Week of May 18
Call On Me For Great Things
Prayers of faith have great power. They can conquer the unconquerable, overcome our obstacles, accomplish the impossible and vanquish the enemy. The apostle Paul said that God is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20). Yet God does not want us to spend our big prayers on selfish desires. God wants us to pray big prayers of faith for things that will glorify Him.
In the book of Jeremiah, we see God speaking to His people through His prophet. God said, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3). God spoke these words through Jeremiah during a dark point in Israel's history. Nebuchadnezzar had already sent the Babylonian army to Jerusalem. The city was under siege. Hostages had been taken to Babylon. These were some of the worst times God's people had experienced since their days of slavery in Egypt.
But this predicament was of their own creation. For years the Israelites had drifted away from the God who brought them out of slavery into the Promised Land. They forgot the One who loved them and provided for them. Instead, they turned their backs on Him by placing their trust in political messiahs, placing their security in material possessions, and compromising their God-given values. Their hearts had become calloused and their ears had become deaf to God's Word. Yet even in their lowest point, God was still calling and appealing to His children to return to Him. He was telling them through Jeremiah that even at that late hour it was not too late to call out to Him. God was ready to bring restoration to His people for His glory.
God wants to do great things for His people. During the days of Jeremiah, He promised them restoration from the destruction of the Babylonians. He said, "I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before….Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it" (Jeremiah 33:7, 9).
God wants to hear big prayers that seek to bring Him "renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations." Yes, God does want to hear our small prayers. He wants us to reveal our hearts to Him and share our concerns and hopes. Yet the prayers that seek to glorify God, to honor Him, to further the work of His kingdom, to transform the hearts of nonbelievers, to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ, and to reveal His majesty—those are the prayers that are most powerful.
God responds to a heart that is truly devoted to Him and in awe of Him. God knows every inner corner of our hearts. We do not fool Him by saying we want something for His glory when secretly our motivations are selfish. We do not fool Him by saying we believe He can work miracles when inwardly we doubt He will follow through.
When we seek to truly know and understand God and develop a daily relationship with Him, we begin to understand just how big and capable and trustworthy our God is. When we know that God follows through on His promises and He is ready and willing to do big things, we can pray in faith that He will act in big ways. When we understand just how amazing and loving our Creator God is, we will genuinely seek to please Him by praying for things that honor Him. "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him" (1 John 3:21, 22).
When was the last time you genuinely prayed for God's kingdom to be glorified through your life? When was the last time your prayer requests were centered on bringing God glory instead of fulfilling your desires? If you are finding it difficult to pray selflessly for God's glory, confess this in prayer today. Ask the Holy Spirit to transform your heart to seek God first above all other things and to develop a daily fellowship with Him.
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