As I mentioned in my previous post, I took out a few books to look over and it’s been years since I read them. Among them was one titled “Talking with God” and the first lesson speaks of God’s invitation to prayer. The author uses Jeremiah 33:1-3 which is one of God’s invitations to pray.
1 While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time
2 “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it–the Lord is his name
3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
A number of points can be made but on the surface are 3 great messages to the Prophet:
A. Call to Me
B. I will answer you
C. Show you great and mighty things
it’s interesting to note God invites us to call to Him regardless of where we are and right in the midst of our struggles. It was true In Jeremiah’s case – which was behind bars. God invited Jeremiah to call to Him from prison and promised to answer him right where he was.
In light of my prayer plea and wanting a way out of my current situation- this word was very telling because the author wrote “In reality, the ‘prison’ in which we find ourselves may be the very place that God has designated for us to learn better how to serve Him’ hmm – a word in season.
I absolutely love point B because God is always available and there is never a ‘busy signal or a recorded message from an angelic being saying – God is occupied right now. At the tone, please leave a message and He’ll get back to you.” He hears our every prayer. In a sense, we know that. We know God knows our thoughts and the words are coming out of our mouths before they are even formed. We can trust that He hears us.
God says “Call to Me. I am here”. Therefore we can talk to our heavenly Father anytime, anywhere, and in the midst of any situation and his promise is ‘I will answer you’. Somehow I have mis-led myself into believing that an answered prayer has to be a resounding ‘yes’. The author says, God has 3 main answers:
Each of the above answers is an equally valid answer. No kidding. But I thought yes was an answer to a prayer. As a parent, I can relate because I do not always give my son everything he asks for. Why did I lead myself into thinking that if God does not say -yes- He isn’t answering me or I am not important to Him or He doesn’t care? Yes- I have actually thought that.
The author went on to say ‘when God answers no or wait, it is usually because we haven’t fully waited on the Lord to discover His will or direction for our lives.” He went on to say that a yes answer is not guaranteed solely because a person is living right, sometimes a no is necessary because His answer to us affects another person who is not living right. But we can be sure that God’s answer is ALWAYS for our protection and His motivation towards us is always love.
Now- I am so grateful for many –no- answers because no telling where I would be and looking back now -boy am I glad that God didn’t give me many, many things I thought I needed.
Equally important is the way we respond to God’s no or wait. We can go before the Lord as we ask Him to evaluate the desires of our hearts to see if they are part of His plan for our lives. Likewise, when the answer is wait- may we be on alert to be ready to receive what He has for us.
He concludes with ‘the fact is, we can’t hurry God in His answers. We can’t change His mind. He is more interested in our eternal future – our growth, our faith, our obedience, our character – than in making us happy in the current moment’.
Quotes from Talking With God by Charles Stanley