Man praying in the dark

Lessons on Prayer from the Prophet Jeremiah

The prophet Jeremiah was not a popular man. When he declared the truth God had given him – that Judah would soon start 70 long years in captivity — the people threw him into prison.

Yet in such dire circumstances, Jeremiah learned something profound about prayer. Jeremiah 33:1–3 says, While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him a second time: “This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Prayer is a very real part of a vital relationship with God. It is not reserved for some special spiritual elite — it is for you. Three principles within these verses can transform your old notions about prayer into something fresh and new.

1. God says, “Call to me.”

He wants to hear from you. His loving, omnipotent heart desires to hear your innermost thoughts and feelings. He wants to hear from you in the hard times and when life is going smoothly. In fact, your sweetest times of prayer happen when you come before him simply to praise, worship and give thanks for what he has done.

2. God says, “I will answer you.”

Do you believe that? Perhaps you once asked God for something he did not give you, and since then you have harbored secret worries that he did not hear or did not care to answer. But God himself says to you, “I will answer you.” That answer may not take the form you anticipate or come when you desire, but he will respond. He might say “yes,” “no,” or “wait.” You may not understand the reasons behind his answer, but you can trust that it is best for you (Romans 8:28).

3. God says that he will “tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

You have finite wisdom and understanding; God knows all. He knows the big picture; you see merely a tiny piece. When you ask him to guide you, he works to direct you as a part of his higher vision and calling.

If you take that first step of calling out to him, prayer can become an important part of a dynamic relationship with almighty God. Do it today — he waits to hear your voice.

Article drawn from The NIV Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2nd Edition.

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