STOP Praying

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January 29, 2017
Sermon Notes—"Stop Praying"
"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ."
Colossians 1:28 (NIV84)

Lesson Text
16"As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19Is it I whom they provoke? declares the Lord. Is it not themselves, to their own shame? 20Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched." 21Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23But this command I gave them: 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.' 24But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. 26Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers. 27"So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28And you shall say to them, 'This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips. 29" 'Cut off your hair and cast it away; raise a lamentation on the bare heights, for the Lord has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.'
Jeremiah 7:16–29 (ESV)

Why would God tell Jeremiah to stop praying?
A profile of the nation in 7:16-26:
Pervasive IDOLATRY. DISOBEDIENCE doesn't hurt God, it hurts you.
Don't make a FOOL of yourself!
12"And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?
Deuteronomy 10:12–13 (ESV)

2. Consistent, GENERATIONAL rejection of God's commands in spite of His persistent appeals for REPENTANCE.
OBEDIENCE is the defining attribute of God's people, not religious rituals.
16You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.

Matthew 7:16–17 (NLT)

These PEOPLE were not His PEOPLE.
God had "GIVEN THEM OVER" to the sinful desires of their hearts. Jeremiah's prayers would have been in vain.
God is doing the same today. (Romans 1:18-32)

1. Some people simply don't want God, and you can't change that.
2. Those same people will reject you because they have rejected God.
4. Don't stop PRAYING!

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