A friend and I were talking the other day about how sometimes we are surprised when God hears our prayers and answers them. He’s been doing that lately, about very specific prayers.
Why should we be taken off guard when our heavenly Father answers His children’s prayers? Maybe we’ve been ignored by humans in positions of authority and can’t believe GOD will listen. Or maybe we think we don’t deserve His attention or His answers. That’s wrong, we know, but maybe we think that.
Today’s Psalm helps me think straight about the issue:
I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116: 1-7
I love this.
The Psalmist loves God because when he cried out, God “inclined his ear to me.”
What an image of God bending down to hear the prayers of his people, graciously answering.
The Psalmist prayers for deliverance. He calls on the name of the Lord. God answers, taking him from “distress and anguish” (vs. 3) to having a soul at “rest.” (vs. 7)
God hears and answers because He is gracious, righteous, merciful. He deals bountifully with our souls.
When God answers, He “preserves” (or protects) the “simple” (or unwary). He lifts those brought low; He saves them.
No wonder the Psalmist says “I will call on Him as long as I live!”
Dear Lord: You know that my soul is a bit distressed, in anguish. Would you kindly incline Your ear to me and answer my prayer, restoring my soul to rest? Thank you. Amen.