Pristine Grace

For Whom are the Saints to Pray?
by J. Max Walker

"But I say unto you which hear, love your enemies, do good unto them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you." - Luke6:27.

    There are three kinds of enemies (besides Satan, and their own indwelling sin) which the living saints of God encounter in their travels below. And of these kind, it is most Scriptural that a diligent search be made to find out those required of above. Firstly, there are those unregenerate heirs of promise "whose carnal mind is enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7) who are enemies in their minds by wicked works; who are enemies concerning the gospel; who persecute the way of the saints; who make havoc of the church; who stoned God's martyr to death; and even crucified their Lord and Saviour. In behalf of these, the Scriptures are abundantly clear. The Lord Jesus Himself prayed for them; His martyr Stephen prayed for them; His servant Paul prayed for them; Hence we may rightly conclude: for these the saints are blessedly enjoined to pray.

    Secondly, there are those called and quickened by grace, passed from death unto life, and have in them Christ the hope of glory, who, though they are not real enemies to God, His church, and His truth, yet are sometimes suffered to act the part of such. Some appeared so to Elias; some became such to Paul because he told them the truth; this kind of enmity lurks in the very purest of saints (II Sam. 11:4); even apostles were not immune from it. (Luke 14:17; Gal 2:11)

    Thirdly, but there are those whose kisses are deceitful (Prov. 27:6); who shall be found to be liars; who are enemies of the righteous without cause; and are deadly enemies (Ps. 17:4); who become the enemies of the Lord's servants continually; who are the Lord's adversaries; the enemies of the cross of Christ; the enemies of all righteousness; and these are to be hated with perfect hatred, and counted as enemies. (Psa. 139:22) ...So, for these, the reprobate wicked enemies of Jehovah and His church, prayer is not only not commanded, but utterly forbidden! (Jere. 7:16; 11:14; 14:11; and I John 5:6)

    It is the Holy Comforter's sole prerogative to guide His people into all truth (John 16:13), and since they know not what to pray for as they ought (Rom. 8:26), the Spirit helpeth this their infirmity. Hence it is, therefore, that the true intercession that ascends and enters into that within the veil, doth so alone by the Almighty Spirit, by which it first descends into the hearts of humbled suppliants "with groans which cannot be uttered - making intercession for the saints according to the will of God!" - Old Faith Contender, 1956.