Jeremiah 29

11 Even in the midst of punishment, God declares that His ultimate goal is not to destroy His people, but to shape their future for the better. When a parent punishes a child, the hope is that the child will learn to do right and avoid wrong and harmful activities. God's punishment does this in both the physical and spiritual realms. The people had to learn to depend on Him if they were to have a future and a hope. Only by believing God and His promise would they attain God's good purpose for them.
12 Those who do not know God will sometimes pray to Him in panic or selfishness. However, the only prayer that God wants to hear from ungodly people is a prayer of repentance from sin and commitment to Him. Those who depend on God will develop a personal relationship with Him. Only with that personal relationship can one be assured that God listens to and answers prayer.
13 Several have searched for God half-heartedly and gone away disappointed. Typically, these people look for a god that will fit their worldview or want people in Christian congregations to fulfill those needs that only God can fill. However, God promises that those who truly seek Him will find Him (Mat 7:7). The Christian should be aware that those who visit a church service or Bible study might be seeking God. If no one takes the time to help them understand God, they may give up the search. Ultimately the responsibility belongs with the seeker, but we must do our part to encourage those who are seeking God. We want their search to be successful.