to convince Him why He should!
Remember: God is doing all of this for their own good. So before you ask Him to stop doing that and do something you think is better for them, you need a very well reasoned and convincing argument!
What did this person do to offend God? (Isaiah 59:1-2). Have they forgiven their enemies? (Mark 11:25-26). Have they repented to their brother? (Matthew 5:23-24). Have they learned their lesson? (Job 42:5-6). Have they confessed their sins to you? (James 5:15-16).
If not... WHY should God change His mind... when they haven’t changed the reason His mind was set that way to begin with?
And if you don’t know these things... then why are YOU involved in this, again? Just to remind God to remember a person He never forgot?
To remind Him, the One who died for their sins, to care about them? To helpfully suggest He STOP doing the thing HE BELIEVES is best for their spiritual growth?
So look at the people you know, their suffering, and their problems. Is God being unfair? Does He not know how hard it is to be a human? Hebrews 4:15. If you think He might have forgotten, then remind Him! Because that’s what prayer is for.
Prayer is to CHANGE GOD’S MIND. It can certainly be done; it happened all the time in the Bible. When people went about it the right way.
But it takes great courage and wisdom – or incredible foolishness and arrogance – to venture to correct God’s judgment.
When you say “yes, I’ll be happy to pray for you!” to every person who asks, without any questions or knowledge of the situation whatsoever... which are you demonstrating?