March 6, Wednesday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Having the Ear of Heaven”

Exodus 9:29

Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the Lord’s.

Matthew 6:7-8

“And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

During a recent trip overseas, my mom kept asking if I wanted to go into an unfamiliar store to buy some steamed buns for a snack. She suggested it so frequently that I became curious and asked why she was fixated on these buns. Did she want some herself? It was her turn to be confused: “I thought you said you wanted to try them out!” For the life of me, I could not remember saying so. But it’s likely that I did off-handedly, and my mom was so attentive that she logged it into her memory. I don’t like to admit this, but my parents are always listening, and they always remember things I forget I have said.

While it is clear by this point that Moses and God have a close relationship, Moses’ explanation of ending this plague still seems too simple. He will ask, and the destructive hailstorm will end. Moses knows God is listening, and he knows that once he asks, God will immediately answer.

Do you know that you also have the ear of Heaven? How our prayers and conversations with Him would change if we truly believed that His ear is always turned towards us and that He is listening! Our prayers and words do not get lost on the way to Heaven along with everyone else’s. He catches every word clearly and is keenly aware of what’s on your heart.

Today, let’s respond in awareness that God knows all the words we speak. We can pray with simple faith that our God listens to us; we can pray without overcomplicating or making long-winded explanations and propositions. He is our loving Father, and He is listening. May we rest in this security that our Father’s attention is on us.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You always listen to me. I sometimes come with hesitancy and reluctance, but I want to know that Your ear is always open towards me. Help me to trust and delight in knowing that I have a Father who loves listening. Help me to freely pour out my heart before You today! Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 24


Lunch Break Study

Read James 5:13-18: “This Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are the different forms that prayer can take, and what are the effects?
  2. Why would James say that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective?
  3. Why does James emphasize that Elijah was human, as we are?

Notes

  1. Prayer appears in all contexts: in fearful situations to bring comfort and peace; in joyous occasions to sing to the Lord; in physical sickness to declare God’s power over the physical; and in spiritual sickness to witness God’s redemption and renewal. There is a prayer for every season and every circumstance.
  2. The person who is “righteous” – having confessed sins and shortcomings to God and taken on His new life – has been filled by the Spirit. The one who is filled with God’s Spirit prays in alignment with what God desires (and therefore is effective). However, the one filled with God’s Spirit also has greater expectation for what God is able to do; thus the prayers may be more audacious as they require a greater demonstration of who God is, and God will certainly answer requests that glorify His name.
  3. We often risk elevating Biblical figures as above-average men and women of faith, but they were like us and had similar sins and flaws. Knowing that Elijah was a man like us should give us confidence and joy that our prayers, too, can come with a demonstration of God’s Spirit!

Evening Reflection

Did you find that your prayers changed when you reminded yourself of God’s listening ear today? I encourage you to think about how to habitually incorporate this and make it a regular aspect in how you meet with God.

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