Summary: Many time we try to change things our own way but actually God gave us a tool to do this - PRAYER! Prayer Changes Things.
TOPIC: PRAYER CHANGES THINGS
Text: Jeremiah 33:3
“3 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
(ILL. Canvass bought in a garage sale with quotation in it, “Prayer Changes Things.” It was place in the dining area but it was always removed by someone until the wife discovered that it was her husband and he asked why, the husband said, “I lie it but I don’t like to change.”) Our topic for today is about prayer and I entitled it, “PRAYER CHANGES THINGS.” I would like to bring you to one verse in the Old Testament where most of us probably are already familiar. Let’s open our Bible in Jeremiah 33:3 (read). Just to give you a quick background of this verse. This chapter is structurally and chronologically related to chapter 32. Jeremiah 33:1-13 continued God’s promise of blessing as He reaffirmed both the coming destruction and the future restoration of Jerusalem. God then reaffirmed His covenants with David and with the Levitical priests (vv. 14-26). Chapter 33:1-13 speaks about the coming judgment (vv. 1-5) and future restoration (vv. 6-13).
(1) THE JUDGMENT (33:1-5). Chapter 33 followed closely the message of chapter 32 as Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard (cf. 32:1-2). God again identified Himself to Jeremiah by stressing both His power and His character. He is the God who made the earth (cf. 32:17). By revealing to Jeremiah that the LORD (Yahweh) is His name, God emphasized His covenant-keeping faithfulness on behalf of His people (cf. 32:18; Ex. 3:13-15).
(2) THE RESTORATION (33:6-13).The secret to understanding God’s seemingly contradictory prophecies of judgment and blessing is to realize that the judgment was to be only temporary. After the time of judgment God will someday bring health and healing to His city and people. God spoke to Jeremiah about Three Elements of this Blessing. First, the blessing will involve a Restoration to the Land (cf. 31:8-11; 32:37). God will bring both Judah and Israel back from captivity. Second, the blessing will involve a Restoration to the Lord (cf. 31:31-34; 32:38-40). God will cleanse the people from all their sin and forgive them of their rebellion. Third, the blessing will involve a Restoration to a Special Place of Honor Among the Nations (cf. 31:10-14). Jerusalem will bring... renown, joy, praise, and honor to God before all nations. Those nations will be in awe and will tremble as they marvel at the abundant prosperity and peace (cf. 33:6) God will lavish on His people.
But Jeremiah did not understand how God could RESTORE a nation that was destined for JUDGEMENT for DOOM (cf. Jer. 32:24-25) WE CAN SEE THAT WITHOUT GOD WE ARE DOOM (ILL. PPT. Slide), so God challenged the prophet to call to Him. This is where our text comes in. From this text I would like to propose that when we call upon God in PRAYER then Prayer Changes Things. Let’s see these principles one by one.
Jeremiah 33:3, “3 'CALL TO ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOU and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
God challenged Jeremiah to Call to Him and God promised to answer by revealing great and unsearchable things. (ILL. PPT. Slide) Jeremiah, as the representative of the people of God, is urged by God to pray for that which God has determined to grant; namely, the restoration. God's promises are not to slacken (loosen, relax), but to quicken (get faster, speed up) the prayers of His people. Prayer is simply means talking to God and telling Him what’s in your heart, what do you want to communicate to God from your heart or anything you want Him to tell.
We should not confuse prayer to meditation. Prayer is when you talk to God and meditation is when God talk to us and we listen to Him. That is why when we do journaling we can both pray and meditate. (ILL. 2 PPT. Slides) Psalm 50:15, “15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."; Psalm 91:15, “15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”; Jeremiah 29:12, “12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Our God always listens and answers whenever we call upon Him in prayer. (ILL. PPT. Slide)
Jeremiah 33:3, “3 'Call to me and I will answer you AND TELL YOU GREAT AND UNSEARCHABLE THINGS you do not know.”
The word for “unsearchable” means something that is made inaccessible by fortifying it or enclosing it. It is used to describe heavily fortified cities (cf. Num. 13:28; Deut. 3:5; 28:52; Ezek. 21:20). God’s plans for the future are inaccessible to ordinary people. Only God can unlock the secrets of the future, and He offered this knowledge to Jeremiah, and to all who call upon Him. (ILL. PPT. Slide) Jeremiah 32:17, 27, “17 "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. 27 "I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” When we pray, God’s powerful hand begin to bring change, something great and unsearchable things happen in the spiritual realm specially in the hearts of men, in our hearts. Real changes comes from within like the transformations that taking place to a butterfly, sometimes we cannot perceive what will happen, but changes begins and happenings because Prayer brings changes. (ILL. 2 PPT. Slides)