The prophet, Jeremiah, found himself in a heap of mud one day. In Jeremiah 38:6, his enemies put him into a deep cistern so that he might die a slow death. God’s Word says, “...They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.”
We worship the God who is able to use mud as grace. If the cistern had been full of water, Jeremiah would have surely drowned within hours as fatigue set in from treading water. But God provided mud instead - nasty, smelly, dirty mud.
Scripture does not directly tell us that Jeremiah prayed in the mud, but we can infer it. We know he was a man that prayed, heard God’s voice, and regularly prophesied the Word of God. Can you picture him waste deep in mud, legs stuck, lower body unable to move, yet his hands lifted in prayer to the Lord Almighty? I can almost hear him chuckling under his breath, “Thank you, God, for removing the water. I have never been so happy to be in mud!”
Nobody has really prayed until they have prayed in mud. Your mud might be an intense trial, a place of brokenness or grief, regret, lack of hope, deep depression or anxiety, job uncertainty, relational problems, loneliness, faith crisis, or any kind of woundiness. You might be a little stuck, but you can still lift your hands in prayer. There are very few prayers more powerful than muddy ones.
When you cry out to God from the mud, you will discover the God who rescues. In Jeremiah’s case God used a royal official named Ebed-Melech, some old rags, and 30 men to lift him out (vv11-13). We can’t predict how or when God will bring about deliverance, but we can be assured that He does deliver. Maybe your mud is grace not punishment because God is preserving you for rescue? He did it for Jeremiah, and He is able to do it for you.