Pray Because…#7: God commands it (Jer. 29:12-13)
“Of course God does not consider you hopeless. If He did, He would not be moving you to seek Him (and He obviously is). What is going on in you at present is simply the beginning of the treatment. Continue seeking with cheerful seriousness. Unless He wanted you, you would not be wanting Him.”
Have you ever pined over something so much that it literally consumed you and was all you could think about? When I was about 6 years old, my mom needed to go to the Christian book store in our home town for something. Of course, I went with her, and while there I saw the most amazing thing my 6-year-old self had ever laid eyes on. There in all its glory, packaged so cool and colorful, was none other than a Moses figurine complete with his Ten Commandments and staff. I stared at that thing for what seemed like hours (to a 6-year-old 3 minutes can seem like an eternity)! It was literally the most amazing thing in my little universe and I “set my face as a flint” to get it…whatever the cost.
Wanting to teach me a lesson on hard work and good stewardship, my parents told me that I would have to buy my Moses figurine with my own money. An allowance was a big deal back then and wasn’t very much, so I needed to buckle down and do extra chores to make this dream a reality. Fast forward a couple of months and try to imagine with me how elated I was when I finally had enough money to go to The Turning Point Christian Bookstore to get this “golden ticket” He-man/ G.I. Joe-looking figurine of one of my favorite Bible characters, Moses!
A few short minutes later, I had my very own Moses figurine complete with the Ten Commandments and staff in my hands to keep as my very own. I was so excited, I knew I just had to show my dad, who at the time was playing a hardcore game of racquetball. I didn’t care that I interrupted his game! It was a crowning achievement in perseverance for me and no matter what, I was going to show it off.
Now, is this an exaggeration? Maybe for an adult, but certainly not for a 6-year-old. However, it got me thinking about my day to day life now. When was the last time I could honestly say I worked that diligently to seek after Christ? When was the last time all I could think about was my relationship with my Heavenly Father? When was the last time, without reservation or pause, I could call to the Lord and know, without a shadow of a doubt, He listened to me?
We are commanded to seek the Lord through prayer so passionately, so intentionally, so vigorously, that the momentary and monetary things in this life “grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” We are not only commanded to do this, but we’ve been given a beautiful promise in Scripture when we seek the Lord with our whole hearts, “You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart (Jer. 29:12-13).”
Taken in biblical context, this incredible promise was given to Israel, God’s chosen people. And is one of the most often misquoted and misinterpreted passages in all of Scripture. But I also believe it serves as a great encouragement to those who truly aspire to seek the Lord wholeheartedly through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving and a desire to intimately know their Savior. This command should be one that we long to follow because we know just how crucial it is to be united with the Lord in our daily lives.
My family still has that little Moses figurine. And, if I’m not mistaken, my brothers 4 children have played with it a time or two, which makes me smile from ear to ear. But this reality pales in comparison to the life I have with my Lord. Pine after the Lord faithful brothers and sisters in Jesus. Seek His face always (Ps. 27:8). Determine to take this command of seeking, asking, and knocking seriously. Our Heavenly Father is waiting and He will listen.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a God who listens. Thank You for the ability to persevere, to be diligent, to be determined in our life of faith. We ask You now to help us seek you day after day with our whole heart. Give us a longing to be in Your presence always. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.
Clayton J. Elliott
Director of Pastoral Ministries and Prayer, KMUSA