Jeremiah’s prayer

handsinprayer23

I love the fact that Jeremiah, even if confused, still obeyed the instructions he was given by God. He might have even questioned his own sanity at the moment if he had not already practiced discerning the voice of God. Why buy land when God was going to overthrow the country and exile the people? From here comes a prayer in response to hearing why God had him do what he did.

It is by faith that I come in prayer to God to fulfill His promises, no matter how bleak the situation.

By faith yes, and to do that I need to be obedient to what God has to say to me and what He asks of me – just like Jeremiah did.

It is with the promise, it is with the obedience, it is by faith, that Jeremiah could utter this prayer.

After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch, I prayed. – Jeremiah 32:16-23  GNT

In typical style, he starts with worship and acknowleges God as Sovereign.

“And what a prayer! What weight of matter, sublimity of expression, profound veneration, just conception, Divine unction, powerful pleading, and strength of faith! Historical, without flatness; condensed, without obscurity; confessing the greatest of crimes against the most righteous of Beings, without despairing of his mercy, or presuming on his goodness: a confession that, in fact, acknowledges that God’s justice should smite and destroy, had not his infinite goodness said, I will pardon and spare.” –  Clarke

I notice the declaration of who God is and what makes Him sovereign – He made the earth and the sky by His great power and might. There is nothing too difficult for Him.

 “Surely if God could make the heavens and the earth by his great power and by his stretched-out arm, He could easily bring it to pass that the Chaldeans should recede from the land, Israel again inhabit it, and the purchase and tenure of property be nhindered.” – Meyer

“The Puritans used to speak rather grandly about using argument in prayer*. By this they did not mean pressing God to fall in line with our own desires (“My will be done”); what they meant was telling God why what we have asked for seems to us to be for the best, in light of what we know God’s own goals to be (generating good, saving sinners, extending the kingdom and enriching the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and glorifying himself by so revealing his transcendent triune glory that his rational creatures give him glory by their thanks and praise).” – J.I. Packer

 

 

Purposeful prayer

PerilousTimes

I am fascinated by the study of war and the strategic thought behind what makes a good leader in times of engagement. I find I can apply so much to my own leadership to the teams I find leading. So when I read this, I can’t say that I ever looked to the Bible to give advice of this nature.

 Before you start fighting, a priest is to come forward and say to the army, Men of Israel, listen! Today you are going into battle. Do not be afraid of your enemies or lose courage or panic. The Lord your God is going with you, and he will give you victory.’ – Deuteronomy 20:2-4  GNT

I believe they call this – the anointed of the war. The person who was responsible to pray for them – the priest – was called to animate the people. Are not the best encouragers those who believe in the promises of God made to the prayer of faith? It is like an esteemed chaplain in today’s army – not called only to pray, but to preach to them – to give them advice as to what may hinder their success and how to raise their hopes.

The trap of purposelessness faces all of us from time to time. Look how we are instructed to pray and honest prayer.

Then in their trouble they called to the Lord,
    and he saved them from their distress. – Psalm 107:13  GNT

I pray differently than many others but I love the fact that God hears us all – the whispers and the screams.

Unfortunately, I see too many of us who bother not to seek God and to pray about their needs and problems.

Keep all your magic spells and charms;
    you have used them since you were young.
Perhaps they will be of some help to you;
    perhaps you can frighten your enemies. – Isaiah 47:12  GNT

It is a sarcastic comment but what else would one do if they have lost their purpose and have forgotten that prayer matters.

“No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight hereafter who does not in some measure behold it here by faith.”
― John Owen, The Glory Of Christ