February 22, Friday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“A God Who Hears”

Exodus 6:5-6

Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 

Prayer can seem to be a pretty mundane or ordinary activity. To the world, they may think of prayer as just mere words,  and even within the church, prayer can sound like a sentimental thing or just a nice thing to say: “Oh sorry to hear that.  I’ll pray for you.”  In the past couple of years, as our world has faced different tragic events, people have begun to mock the term “thoughts and prayers,” because to many people prayer is just empty words.  And even for some of us, we can be tempted to believe this to be true as well, because sometimes we may feel like our prayers are just words.

When we read this passage, and all throughout the Bible, prayer is far from empty words.  The people of Israel has been enslaved by Egypt and they cry out to God for help; and what we see very clearly in Exodus 6 is that God hears the cries of His people.  And not only does God hear, but He responds and acts on His people’s behalf.

That God hears our prayers is a simple yet amazing truth.  Perhaps we’re so used to thinking that it’s true that we forget how incredibly amazing that really is.  We should daily be in awe and grateful to God that He cares for us so much that He listens and responds to our prayers.  It’s not dependent on our righteousness or holiness, or how much we’ve done for him or how spiritual we are—it is all God’s grace.  God hears our prayers because He loves us.

Even if you’ve lost sight of this wondrous truth, even now you can speak to God and He will listen.  Let us go to God, and in faith, trust that He is hears us and will respond.

Prayer: God I thank You that You love me and hear my prayers.  I pray for greater faith to know that You hear me, and I pray for perseverance to keep on going to You in prayer.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Matthew 10


Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 7:7-11: “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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are 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!

Questions to Consider

  1. What reason does Jesus give to us to pray to God?
  2. What keeps us from asking from God in prayer?
  3. Jesus says that all who ask God receive from Him.  How has God answered your prayers in the past?

Notes

  1. Jesus compares God to our earthly fathers who want to give good things to their children.  And if our earthly fathers, who are imperfect sinners, are able to give good gifts to their children, just think about how much more so God our heavenly Father wants to give to us.  
  2. There are many different reasons, but I think one of the biggest barriers to prayer in our lives is self-sufficiency.  We are trained by this world to learn to be independent and trust in our own work to provide for ourselves.  
  3. Personal reflection question.

Evening Reflection

Prayer is a gift from God that we don’t take advantage of enough.  Tonight, as you close out your day, spend some time just talking with God about what’s going on in your life.  Ask Him for strength and provision, and be confident that He hears you.

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