We often think of the Old Testament prophets as those men who spoke to people on behalf of God. Their prophetic messages were primarily two-fold: to foretell future world events, including the coming and mission of the Messiah, and to “forth-tell” the sinful condition of their audiences, calling them to repentance or pronouncing judgment. These prophecies they accomplished through writings, vocal pronouncements, and symbolic actions. Sometimes God spoke to them directly-perhaps even in an audible voice, and at other times God gave them dreams or visions and their interpretations-many of which are recorded in detail.
The more subtle ministry of these prophets was when they spoke to God on behalf of themselves and the people. We don’t know how much time these men actually spent in prayer, but pray they did! If we look closely, the Bible text will reveal that these men rarely acted independently of God in their words and actions of prophecy. They didn’t work by their own fleshly whim, but were divinely directed. The prayer habits of a few are recorded, especially the faithful Daniel, who prayed three times a day, even when there was a ban on prayer. Then we’re shown the likes of Jonah, who tried to run away from God rather than carry out his prophetic ministry to the Assyrian city of Nineveh. Mighty miracles and awesome foretelling’s often clashed with the weak humanity of these individuals. It was undoubtedly their weakness and needs that kept them humble and reliant upon the Lord.
In their prayers, you’ll find much emotion and sincerity, confusion and trepidation, thanksgiving and worship, and a contrast of faith and unbelief. Jeremiah called for pain and destruction upon his enemies, Habakkuk questioned God, and Elijah pleaded for God to take his life. Yes, with a little imagination, we can relate to the prayers of the prophets, and perhaps there is something valuable we can learn from them.
May you be blessed of the Lord as you study His Word through this lesson guide. Most of all, may you be encouraged to engage in faith-filled and sincere praying as a result!
In God’s Precious Love,
Click on the lessons below:
- Lesson 1: Prayers Not Heard
- Lesson 2: Complaint & Vindication
- Lesson 3: Pain & Oppression
- Lesson 4: Backsliding
- Lesson 5: Confession
- Lesson 6: Spiritual Insight
- Lesson 7: Faith
- Lesson 8: Divine Power
- Lesson 9: Spiritual Cleansing
- Lesson 10: Divine Retribution
- Lesson 11: Deliverance
- Lesson 12: Peace
- Lesson 13: Understanding