Day 8

Day 8

Read: Jeremiah 33:3
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Reflect: This tiny little verse tucked away in the book of Jeremiah promises that God will show His secrets to those who pray. “Call upon me” this Hebrew phrase is really one word that is translated 28 times as calls or calling and 25 times as cried or crying. It has to do with going after God and grabbing ahold of Him. Crying out to Him is probably a good way to put it. Throughout Scripture we see pictures of people who pray; not just a quick little shot pointed towards heaven, but people who figured out most of us do everything else but pray. They decided to pray first and do second. They have deeply impacted the world for Jesus. Making this transition is tough. It flies in the face of human nature and our desire to work out life on our own terms. It flies in the face of culture that tells us to work and keep working. Prayer for most of us is work. It is tough to set aside time and go to our closet or “inner room” shutting ourselves away from others and really call out to God as Jesus said,

“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6

This is tough and it takes a disciplined and hungry spirit to accomplish, but for those who decide it is worth it see lives changed and hearts and circumstances altered. Many years ago, I heard of such a man and so I made it a point to read about his life. His name was David Livingstone. He is celebrated for many things but for me he was famous from the cartoons I watched as a child where people would go hunting for him in deepest, darkest Africa. They would approach every white man they met and say, “Dr. Livingstone I presume?” He accomplished far more in Africa than any of us could have ever imagined because of one thing; he prayed and prayed and prayed some more. Every year on his birthday he would write a prayer and the last year of his life this is what he wrote,

“O Divine One, I have not loved Thee earnestly, deeply, sincerely enough. Grant, I pray Thee, that before this year is ended I may have finished the task.”

At the end of that year David Livingstone died. When his followers looked into his tent they found him on his knees beside his bed praying, dead. Yes, he literally died praying! When the British came to claim his body and bury him in Westminster Abby those he touched had cut his heart out and buried it in Africa telling the British, “You may have his body but his heart was always with us in Africa so it will remain here.” An amazing man who grasped the magnitude of taking hold of God to change the world.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, teach me to hunger to pray; not to see it as a labor but as a blessing that can and will change my life and the lives of those around me.

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