Pray for Me

Pray for Me

In the South, we know houseflies; we keep flyswatters, and we shoo them away from our plates at picnics. However, what if those flies were everywhere, and I mean everywhere. That, of course, was the experience of the Egyptians when God brought the plagues upon them: “There came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and into his servants’ houses. Throughout all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by the swarms of flies” (Ex 8:24).

Pharaoh—and the rest of the Egyptians—obviously wanted the swarms of flies gone (we ourselves know the nuisance of a few flies; just imagine flies everywhere). To get rid of the flies, Pharaoh said to Moses, “Plead for me” (Ex 8:28). Imagine being in Pharaoh’s shoes: He’s facing a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions (and this is the fourth such catastrophe he has faced), and he cannot pray for himself. He could not go before God’s throne and find the support he needed in his hour of trial.

It is right and good that we pray for one another (cf. Js 5:16), but imagine being in Pharaoh’s condition and unable to pray for yourself. You learn catastrophic news that rips your heart into a million pieces; you can ask others to pray for you, but you cannot pray for yourself. You face a huge temptation in which Satan threatens to destroy you; you can call someone and ask for prayer, but you cannot pray for yourself.

Such is the situation for many in the world, and frankly, for many in the church: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (Js 5:16) and “Whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him” (1 Jn 3:22). To be perfectly frank, some people waste their breath when they pray, for their prayers do not reach the ceiling, let alone the throne of Almighty God.

God hears and answers prayers which conform to his will from all righteous and obedient people. Pharaoh was neither righteous nor obedient; his prayer has no chance for success. How successful are your prayers?

This article was originally written by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., for the weekly newsletter at Church of Christ Deer Park in Deer Park, Texas.

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