Daily D – Jeremiah 42:3
Jeremiah 42:3 “Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” (NIV)
I wonder if one of the reasons we feel like God does not hear and answer our prayers is because he has heard and answered our prayers and we said, “No, thank you,”?
If the only thing we knew about Jeremiah 42 and 43 was the verse above, we would enjoy a warm, fuzzy moment. If we read Jeremiah’s response in verse 4, we would feel good. If we read as far as verses 5 and 6, we would come near saying “Amen!” right out loud in the middle of our quiet time. Go ahead and check out what these guys said:
“May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us.
Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you,
so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.”
Ten days later (see verse 7), Jeremiah delivered God’s response. He provided simple, straightforward instructions with purpose and promise and protection. He also provided a rather strong warning in case they changed their minds since verses 3, 5, and 6.
Jeremiah 43 tells us the rest of the story. Here’s how it starts:
Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah,
“You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’”
Sigh. It appears what Azariah and Johanan wanted from God was a confirmation of their plans rather than seeking God’s plans. It seems as if they only believed God heard and answered their prayers when he agreed with them.
Aren’t you glad none of us pray like that? (Ahem)
Lesson: Do not pray to see if you want to do what God wants you to do. Pray to seek God’s will and ways because you know and trust his heart and mind, his guidance and provision.
Prayer is not a lever we pull to get what we want. Prayer is a practice, a discipline, to seek what God wants knowing what he wants for us is better than anything we want for ourselves.
Prayer is a reminder of who is the ultimate authority in our lives.
Here’s a good way to begin to pray: Whatever you want, I want also. Wherever you lead, I will follow. Whatever you ask, I say, “Yes!”
I will agree with what God says and does in response to my prayers.
Our Father, you answer our prayers better than we ask them. Whatever you want, I want also. Wherever you lead, I will follow. Whatever you ask, I say, “Yes!” Amen.
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Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Luke 6:27-31 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”