Verses 11-14 are probably the most quoted and prophecied over people Scriptures in the Old Testament! God does have a plan for you that will prosper you and so you need to seek him, because when you seek Him you will find him. Jesus said something similar when He told us to seek first the kingdom and the rest will be given to you.
For me verse 7 is very important, especially at this time. “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find welfare.” The context is that many of the Israelites, especially the middle and ruling classes are at that time in exile in Babylon and they will be for 70 years (v10). The Lord wants them to pray for the place they are located, so that in its blessing, they will be blessed.
We are in exile in a way too – This is not our home. We are citizens of heaven, living in West Norfolk and King’s Lynn. God wants us to seek the welfare of the area, because that will be our welfare.
We are in a scary time economically (putting aside the human health toll) – the economy contracted by over 24% last month, 8.5million people are furloughed and many won’t have jobs if their firms don’t survive. Already on the High Street – Debenhams, Ann Summers, Peacocks and Ernest Jones have gone for good. So it’s a wake up call to pray for the welfare of the area. Pray for God to bless businesses – because workers deserve wages (Luke 10:7)
Jeremiah is quite scathing about the false prophets deluding them that all is okay. Like Jim Collins in the book Good to Great, sometimes we need to face the brutal facts, but keep hope for the future. That’s why v7 comes before 11-14! They are in exile and need to live with it and pray for God to bless them where they are – facing the brutal facts. But they are to have hope that God will prevail – there is hope for the future, that will prosper them.
During this weekend of prayer – as you do your one hour slot – pray for the welfare of the area. For no more deaths from Covid-19, no second wave of infections and for the economic welfare of the area – creativity for businesses and jobs to thrive. In that is our welfare too.