This is Part 3 in the Prayer Series… It has two parts to it. Here is part one.
This is POWERFUL! God will actually listen to us when we call upon Him! Wow! How Awesome is this?
Often… and all too often people quote this one scripture an inspirational speaker or preacher (some prosperity package dealers) have given to them. One of those are Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” In essence, this section in Jeremiah 29 is a call to prayer. Hello. I bet you didn’t see that coming. Prayer, in many cases, is a prerequisite to an expected end.
Keep in mind as you read further, this is not about an individual. This is about a community. The people of Israel in captivity. (For Christians its to the Body of Christ- the expectant Bride). In the face of opposition, the many false prophets, Jeremiah wrote to the captives in Babylon. From preaching sermons against them to the people, he now writes letters to them. He tells them do not pay attention to the false prophets with their false promises of early release; but instead to listen to God. Here’s the truth, “Settle in, folks. Ya’ gonna’ be here for a while. Seventy (70) years.” (para)
Jeremiah aimed to reunite them in their captivity and to tell them to be at ease; it is okay to settle in; build houses; give your children in marriage; live in peace and pray for the prosperity of the city; Yes, the city of their captivity. Well, what is the strategy in that? God told the people that if the city prospers so will they. He wanted them to make the best of a seemingly bad situation. God is Awesome! He knows our abilities when we trust in Him. We are capable of riding out the storms!
Here is proof it is about prayer: God promised the people that they would see the comfortable termination of their troubles that they hoped for. He gave them a set time; seventy years. God was not giving them what their fears told them, or what their fancies told them. He was giving them the expectations of their Faith. Powerful stuff!
So, where exactly does the expectations of one’s faith come from? It is in the realm of prayer. The end of their faith shall be the answer to prayers and supplications to the Lord. Verse 12 means God will stir them up to pray; “Then shall you call upon Me, and you shall go, and pray unto Me.” Note: When God is about to give His people the expected good, He pours out a spirit of prayer and it is a good sign that He is coming towards them in mercy. Then, when you see the expected end approaching, then “you shall call upon Me.”
Note: Promises are given, not to supersede, but to quicken and encourage prayer: and when deliverance is coming we must by prayer go forth to meet it.