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SHARING HOPE

The God Who Hears



This passage from Psalm 116 is a favorite, perhaps because of the vivid imagery.  It’s amazing to imagine God Himself hunched over, hand cupping His ear, anxious to listen to whatever it is we have to say to Him.  Just think of that: it’s mind-blowing!  What a compelling invitation to talk to God! That’s all prayer is: it’s just that simple.  Despite its simplicity, countless books have been written on the subject, and even more sermons have been preached on it.  Obviously, for something so simple, it’s also a pretty loaded topic. 


So as we are focused on prayer this month, we thought we’d take a deeper look ourselves at the power and the mystery of prayer.


Most of us, if we’re being honest, would say that there are a lot of things that

make us shy away from praying.   It’s easy for our own sense of unworthiness to keep us from talking to our Father in heaven.  We are acutely aware of our flaws and failures.  How could a holy, just God want to hear from us?  That’s one aspect of salvation that is so precious.  We don’t approach God based on our own goodness.  We’d never be able to!  But knowing that the blood of Jesus is what covers us changes everything!  Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we can ‘boldly approach the throne of God.’  Boldly!  If we are convinced of that truth, it’s easier to believe that this same God ‘bends down to listen,’ even to sinners like us.  May we never believe the lie of the enemy that we are too unworthy to approach the Lord.  That kind of lie keeps us away from the very God who beckons us to come near!  He wants to hear from you. 


Another thing that can keep us from praying is wanting to act instead.  Sometimes we want so badly to DO something! 


Sometimes we want so badly to DO something!  We see something that troubles us, we experience pain, we witness others in turmoil, and our human tendency is to look for a way to make it better, to take action.  And sometimes, we are certainly called to do just that.  But there are other seasons and situations where we truly are powerless to affect any kind of change on our own strength.  Maybe we’re too far away geographically.  Maybe it’s a problem that’s simply too big for us.  Maybe the scope is too massive.  In any case, we would be wise to remember what the Psalmist knew so well.  He was so sure of God’s nearness and His inclination to listen, that he boldly said, “He hears my voice…I will pray as long as I have breath!”  When we don’t know what to do, when we feel powerless, the enemy would have us stay there and wallow and worry alone.  The Lord, however, invites us to pray to Him - the God who hears, and who is mighty to act.  He says in Jeremiah 32:27, “I am the God of all flesh.  Is anything too difficult for me?” No, indeed!



Perhaps the most powerful dynamic of prayer is simply that it draws us closer to God.  John 15 has so much to say about abiding in the Lord as a branch abides in a vine.  We are to draw all of our life and strength and nourishment from Him.  How can we do this, though, without spending time with Him?  One of the most amazing byproducts of this time spent with God is the promise Jesus speaks over those who choose to abide, “If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”  So many of us want our lives to count for something.  If you are a follower and supporter of Reclaiming Hope, it’s because you care about people who are hurting and you want to help.  You want to bear fruit!  (And we LOVE this!)  But Jesus tells us the most important thing we can do to truly make a difference in the world, is simply to abide.  He knows that nearness to God is the source of all we truly desire: God Himself.  So we pray, not to get from God, but simply to know Him better, and to allow Him to mold us and shape us in the right ways, at a pace He knows is perfect.  It’s resting, rather than striving.  The irony is that this is how we truly work, by resting.



We are really grateful for you, and we loved knowing that we came together for a whole month to pray over things that are near and dear to all of us.  Our heart’s desire is that in the praying, asking, and seeking, you would come to know the Lord better and better.  Yes, we trust He is moving in our requests.  Yes, we trust that He sees the needs we care about and is already at work answering these prayers in His perfect way and His perfect timing.  But above all, we hope it has been an exercise for us all in learning more and more how to abide in Him.  May we grow into people who would also say, “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”

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