Praying Is The First Step

Jeremiah 37:3
“And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, ‘Pray now to the Lord our God for us.'”

Zedekiah was an ungodly king who refused to heed the word of the Lord, and continued to lead Judah down the road of destruction. Instead of following the word of God, he followed the dictates of his own heart. Instead of listening to the prophet, he surrounded himself with counsellors who gave no regard to the things of God, and even attempted to silence Jeremiah for declaring God’s word. I find it interesting that a man who seems to care very little about God, petitions the prophet to pray for him and the nation. On the one hand, this could be a positive thing. Prayer is the way we access God and begin a relationship with Him. John explained, it is by receiving Christ through faith that we become a child of God. The problem with Zedekiah is,  he was not praying to confess his wrong and commit his life to the Lord, but saw prayer as a means of fixing his problems, without ever making any changes to his life.

This is a pretty common practice. We think of prayer as a magic force that will make everything better. However, prayer is actually a means of communicating with God, who in turn, communicates back through the pages of His Word. How many times have we heard politicians or celebrities asking us to pray in the difficult seasons of life? Whenever tragedy hits a nation, people call out for prayer. The problem is, they see prayer as the ‘easy button’ that will fix everything, instead of seeing prayer as the way to start a relationship with God, who will give us instruction that will in fact fix the problem.

In Jeremiah’s case, as soon as the problem was solved, Zedekiah once again returned to his old ways, and even had Jeremiah put in prison for his message. I think we need to realize, prayer alone is not the answer. Asking God to fix our life is just the first step, we must move on to surrendering ourselves to Him, and live in accordance with His word.

Pastor Jim



Jeremiah 25:3
“From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, this is the twenty-third year in which the word of the Lord has come to me; and I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, but you have not listened.”

Jeremiah goes down in history as one of the greatest men who has ever lived. The writer of Hebrews included him in a class of people who he described as, “Men of whom the world is not worthy.” Jeremiah had a ministry that outlasted kings and kingdoms. Even after the nation of Judah fell, Jeremiah’s voice still resounded throughout the land, calling the people back to the Lord.

If we were to use a traditional scale to measure the value or effectiveness of Jeremiah’s ministry, he would not rank among the greats. Day after day, year in and year out, Jeremiah called on the people to turn to God. Although he saw great reforms under Josiah’s reign, those changes had little lasting effect upon the people. The high places and idols that Josiah removed still remained in the homes of the people, and worked their way back into the public forum. As Jeremiah cried out to his nation, the people continued down the pathway of idolatry and immorality, until it was too late and the nation collapsed.

Fortunately, the God who does not see as man sees, also does not measure as man measures. Jeremiah’s greatness was not determined by how people responded to his message, but rather by how faithfully he delivered it. In the midst of complacency, confusion, and full frontal attack, Jeremiah refused to be silent or dilute his message in any way. Like the rising of the sun, Jeremiah’s voice could be heard daily, calling the people to turn to the Lord.

Faithfulness remains the key to effective service. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, we will not be responsible for how others responded to the Gospel message, but rather, how faithful we were to God. If you have been called to be a homemaker, then faithfully minister to your husband, and raise your children to love and follow Christ. If you have been called to work in the secular world, then do your work heartily as unto the Lord, looking for every opportunity to share the love of Christ with your co-workers. If you are in the silver years of life, look for ways to invest in the spiritual growth of young people; perhaps serving in children’s ministry, discipleship, or prayer.

When the day comes for us to stand before the Lord, all that will matter is whether we have received Jesus Christ and been faithful to Him. Let’s follow the example of Jeremiah and not allow the rising tide of worldliness to sidetrack us from faithfully serving the Lord.

Pastor Jim