Have you ever struggled with prayer? I know that most men will struggle with knowing what to say when leading a public prayer, but that’s not really what I am talking about. Have you ever gotten by yourself, and begun to pray … and wonder if anyone really hears what you are saying, or thinking? Have you ever felt as if you are just talking to yourself?
One of the problems in writing these morning devotionals, is that you end up being pretty transparent. Because these devotionals are about subjects that move me from my morning readings. So, there are mornings that the things that move me, are things that I have struggled with. The reading this morning (Psalm 112-118), had several passages that moved me. But there was one that really stood out:
“I love the Lord because he hears my voice
and my prayers for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!”
(Psalm 116:1-2, NLT)
I don’t know about you, but I want that kind of confidence in my prayer life. Do I have it? Yeah, part of the time. But there are still those times, when I wonder if anyone is listening. Now, I may be the only one that ever feels that way, but it does happen to me.
How could the psalmist have that kind of confidence? This was not his first prayer, and he knew about the prayers of others! Listen to what he says:
“The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again,
for the Lord has been good to me.
He has saved me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.
(Psalm 116:6-8, NLT)
The psalmist was confident, because God had listened and answered earlier. God had heard and answered his prayers, the prayers of people that he knew, the prayers of those that he loved, and he was confident that He would do it again. In fact, he was so confident that he could have a childlike faith in the God of heaven.
Lord, I believe, help my unbelief! Help me to have a childlike faith — believing that you are there, that you hear what I ask, that you bend over to see and understand my situation, and that you will answer according to your will!
Lord, I know that you have heard and answered before in my life. Lord, I know that you have heard and answered in the lives of my family! I know that you have heard and answered in the lives of my church family! I know that you have heard and answered in the lives of the people (real people, not Bible characters) in the Bible!
Help me, Father, in times of doubt to remember all of this, and be confident in what I ask, confident that you hear, and confident that you will answer.