1 Samuel 12:23
Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you…
I. ITS EFFICACY GENERALLY ACKNOWLEDGED. They felt that his words, if weak on earth, were mighty in heaven. Now this feeling implies their belief in the efficacy of intercessory prayer, and I make three remarks concerning this belief.
1. It is very common. There is nothing peculiar in the belief that one man on earth may have power in heaven to help his fellow men. In truth, it is so common that I am almost disposed to regard it as one of the intuitive faiths of humanity. Priesthoods are everywhere, and this faith is the foundation of all priesthoods.
2. Divinely warranted. In truth, if it be an inborn faith, it must be Divinely warranted; for Heaven evermore encourages all that is truly natural. We find the Divine warrant in the numerous exhortations addressed to us in the Word of God to pray for our fellow men.
3. Sadly abused. It is abused by those who trust to it irrespective of their own efforts
II. ITS NEGLECT DEPRECATED AS A SIN: — "God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you." It is the ordinance of God that man should assist his fellow man, not merely by bringing his best influences to bear upon his mind, but by offering up his best desires to heaven on his behalf. This being the law, to neglect it is a sin.
1. It serves to impress society with the solemnity of man's existence. Surely, here in a world where the millions are grubbing in what is material and drudging with their hands, it is something to elevate us into stately seriousness to feel that there are men like Samuel endowed with powers to touch the heart of God, and so move the springs of history.
2. It serves to unite men together in spiritual interest. Mutual intercessory prayers are, of all influences, the most socially uniting.
3. It serves to nurture the deepest philanthropy. True intercession is philanthropy exercising itself in the very presence of God. Where can it get a higher inspiration or a stronger impulse?
Parallel VersesKJV: Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: