podcast

#474 – Interceding on Behalf of Sinners (Jeremiah 47:6)

Pray The Word
Jeremiah
47
6
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“Ah, sword of the Lord! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard. Rest and be still!”
(Jeremiah 47:6)

There are two exclamation points in Jeremiah 47:6. Jeremiah is pleading. He sees God’s judgment coming, and he is interceding for the nations who are going to experience God’s judgment. He’s calling out, crying out for mercy, and this picture in Jeremiah should drive our understanding of prayer.

God’s judgment is coming upon sinners, and we are driven to pray and plead for God’s mercy, to intercede on their behalf.

We know from God’s Word that his judgment is coming upon sinners who are separated from Him, who have not put their trust in Jesus. We know judgment is coming. That doesn’t mean we delight in that. Instead, we are driven to pray, to plead for God’s mercy. This is what we see all throughout scripture, that prayer is intercession, pleading on behalf of another who is in need of mercy.

So, I look at an unreached people today, like the Arora in India. There are four million of them, in Central and Northern India, Hindus, almost 100% Hindu. There are few, if any, followers of Jesus. Some would say, “No known followers of Jesus among the Arora today.” And so, I’m reading about this people, their rigorous work ethic, their culture of good works, relying upon their accomplishments to win God’s favor. And I know from God’s Word that there’s not enough good works in the Arora to win the favor of the one true holy God. I know that there are over four million Arora right now who are sinners separated from God, worshiping all kinds of other gods that cannot save them. And so, I’m driven to pray, and I want to lead us to pray specifically right now for the Arora.

Oh, God, please, please, please, show your salvation among the Arora. I picture four million people, God. There are people dying among the Arora today who haven’t even heard the gospel. They’ve not even heard the good news of your grace in Jesus. They haven’t believed it. They are going to eternal judgment. God, please, please, please, have mercy. Put your sword into the scabbard. Rest and be still. Show mercy, God, we pray. Please show mercy.

And we trust you, you hear that prayer and you’re going to answer. God, we pray that you’d send workers into this harvest field. Send missionaries into the Arora. Send believers in India to focus on this people group. Send missionaries from other countries to focus on this people group. God, we pray for the salvation of the Arora in India, for more and more and more Arora to hear the gospel and believe it and be saved from the sword of Your wrath due to sin.

God, please show your salvation. We pray for the Arora. Then God, we do, we pray for people right around us who are under your judgment right now. God, show your salvation. Show your salvation, we pray, we plead for our friends, family members, coworkers, just people around us in our community and in our cities. God, please show your mercy and lead us to pray continually like this, pleading for your mercy, and then God, use our lives as a demonstration of your mercy, to proclaim Your mercy that they might know Your love and Your grace and Your salvation.

God, we pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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