I Samuel 11-12; Convicted Again

I love God’s Word. I look at it as a personal letter written to me by the love of my life. Every day I hear Him encouraging me, directing me, reassuring me as I read these precious words. I open my Bible every day and expect God to speak to me. And He never fails.

But…

Sometimes I read what is on God’s heart, and find myself guilt ridden. I end my time with the Lord, and feel the sting of conviction. Today was one of those days that God thought I needed a good spanking instead of a pat on the head.

And what really bugs me about that is the thing He’s disciplining me for is something He’s disciplined me about before. Often.

How many times are you going to yell at me about this, God?

How many times are you going to ignore me, He seems to reply.

The subject is prayer. If you’ve been with me very long on this blogging journey, you’re probably aware that my prayer life can be lacking. It’s not that I don’t pray. I say grace before most meals, I offer sentence prayers to God throughout the day, thanking Him for things, praying a word or two on behalf of someone He brings to mind.

But so often in God’s Word I hear Him say He’d like me to be still, to spend time communicating with Him, that He longs for that kind of relationship with me.

Today He got down to business. Samuel, in talking to the Jews about the fact they were going to have to live with the consequences for the sin of asking for a human king, said these words that slapped me in the face:

As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you… (12:23)

So God, you’re saying that failing to pray is a SIN? Not just lack of discipline? Are You saying that when I promise to pray for someone and don’t, it’s not just forgetfulness? It’s a sin against the Lord?

Ok, God, I hear You. And I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I hear You tell me that entering Your throne room and laying my requests at Your feet isn’t just a suggestion. I understand prayer is a privilege. I’m seeing that not praying is a sin. There are so many people You’ve laid on my heart, so many illnesses and relationships that need healing. Forgive me for assuming that because You know everything anyway, You don’t need to hear it from me. Forgive me for sinning against the Lord when I don’t pray. I love You. I certainly don’t want to sin against You. Especially by neglecting something so amazing as talking toYou.

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