Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me, for I will not hear you.
For as long as I’ve been in church, I was taught that if I prayed to God, He’d always listen. After all, He is my Father in Heaven. But as I read Jeremiah, I saw the wrath and disappointment of God at His chosen people, to the point where He actually told the prophet to not pray for them, because He wouldn’t listen.
God not listen to prayers? If even God won’t hear them out, what hope do these people have? Truly, as God said those words, the Israelites have reached a point of no return. Even God has forsaken them. If God forsake them, who will be for them? Is this the price to be paid for constant rebellion? I feel no different from these Israelites, for I have continued to turn away from God and put other things above Him. There would be points in my life where I’d completely tune Him out, as if He was never part of my life. My focus was on other things, other people, other “gods”. Surely the Israelites can’t have done worse than me?
Yet God never turned His back on me when I cried out to Him. He heard me each and every time. When I prayed, He listened. When I listened, He spoke. There are times when I feel like I’ve reached the point of no return, yet I always find Him waiting for me to take me back. Even when I felt like I’ve lost all hope, that small, quiet voice would still remind me that He was there. But how often have I took God’s grace for granted, that He’d always catch me when I fall? These Israelites must have felt the same way, becoming proud and indifferent to God, assuming He’d always be there for them.
Yet He wasn’t. He turned His back on the Israelites, not even willing for Jeremiah to intercede on their behalf. They’ve reached the point of no return. But because of Jesus, because His perfect blood covered me, because He has bridged the gap, God will always hear my cries and prayers. I’ve always wondered why we end prayers with “In Jesus’ nam we pray”, but now I know.