The Challenge of Prayer

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God challenges Jeremiah to pray.

Jeremiah 33:1-3
Jeremiah 33:1–3 NLT
1 While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the Lord gave him this second message: 2 “This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: 3 Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.
The child of God is given a challenge by God. It is contained in this text.
*Child "I not only invited him, I dared him to come."


Jeremiah 33:1 NLT
1 While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the Lord gave him this second message:

A- The negative situation:

1. In negative circumstances due to persecution for obeying God.
a. That is why Jeremiah was here.
Jeremiah was still in the courtyard of the guard when the Lord spoke to him a second time (cf. 32:2)
*The 3 Hebrew children were in the fiery furnace because of obeying God.
(Daniel 3:17 – 20)
Daniel 3:17–20 NLT
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” 19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.
2- In negative circumstances due to poor choices.
a. Choices that we did not consult God about.
*Joshua and the Israelites were in negative circumstances at the city of Ai because they did not consult God first. (Joshua 7)

B- The positive principle:

1- God's word can come to us even in the midst of negative circumstances.
a. It did for Jeremiah. (Text)
b. It did for Peter. (Acts 12:1 – 19)
c. it did for Adam and Eve and Cain after poor choices with different results (Genesis 3, 4).


Jeremiah 33:2 NLT
2 “This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord:

A- He is the creator.

1- He created all of the physical universe.
A further link with chap. 32 is found in the reminder that the one whose name is the Lord is the sovereign Creator of the earth and the one who established it (cf. 32:17).97 The “LORD” (Heb. yhwh) is from a word that means he exists, or he causes to exist, i.e., he creates. The verbs “made” [ʿāsāh] and “formed” [ỵsr] are both found in the creation story (“made,” Gen 1:7, 16, 25–26, 31; 2:2, 4, 18; “formed,” Gen 2:7–8, 19). The words of praise of God as Creator in v. 2 are not unrelated to the context but serve as a reminder that he who created this world has the power to restore Israel and Judah.
(John 1:3)
John 1:3 NLT
3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
(Colossians 1:16 – 17)
Colossians 1:16–17 NLT
16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
2- He created each individual.
(Jeremiah 1:5 – 7)
Jeremiah 1:5–7 NLT
5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” 6 “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” 7 The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you.

B- He is Lord.

1- Lordship means that he is the owner.
(Psalm 24:1 – 2)
Psalm 24:1–2 NLT
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. 2 For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.
2- Lordship means he calls the shots.
a. Our choice is simple: obey or rebel. (Luke 6:46)
Luke 6:46 NLT
46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?
* King Saul chose to rebel. (1 Samuel 15:1 – 3; 9 – 11; 12 – 23)


Jeremiah 33:3 NLT
3 Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.

A- Call on him.

Though the verbs “call” and “tell” in v. 3 are singular, the invitation probably is directed to the people as a whole rather than only to Jeremiah. The use of a singular word to address a plural audience is not unusual in the Hebrew language. In the Ten Commandments (Exod 20:1–17) all the verbs are singular, though no one would insist the commands were addressed only to one person.
1- Submission to him is necessary.
(James 4:7)
James 4:7 NLT
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
a. To call upon him for help without submitting to him is ridiculous.
* Like Israel – wanted to worship idol gods and call upon God when they were in trouble.
2- Sincerely seeking him is basic.
a. Involves waiting on him to answer.
(Luke 24:49)
Luke 24:49 NLT
49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
b. Involves purification and cleansing in preparation him for revealing truth.
(James 4:8)
James 4:8 NLT
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

B- He will answer.

1- This is a positive promise.
Verse 3 is a remarkable reminder that God’s knowledge far exceeds ours and that he is always ready to hear our appeals. The verse links revelation with prayer. “The invitation suggests that divine revelation becomes reality when it is sought” (see Matt 7:7; cf. Jas 4:2–3).98
Matthew 7:7 NLT
7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
a. When we position ourselves, he hears us and answers us.
* Like John on the Isle of Patmos
(Revelation 1:10)
Revelation 1:10 NLT
10 It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast.
· We need to be filled with his Spirit
(Ephesians 5:18)
Ephesians 5:18 NLT
18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,

C- He will unveil the hidden.

1- He will show us things that are inaccessible with the human eye.
The word translated “unsearchable” (besurôt) is a word that means inaccessible or impregnable. The word can be used to describe a fortified city (34:7).99 The NT equivalent of this verse is John 16:13, but neither of them justifies a “crystal-ball” mentality that seeks to know the future. There is no “secret” formula for unlocking the doors to the future. God can reveal what he desires to whom he desires and when he desires.
John 16:13 NLT
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
* Like he did with Daniel (Daniel 9 – 10)
* Like he did with the Apostle Paul. (Acts 20:22-24)
Acts 20:22–24 NLT
22 “And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, 23 except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
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