S198P1 – When God’s people pray: the faithful One hears

Jer. 42:1-4

Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant.  For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left.  Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.”  “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet.  “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.”

She was a colleague and a friend of mine, and she had recently given her life to Christ.  I had known her for a few years, and I knew her family well.  It would not have been out of the ordinary for her to ask for help with something, but she never had asked me for prayer.  That changed one day, and the interesting thing is that her request for prayer came after she got saved.  I told her that I certainly could pray for her, but I also challenged her to pray as well.  She responded by saying something surprising.  The reason she had asked me to pray for her was that she had seen God answer my prayers in the past.  She did not have the confidence that God would hear her, but she had the confidence that God would hear me.

We might look at someone like Jeremiah as being vastly different from us because he occupied the office of prophet.  Perhaps most of us have never seen ourselves as prophets or operated in the prophetic, so we do not see ourselves in him.  Even so, there is a characteristic of Jeremiah’s that we should hope to carry.  Jeremiah was sought in this passage and in many other instances not simply because he was a prophet but because he had established a spiritual track record before men.  Those in power had seen his connection to God and even experienced the fruit of that connection, and they trusted not in the man but in the God behind the man.  Our hope is that other people see the same in us.  We want those who are looking for prayer to recognize that we are the people they should seek.

A prophet is only as good as the fulfillment of that which he prophesies.  Anyone with this gifting can get carried away and start speaking their own words, which will not come to pass.  Before long, those unfulfilled words come to define the person. People will see someone simply speaking empty words and not have confidence in the gifting or even the God behind it.  We might not all be called to be prophets, but we all certainly are called to be ambassadors and representatives of the most high God.  The fruit of our prayers must be somehow evident, and that is a testament to the faithfulness of the One who hears us when we call.  Father, give us great testimonies of your answers to our prayers that people would be drawn to us in their time of need.