The Urge To Pray In Urgent Times

Bible Book: Jeremiah  33 : 3
Subject: Prayer; Time with God; Divine Assistance

Dr. T. A. Prickett, former longtime pastor of Seven Hills Baptist Church, Owensboro, Kentucky, shares, “Several years ago, during the preparation period for an area-wide evangelistic crusade, it was my privilege to be host to a man on behalf of the association who made a real impact on my life. Brother W. R. Storie was associated with the team that was to lead the crusade. To know him was to know of his deep and profound prayer life.

While here, he asked if I would take him to Evansville, Indiana, to visit the Evansville Rescue Mission, where Brother Earnest Reveal [1880-1959] had begun a work shortly after the turn of the century. Brother Storie’s interest in the Evansville Rescue Mission was because of Earnest Reveal’s great belief in the practice of prayer.”1 Rev. W. R. Storie (1903-1997) served as the Prayer Minister of Parkway Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi, and he wrote a book titled Precious Prayer Promises. Rev. Storie referred to Jeremiah 33:3 as “God’s Telephone Number.”2

After sharing my findings about Rev. Storie with Dwain Kinard, a friend who is a Gideon, he shared the following: “[When] W.R. Storie was the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi, he received a Gideon Bible from [George Lemon, L.T. Grantham, and Clint Sims, three local Gideons, on January 27, 1962] Dr. [Eugene H.] Dobbs, [1932-2014] then a student at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi, started working for Emmanuel Baptist Church (April 1957) where Dr. Dobbs had his first opportunity to preach outside of his home church where he was ordained (January 24, 1957). W.R. Storie passed the Gideon Testament with all the annotations he had made to Dr. Dobbs. W.R. Storie was a mentor to Dr. Dobbs.”

Dr. Dobbs gave the Gideon Testament to Dwain, his son-in-law, who loaned it to me so I could take down the annotations. To demonstrate his emphasis on prayer I discovered the following note: “Six Sweeping Statements on Prayer 1-Matt. 18:19-20; 2-Mark 11:22-24; 3-John 14:12-14- John 7:17; 4-John 15:7-Heb. 11:6; 5-John 15:16; 6-John 16:23-24” with “Lk. 9:23-25” written diagonally to the right of the above Scripture references.3

Dr. Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) asks, “Have you ever had an important person give you a card with their unlisted number on it and say, ‘Call me’? If someone important gives you his private number, that’s a great privilege.” He refers to Jeremiah 33:3 as “God’s Unlisted Number.”4  Dr. Reuben Archer Torrey (1856-1928) writes, “When we feel least like praying is the time when we most need to pray.”5

Dr. Albert B. Simpson (1843-1919) writes, “In Jerusalem’s darkest hour Jeremiah faced his hardest test of faith. The story is in Jeremiah 32. Real estate was worthless for the Chaldeans were encamped in all the land and Jeremiah knew that the city itself was about to fall. At that moment God appeared to the prophet and commanded him to invest his fortune, perhaps all that he had, in a piece of real estate outside the doomed city in his home village of Anathoth.

This was surely the wildest speculation upon which any man ever ventured. But God told him to do it as an act of faith in the future restoration of the land.”6

Jeremiah demonstrated his faith by a purchase. Jeremiah 32:1-15 reads, “The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house. For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, “Why do you prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; and Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape from the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face, and see him eye to eye; then he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall be until I visit him,” says the LORD; ‘though you fight with the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed’? And Jeremiah said, ‘The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you, saying, ‘Buy my field which is in Anathoth, for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.’’ Then Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord. So I bought the field from Hanamel, the son of my uncle who was in Anathoth, and weighed out to him the money—seventeen shekels of silver. And I signed the deed and sealed it, took witnesses, and weighed the money on the scales. So I took the purchase deed, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open; and I gave the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses who signed the purchase deed, before all the Jews who sat in the court of the prison. ‘Then I charged Baruch before them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Take these deeds, both this purchase deed which is sealed and this deed which is open, and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may last many days.’ For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.’’”

Jeremiah declared his faith in a prayer. Jeremiah 32:16-27 reads, “‘Now when I had delivered the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, saying: ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them—the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts. You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings. You have set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, to this day, and in Israel and among other men; and You have made Yourself a name, as it is this day. You have brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, and with great terror; You have given them this land, of which You swore to their fathers to give them—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ And they came in and took possession of it, but they have not obeyed Your voice or walked in Your law. They have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do; therefore You have caused all this calamity to come upon them. ‘Look, the siege mounds! They have come to the city to take it; and the city has been given into the hand of the Chaldeans who fight against it, because of the sword and famine and pestilence. What You have spoken has happened; there You see it! And You have said to me, O Lord God, ‘Buy the field for money, and take witnesses’!—yet the city has been given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’’ Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, ‘Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?’”

