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Sacrificial Prayer

Exodus 32:31-32
31 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

We live in a world where we continually commit the sin of making gods of gold for ourselves, where the pervasive ideology becomes preferring money over what matters. People have sacrificed dignity, relationships, and right living on the altar of consumption. And it is our job to pray for those ensnared by the corrupt mind-set that material possessions and money are all that matters. The almighty dollar-euro-pound-yen-rand is a cheap substitute for the Almighty God.

What a stunningly sacrificial prayer Moses offers here for the money-bent nation of Israel. It echoes the sentiment of the apostle Paul:
My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save themRomans 9:2-3

Moses’s prayer is one of deep intercession, attempting to take upon himself what only Christ could do—to bear the sins of another.

Have you ever experienced this kind of affection toward those for whom you pray?
That you feel you would willingly be cut off from Christ so that someone else might experience his grace and glory?
This is the cry of love, the prayer of the intercessor, the longing of the one who stands in the gaping hole between a holy God and his unholy people.

Moses prays for God’s forgiveness for those who have willingly turned away. We can pray the same, realizing that we, too, willingly turn away. We are clay-footed folks longing for security more than we long for the Savior. Thankfully, we have an advocate in Jesus Christ, who lives to intercede for us day and night. “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous1 John 2:1

Whether we pray for ourselves, trusting in Jesus our advocate, or we intercede for those in our lives who are far from him, we can be reassured that we will never have to experience hell. Jesus faced it all as he died on the cross. He accomplished this prayer, being cut off from the Father, so we would not have to be.

Jesus, how can I thank you for such a sacrifice? I pray for myself and my friends and family who have been wayward.
Help us realize that the things of this world will not satisfy.
Help me pray all the more fervently for those who are trapped by the trappings of this world.
Thank you for going to the cross for me. I cannot adequately express my gratitude.

Author: DeMuth, M. E. (2020). Pray every day: 90 days of Prayer from God’s word.

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