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#832

A Call To Prayer

JER 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not,

>>Jeremiah was shut up in the court of the prison when the Lord spoke this blessed promise to him — John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress in prison.

>>My prayer and hearts desire is, that some poor prisoners of the Lord who are shut up with some heaviness of spirit, may hear Him say with a soft whisper in their soul,

JER 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not,

 

FIRST lets consider that prayer is commanded —"Call upon me"

 

SECOND let’s consider the answer promised —"And I will answer thee"

 

THIRD let’s consider how faith encouraged — "And shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not"

>>Let’s notice the condescension of our God in commanding prayer in PSA 50:14-15 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

>>This calling upon our God is an act of faith referred to as looking unto our God.

ISA 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

>>This looking by faith is what our Saviour referred to in JOH 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

>>This look of faith is what our Saviour commands to all who have learned to see their spiritual leprous condition by nature.

NUM 21:6-7 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

>>God uses His chastening hand to gain our attention:

7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

>>For those who have been bitten with the sting of sin our Saviour’s invitation becomes our command

NUM 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

>>Free admission to a hospital — or a Rescue Mission is more than sufficient — but see the cause for the prophet’s grief in JER 8:21-22 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

>>The carnal man is at enmity against God and His Anointed ONE — therefore, they refuse to pray unto Him — Our Saviour likened entering the kingdom unto the man in the parable

LUK 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

>>The gospel call is clearly twofold, External call or the revealed will of God — internal call or the work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit. The external call is what we see from

PRO 8:4-11 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

>>The external call unto human responsibility is met with universal rejection.

PRO 1:22-25 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

>>This same principle of universal rejection of the kingdom of Christ is also taught in the parable in LUK 14:16-20 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.

19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

>>The gospel call unto repentance is universally rejected by all — yet it convicts the conscience so powerfully.

JOH 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

>>By Nature We are Prayer-less

ISA 43:21-22 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

>>It is only when we come to see the emptiness of all that pertains to this life that we come to truly repent of our sin and desire the dainties of our Heavenly Benefactor’s table.

ISA 64:6-9 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

>>As long as Jonah could find rest in his escape from the Lord he was equally prayerless.

JON 1:4-6 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.

6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

>>However, the internal call of the Spirit is a quickening from spiritual death — unto a newness of life.

EPH 2:1-5 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

>>The source of this internal call is not founded upon our goodness — but the eternal good pleasure of our Heavenly Father who sends The Holy Spirit to quicken.

1PE 2:7-9 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

>>After the Jews had rejected the light of the gospel — our blessed Lord directed His Apostles to direct that light unto the gentiles.

ACT 13:44-48 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

>>The internal — or effectual call of the gospel is irresistible

LUK 14:18-21 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.

19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

>>When the Lord creates a new heart — He creates a new desire — prayer is born as the love of Christ constrains us.

>>In our text God condescends to assure our needs. We are not merely counseled or recommended to pray, but commanded to pray.

JER 33:1-3 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,

2 Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;

3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

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