Samuel had similar things to say after Israel wanted a human king instead of a divine one.
Samuel said he appointed a king according to their wishes and walked faithfully before them. The Lord was witness that he didn’t defraud, oppress or steal from anyone (1 Sam. 12:1-5). The power for intercessory prayer originates from a pure heart.
Samuel reminded the people that the Lord appointed Moses and Aaron and brought their fathers from Egypt. He asked them to consider the Lord’s righteous acts throughout their history. For example, when Jacob went into Egypt and their fathers cried out to the Lord, He sent Moses and Aaron who brought them out of Egypt and settled them in Canaan. Because they forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into Sisera’s hand, captain of Hazor’s army, and to the Philistines and Moab’s king. Their fathers admitted they sinned by forsaking the Lord and serving the Baals and Ashtaroth instead. He sent judges to deliver them from their enemies after they cried to the Lord. As a result, they lived in security (1 Sam. 12:6-11). The motivation for intercessory prayer comes from deliverances modeled in Scripture through confessing sin and claiming God’s promises.
When Ammon’s king came against them, they said to Samuel, “A king should reign over us,” although the Lord was their king. By listening and serving the Lord, they proved they believed in God and not a king. Rebellion, Samuel warned, caused God to oppose them like He did with their fathers. To reinforce his point, he asked God to send thunder and rain during the wheat harvest as a great sign so they would comprehend their great wickedness before the Lord in asking for a king. Everyone greatly feared the Lord and Samuel (1 Sam. 12:12-18). The accountability for intercessory prayer comes from signs showing the consequences of disobeying Him.
The people asked Samuel to pray so they wouldn’t die since they asked for a king. Samuel acknowledged their evil and said, “. . . do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.” Disobedience would lead to seeking futile and worthless things that can’t profit or deliver. God's great name and love prevented Him from abandoning His people. Samuel said he would pray continually and instruct them in the good and right way. He asked that they would fear God, serve Him in truth with all their heart and consider the great things He did for them. Destruction would be consequences for wickedness (1 Sam. 12:19-25). In summary, powerful intercessory prayer leading to total peace and well-being requires a single focus on God, purity of heart, walking in the truth of His word and considering the great things He has done for you.
How are you worshiping success instead of God through intercessory prayer? Memorize and meditate on 1 Sam. 12:23.