[ecko_quote source="Jeremiah 33:3"] Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know [/ecko_quote]
The prophet Jeremiah was not a popular man. When he declared the truth, God had given him - that Judah would soon start seventy long years in captivity - people threw him into prison.
Yet in such dire circumstances, Jeremiah learned something profound about prayer. Jeremiah 33:1-3 says: "The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, 'Thus says the LORD who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the LORD is His name): "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."'"
Prayer is a significant part of a vital relationship with God. It is not 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.
First, God says, "Call to Me." He wants to hear from you. His all-loving, omnipotent heart desires to hear your innermost thoughts and feelings. He wants to hear from you in the hard times and also when life is going on smoothly. In fact, your sweetest times of prayer happen when you come before Him simply to praise and worship and give thanks for what He has done.
Second, 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 harboured 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 they are best for you (Rom. 8:28).
Third, God says, "I will show you great and mighty things, which 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.
Source: Jonah Ravinder- UEC Ministries; Dr Charles Stanley
[ecko_quote source="John 15:15"] I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me [/ecko_quote]
Years ago, there was an old German Professor whose beautiful life was a marvel to his students. Some of them decided to find out by resolving the secret of it; so, one of their student's hid in the study room where the old Professor spent his evenings.
It was late, when the Professor came in. He was exhausted, but he sat down and spent an hour with his Bible. Then he bowed his head in secret prayer and finally by closing the Book of books, he said,
“Well, Lord Jesus, we are on the same old terms”.
To know Him is life’s highest attainment and at all costs, every Christian should strive to be “on the same old terms with Him”.
The reality of Jesus comes because of a secret prayer, and a personal study of the Bible that is devotional and understanding. Christ becomes more real to the one who persists in the cultivation of His presence.
It's simple. Intimacy is close or confidential friendship. And God, far from making it mysterious or unobtainable, has sought that kind of relationship with us from the beginning: "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). He revealed Himself to the patriarchs and prophets; He led the Israelites in the wilderness by cloud and by fire.
God’s ultimate invitation to fellowship with Him was in sending His Son to pay the price for our sin so that we who believe could be called His children. To seal His presence in us, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us.
God continually invites us to respond to His love and a desire to have fellowship with Him. He longs to love us because only He can, and He wants us to know Him in all His fullness. His commandment to us is "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Dt. 6:5). He wants us to be intimate with Him.
Those saints—past and present—who have enjoyed exceptional closeness with God are first of all those who have deeply longed for it. God promised in Jer. 29:13: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
David’s longing for God was insatiable. Even when enemies pursued him, he did not seek deliverance or a change in circumstances; he sought God.
A desire to only know the Lord and His character must be our motive for intimacy. If all I seek are His gifts or whet He can do for me; then I have a self-centered relationship based on God’s "performance" in meeting my perceived needs. Instead, my desire to seek Him must be based on a longing just to know Him, to fellowship with Him, to enjoy His company.
Someone once said that "The essence of holiness is not that we are perfect, but that we never stop pursuing it." If I truly want to draw closer to God, then my heart’s desire will be to please the Lord and to bring Him glory in all that I do.
Source: Jonah Ravinder- UEC Ministries; Cynthia Heald-Bible.ORG; Steams in the Desert