Why We Should Pray
Text: Jeremiah 33:3
My text this this morning is found in the midst of dire circumstances. It’s the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign and Jeremiah is still imprisoned. Why was he there? Quite simple, for doing nothing else but preaching God’s Word.
v1 follows from 32:1. Obviously God’s Word had come to him on many occasions, but this was the second time it came with the similarity of that which is given in ch32. It just shows you that it doesn’t matter where the world puts you, the comfort of God’s Word and presence is never out of reach. Jeremiah may be bound, but the Word isn’t.
v2 is somewhat strange at first glance. What it seems to refer to is the Word of God that came to Jeremiah. The Lord is the maker of His Word, He forms it, and He establishes it. This was good for Jeremiah to keep in mind. As preachers, we can fall into the temptation of thinking the fulfilment of God’s Word is about us. Charles Finney was guilty of this, and many others like him. The idea being if you follow a formula, you bring the outcome into your own hands.
And this would have been encouraging for Jeremiah, because right now he couldn’t do anything to further the Word. Except one thing – he could pray. And so… v3
I. THERE’S A GREAT INVITATION – call unto me
i) The Simplicity in the Invitation – ‘call’
One of the glorious things about prayer is its simplicity. It’s one of the first things we learn to do when we come to Christ, and we can do it effectively. We may not be able to preach, but we can pray for the start. It doesn’t require light, or a certain place, or time. God invites us to commune with Him through the most simple act – prayer!
Praise God, Jesus Christ has done everything necessary so prayer requires nothing but the simple act of calling.
“Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” Heb 10:18-22
ii) The Spirituality in the Invitation – ‘unto me’
How can we address God? We are physical and bound by time. He is spirit and abides in eternity. How then can we communicate across this insurmountable barrier?
“Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Rom 8:15
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Rom 8:26
II. THERE’S A GREAT PROMISE – ‘And I will answer thee’
i) The Promise May Come Directly – Acts 12
ii) The Promise May Come Differently – 2 Cor 12 Paul’s thorn.
iii) The Promise May Be Delayed – Dan 10:1-3, v12. Three weeks with no answer.
iv) The Promise May Be Denied – 1 Kg 19:4 (Elijah’s desire to die). I wanted to get out of Hebrew.
III. THERE’S A GREAT OUTCOME
i) Shows the Degree of God’s Power – “Show thee great and mighty things”
The realm of the truly great and might things belongs alone to God. To Him, the very nations are but a drop in a bucket.
What great and might things can we imagine? Look at v4-9, 14-16, 22.
ii) Shows the Defect of Man’s Vision – “which thou knowest not”
This was hard for Jeremiah to envisage, and it’s hard for us to. We have a defect in our vision caused by a lack of faith, and our lack of faith is caused by a lack of prayer. Once Jeremiah really began to pray about this he began to believe it. It’s hard to imagine him recording it without having come to a belief of it coming to pass. And there’s the challenge for us, beloved. This prayer meeting is to be a time of vision and revival. A place and time where we seek God to give us a vision and to send us a revival, among the other needs of the church.
What do we pray for? Have you no burden?
“Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.” ~ Spurgeon
“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.” ~ J. Sidlow Baxter