Dr. Albert B. Simpson further comments, “The name Anathoth has a beautiful connection here. It means ‘echo,’ and it suggests that faith is just an echo of God. And so Jehovah continues to tell the prophet how He will fulfill his prayer and exceed his expectations in the blessings that are to come.

An additional text provides a climax of this glorious, divine message. . . . It is a fine summary of the highest kind of prayer.”7 Jeremiah 33:3 reads, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

There are at least three issues in this text.

I. What are you expressing to God?

Jeremiah 33:3a reads, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Dr. Joseph Parker (1830-1902) writes, “What is this calling unto God? Is it a verbal exercise? Is it a mere act of exclamation? Nothing can be further from the meaning. It is a call that issues from the heart; it is the call of need, it is the cry of pain, it is the agony of desire, it is enclosure with God in profound and loving communion. If we have received no answers, it is because we have offered no prayers. ‘Ye have not because ye ask not or because ye ask amiss,’ you have been praying obliquely instead of directly; you have been vexing yourselves with circumlocution when your words ought to have been direct appeals, sharp, short, urgent appeals to Heaven: to such appeals God sends down richness of dew, wealth of blessing, morning brighter than noonday. God will shew His people ‘great and mighty things.’ There is nothing little. The bird in the heavens upon its trembling wing is only little to us, it is not little to God. He counts the drops of dew, He puts our tears into His bottle, He numbers our sighs, and as for our groans, He distinguishes one from the other; these are not little things to Him, they are only little to our ignorance, and folly, and superficiality. God looks at souls, faces, lives, destinies, and the least child in the world He rocks to sleep and wakes in the morning, as if He had nought else to do; it is the stoop of Fatherhood, it is the mystery of the Cross. As to these continual revelations, they ought to be possible. God is infinite and eternal, man is infinite and transient in all his earthly relationships; it would be strange if God had told man everything He has to tell him, it would be the miracle of miracles that God had exhausted Himself in one effort, it would be incredible that the eternal God had crushed into the moment which we call time every thought that makes Him God.”8 Jeremiah 29:10-14 reads, “For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”

Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) explains, “Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The way to trouble God is not to come at all.”9

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)

1 John 5:14-15 reads, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

Psalm 116:1-2 reads, “I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.”

II. What are you expecting from God?

Jeremiah 33:3b reads, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Dr. Joseph Parker explains, “From a great God we ask great things, through a great sacrifice.”10 Dr. William Carey (1761-1834), missionary statesman, said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” Andrew Murray (1828-1917) said, “Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation.”11 Dr. Adrian Rogers said, “Pray, believe, and you'll receive; pray in doubt, you'll do without.”12 Jesus said, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22).

In Mark 11:24 Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Andrew Murray explains, “That is, the gift which we first hold in faith, as bestowed upon us in heaven, will also become ours in experience.”13 Andrew Murray also explains, “Between the ‘have received’ in heaven, and the ‘shall have’ on earth, ‘believe.’ Believing praise and prayer are the link.”14

Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:12-14). Later, Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).

James 1:5-8 reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Rev. Ron Dunn (1936-2001), author of Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something: The Incredible Power of Intercessory Prayer, Don’t Just Sit There, Have Faith, and Standing in the Gap: Praying Effectively for Others, shares the following note from a little girl: “‘Dear Rev. Smith: We are praying for you. We are not expecting an answer.’ Without realizing it that little girl summed up the prayer life of many Christians: we are praying; we are not expecting an answer. The truth is, most of us aren’t surprised when our prayers aren’t answered – and we’re often amazed when they are. But the opposite ought to be true. God intended that our prayers be answered.”15

III. What are you experiencing of God?

Jeremiah 33:3c reads, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” God can show us things that are unimaginable, unfathomable, and unknowable. He is able! Remember Jeremiah said to God, “You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 32:19). (Emphasis mine) Dr. Keith Leroy Brooks (1888-1954) writes, “The more literal rendering of the word ‘mighty’ is ‘fenced in things,’ the things that are humanly impossible to reach. Those who expect to receive such blessings must continue instant in prayer; for promises are given, not to supercede prayer, but to encourage prayer. Those who pray and take His promises for their pillow find that their Father above will do for them things which humanly they could not understand or give credit to. . . But He can not bestow His choicest gifts upon hasty comers and goers.”16

Jesus said, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Dawson Earle Trotman (1906-1956), founder of The Navigators, described his successor, Dr. Lorne Charles Sanny (1920-2005), as “an ordinary fellow with an extraordinary God.”17 May it be said of us, “They are ordinary people, with an extraordinary God.”

