“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.”
The Bible is filled with commands from God, which place requirements upon man. Bible scholars tell us there are over 600 distinct commands in the Old Testament alone. On one occasion, Jesus was approached by a man who was seeking to list these commands in order of importance. He asked “which is the greatest commandment?” To which Jesus replied, “love God…” (Matthew 22:26—37)
Of all the commands, this one in Jeremiah has to rank among the strangest. The prophet was instructed NOT to pray for the people. It is easy to understand commands such as: have no other gods, no graven images, or do not steal. But what could be the reason God commanded his prophet not to pray?
Keep in mind, Jeremiah had been calling upon the people to turn from their wicked lifestyles and return to the Lord. He exhorted them time and time again to “amend their ways”; which means to make things right. Sadly, the people ignored the Word of God and the pleas of the prophet. Despite the fact that they were living in sin, they expected to receive the blessing and favor of God. Jeremiah was instructed not to pray for blessing on their lives. Living outside the will of God, takes us outside the favor of God; we cannot expect His promises to apply to us.
The Bible is filled with conditional promises. These promises are reserved for those who have received Christ and walked away from their former lifestyles. If we refuse to give up our sin, we cannot expect to be filled with the fullness of God.