My colleagues and I must now issue this same answer and apply it to ourselves. We have prayed in vain for the clergy. With his actions, God is demonstrating mightily that he does not want to hear our intercession in their behalf, but he is letting them go and sin against the Holy Spirit, as Pharaoh did, until they are beyond hope of repentance and reform.
If anything could have been attained through prayer before God and anything achieved with the clergy through admonition, pleas, humility, patience, friendly advances, truth, justice, a good muse, etc., it surely would have been accomplished [by] now. — Martin Luther