When you need direction, the Lord says, “Call to Me.” Remember He is “great in counsel.” Romans 11:33-34 reads, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?’” 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 reads, “On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’ And Solomon said to God: ‘You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?’ Then God said to Solomon: ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king— wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.’” Remember James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Dr. William Carey explains, “Prayer – secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness.”

When you need deliverance, the Lord says, “Call to Me.” Remember He is “mighty in work.” Asaph records God’s invitation in Psalm 50:15, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) shares the following: “Thomas Brooks [1608-1680], alluding to the old classical myth of Daedalus, who, being imprisoned in the island of Crete, made wings for himself, by which he escaped to Italy, says, ‘Christians must do as Daedalus, who, when he could not escape by a way upon earth, went by a way of heaven.’ Holy prayers are the wings of the soul’s deliverance.”18

Ephesians 3:20-21 reads, “‘Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.’ Amen.”


Dr. Henry G. Bosch (1914-1995) the founder of Our Daily Bread, shares, “A woman recounts, ‘Thirty years ago my brother built a small fire on the side of our strawstack near the barn. My sister, sensing that this would lead to serious trouble, ran and told my mother. She in turn summoned my father, who was working in the field. By the time he arrived the flames were already out of control. We all carried pail after pail of water from the tank, hoping that somehow God would stop the fire. Suddenly a strong wind came up, blowing sparks from the strawstack to a nearly stand of wheat and corn. Soon the flames covered a large area. Realizing that no earthly help was available, we cried to the Lord for help as we poured what little water we had left for the blaze. We knew that only a miracle could save the farm now. Finally in desperation we sank to our knees, and prayed as we had never prayed before, ‘O God, please stop the fire!’ Then a remarkable thing happened. A large cloud came over, and all at once it began to pour. In a short time everything was drenched. Then just as suddenly, the cloudburst was over. In surveying the situation we found that the shower was confined EXCLUSIVELY TO OUR PROPERTY, and it lasted just long enough to quench the devastating flames. Once again we knelt and thanked the Lord for His special providential help.”19

   Dr. Vance Havner (1901-1986) writes, “The tragedy of today is that the situation is desperate but the saints are not.”20 Don’t resist the urge to pray in urgent times.


1T. A. Prickett, We Preach Christ: The Man, the Method, the Message (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2004), 79.

2Jehu Brabham and the late Richard D. Whitton provided information about the late Rev. W. R. Storie (Aug. 19, 1903-Aug. 30, 1997).

3Dwain Kinard, Personal Interview (01/19/17) and notes from a Gideon Testament once owned by the late Rev. W. R. Storie.

4Adrian Rogers, “God’s Private Number” Sermon Notes (Jeremiah 33:3). .

5Reuben Archer Torrey, How To Pray (New York, NY: Fleming H. Revell, 1900), 59.

6Albert B. Simpson, “Asking Great Things from God” Sermon Notes (Jeremiah 33:3).

7Simpson, “Asking”.

8The Biblical Illustrator – Jeremiah, ed. Joseph S. Exell, Joseph Parker, “Calling unto God” (Jeremiah 33:3). Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp. D. L. Moody, Accessed: 01/13/17 .

10S. A. Perry, Spiritual Flashlights from Godly Men and Women (Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905), 211.

11Perry, Flashlights, 86.

12Adrian Rogers, “Dare To Be Great” Sermon Notes (Genesis 12:1-4).

13Perry, Flashlights, 203.

14Perry, Flashlights, 202.

15Ron Dunn, “The Prayer God Always Answers” Sermon Notes (Matthew 6:5-13).

16Keith L. Brooks, Guido Gardens Library, Jeremiah 33, #990.pdf Accessed: .

17Discipleship Journal, Issue 16, July/August 1983, Features, “A Conversation with a ‘Reluctant Leader’”. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

18The Biblical Illustrator – Jeremiah, ed. Joseph S. Exell, C. H. Spurgeon, “Prayer the soul's wings”. Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

19Henry G. Bosch, Our Daily Bread, “When God Put Out the Fire” (Jeremiah 33:3), (Grand Rapids, MI: Radio Bible Class, n. d.). n. p.

20Vance Havner, On This Rock I Stand: And Other Messages (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1981), 78. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.


Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on in hardcover, paperback and eBook] & /  / (251) 626-6210

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