As we continue to look at Jeremiah 29:10-14 we remember God's Promise (vs. 10) and Plan (vs. 11). Now let us think about a meeting with Him which is Prayer: "In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me. I will be found by you,' says the LORD, 'I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes." (vss. 12-14)
The LORD's promise and plan for us ultimately lead to prayer. Discerning His word to us and fleshing it out in out lives calls for us to seek Him in the closet of our heart. Prayer is a relationship with almighty God and His great desire for us is that relationship. If we have any desire to get out of those things in our lives that hold us captive(fear, anxiety, bitterness, discouragement, depression, doubt, aimlessness, sickness, etc.) then we must seek a relationship with God. And if that is what we really want, we are promised that we will have it. Prayer is not simply giving God our shopping list. Prayer is listening to God and talking with Him. Sometimes I think that the LORD puts us in difficult situations just so we will at least talk to Him.
Notice in these verses, God does not promise that He will give us exactly what we ask. He first of all promises the relationship. That alone is all we really need. Then He says that He will deliver us from bondage. We may not know what holds us captive but He does and He reveals it to us in prayer.
We are talking here about the ultimate will of God for all of us--to have a vital and loving relationship with Him.(see Jn. 17:3, I Cor. 1:9), Phil. 3:1-14, I Jn. 1:1-4) As it says in the Westminster Catychisim, the chief end and duty of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Prayer is about knowing Christ and having fellowship with Him. To understand how this works we can look at the life of Jesus on earth. He spend a lot of time in prayer.(Lk. 5:16) His disciples were so impressed that they asked Him to teach them how to pray (Lk. 11:1 the only "how to" question they ever asked Him)
He said that He only did what He say the Father doing. (Jn. 5:19. Now if Jesus, the Son of God, needed to pray, then surely we do too!
Jesus was the express image of God(Heb. 1:3). He maintained that image through His intimacy with the Father. The Bible teaches that our relationship with God causes us to become more like Him(His image: II Cor. 3:18, rom. 8:29,30) the only way I know to have a relationship with someone is to spend time with them. That spending of time with God is ;prayer.
Our rest from our struggles is in Him. Being in Him is being with Him. We are brought home when we are with Him and in Him. He is our Sabbath rest. And we have a promise that He has a plan for us that will give us fulfillment and bring us to Him in prayer so that we can be with Him. So, let us seek Him and He will be found.