PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD
Give them, O Lord – what wilt Thou give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. Hosea 9:14
When a person walks with God, it is easy to become bitter over someone nearby who is lukewarm in his faith. There is a fine line between being sad over their condition and becoming angry. At that point, pride can slip in and set up stronghold territory.
Here, Hosea prays for his rebellious nation. He senses the sadness of His heartbroken Father over their wanderings. On God’s behalf, he makes an impassioned plea for repentance. They apparently didn’t budge. In frustration, he began to pray differently. “Give them, O Lord…..” How did he finish it? Did he ask for judgment? We’ll never know because he checked himself before more words were spoken. He set a watch on his tongue. He was a shining example of taking thoughts and words captive before speaking them and yielding bad fruit.
What followed was Hosea’s amended prayer. He decided that he should be asking God what “He would give.” He surmised that perhaps God would want to cause miscarriages instead. While that may sound cruel, consider that Hosea was probably asking that God prevent babies from being born, infants who would live to see the judgment of God against their fathers. His indignant prayers turned to a kind of merciful intercession instead.
I will know that I have God’s heart when I can pray for someone who frustrates me, and has even hurt me, with cries for mercy instead of punishment. That will require spending a lot of time with Jesus so that His kind of praying rubs off on me and becomes instinctive.
You know those who have hurt me the most, Lord Jesus. Teach me how love prays. Amen