Last week marked the beginning of the third year of our living here in Atenas, Costa Rica. Reflecting back on how my life has changed, one significant area involves my prayer life. I’d like to say it is because of my great faith in growing as a missionary. But honestly, I think it has more to do with my struggle with fear and the “natural” pessimistic view that I so easily slip into when facing new/uncertain events.
While deleting old files, I came across a devotional I had written nearly twelve years ago. It is something I’ll be meditating on this week. I’ve included it below:
Can You Hear Me?
“I love the LORD because he hears and answers my prayers. Because
he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath!”
Psalm 116:1-2, NLT
Last summer my son received a birthday gift he couldn’t wait to try out—walkie-talkies. My four-year-old daughter was having a difficult time grasping the concept. “Push, talk, let go, and wait for the answer,” I kept repeating. While her brother was on a quest for some deep, undercover spy mission, she was becoming frustrated. “Can you hear me? Can you hear me?” Finally in utter despair she gave up. “Mommy, will you do the talking for me?”
We oftentimes feel similar in our communication with God through prayer. Does He really hear me? No doubt about it! He hears us even before our prayers are voiced. “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (Isaiah 65:24).
Push away from the distractions of the world, talk freely and openly, let go of any fear or doubt, and wait for Him to answer. And when in utter despair, ask the Holy Spirit to do the talking for you.
Try these devotional questions for reflection this week :
Monday – Why is prayer sometimes so frustrating? Why sometimes fulfilling?
Tuesday – How can you know that God has heard your prayers?
Wednesday – Are you actively listening to God or do you just come to Him with a checklist of what you want Him to do for you?
Thursday – What “static” prevents you from being heard or from hearing clearly?
Friday – What things do you hesitate to share with the Lord? Why?
Saturday – Why do you think God enjoys talking with you?
”When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words, than thy words without heart.”–Martin Luther