Contend Earnestly: Praying for Haters of God

Monday, May 22, 2006

Praying for Haters of God

This is going to sound like a cold post where I don't love the lost, which is actually completely the opposite. I pray continually that I would see the lost as God does and pray that I would seek and save the lost as Christ did. That I would spread the seed, that I would water, yet keep my mind on God's sovereignty to bring people to salvation and not myself.

So the question is when do I stop to pray for a sinner who refuses to repent and mocks God? Sound a little insane? Sound a little harsh? Look to 1 John 5:16;

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not {leading} to death, he shall ask and {God} will for him give life to those who commit sin not {leading} to death. There is a sin {leading} to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.

I know that some won’t agree with what I believe is the “sin leading to death,” but I strongly believe it is the sin mentioned by Christ:

"Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the {age} to come.”
Matthew 12:31,32

You also have God hardening Pharaoh’s heart in Romans 9; God turning the people over to their wants and desires in Romans 1; Paul handing over Hymenaeus and Alexander to Satan; so are we to continue to do this today? Are we to actually stop praying for some individuals who profane and blaspheme the Spirit which I see as the sin leading to death; or was this something that God gave the apostles insight to?

We know that God gave some special privileges all through the Bible; Daniel and interpreting dreams, Elisha and his amazing miracles, Isaiah and his prophecies, John the Baptist with his zeal and preaching of the coming Messiah, the apostles in their miracles, healings and writing of the word. So, is this something that was just for the apostles to do: To stop praying for those who blaspheme the Spirit and to hand them over to Satan.

For me, it seems very hard for me to stop praying for those in which I don’t know God’s plan:

The secret things belong to the Lord
Deuteronomy 29:29

I do know that I will continue to pray and strive to pray like Paul prayed for people as a whole:

I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, {separated} from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
Romans 9:1-3

The question is when you see someone to continue to hate God and they love hating God should we pray for them or give them over to Satan? For Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 to “avoid such men as these.”

May we continue to proclaim the excellencies of Him who bought us with His blood and to not lose heart knowing that our toil is not in vain.


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