Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Prayers of Jeremiah

The message of Jeremiah is a difficult one.  Reading about judment isn't any more fun for us now than it was for Judah to hear then.  I've written before about the timing of Jeremiah and how I think he was instrumental in the short-lived revival under Josiah.  (I found this interesting because I had always been taught that Jeremiah preached his whole life and never had a convert.  I no longer believe that.)

Anyway, I was just blown away by Jeremiah's prayers this time.  I won't reprint all of them, but just some highlights.  These are from the New Living Translation. 

"I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own.  We are not able to plan our own course.  So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle.  Do not correct me in anger, for I would die."  Jeremiah 10:23-24 (LOVE this prayer!)

"When I discovered your words, I devoured them.  They are my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven's armies."  Jeremiah 15:16  (Sounds like he's been reading the Psalms, doesn't it?)

"O Sovereign Lord!  You made the heavens and the earth by your strong hand and powerful arm.  Nothing is too hard for you!  You show unfailing love to thousands, but you also bring the consequences of one generation's sin upon the next.  You are the great and powerful God, the Lord of Heaven's armies.  You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles.  You see the conduct of all people, and you give them what they deserve.  You performed miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt- things still remembered to this day!  And you have continued to do great miracles in Israel and around the world.  You have made your name famous to this day."  Jeremiah 32:17-20

Sometimes it's hard for me to keep my focus while reading through the prophets.  I tend to lose the forest for the trees, so to speak.  You know, trying to understand the judgment on the nations- past or future, why some nations will be restored and some won't, end times stuff, etc.  I love these prayers of Jeremiah, extolling God's sovereignty, inviting His discipline,  delighting in His Word.  I'm glad I didn't miss them.  Our nation is probably due for some judgment.  These prayers of Jeremiah are timely for us, too.  We share a common hope and comfort with Jeremiah.  Our hope is in the Lord and even in the midst of hard times, or perhaps especially in the midst of hard times, we can praise Him for His sovereignty and justice, accept His correction, and take joy in His Word.

1 comment:

  1. SO very true. I love how you put it, "I lose the forest for the trees". I seem to do the same. I just finished Joshua and am now in Judges. Hard to read, and yet, the bigger picture is the complete one. thanks for sharing those prayers. What an encouragement to all generations.



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.