May 12, 2021

God Listens

You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2
Have you ever noticed how people are much braver when they know they're in an unassailable position? Bullies often act only when they're surrounded by their gang. People who insult others on the internet often do so anonymously, or through accounts that use a fake name. But it's hard to be confident when we are vulnerable. Perhaps this is why God makes it clear that we have a refuge. Because we are surrounded by God's love, we know we can trust in God. 

Having trust in God as our refuge is necessary, of course, when we feel threatened. But even more often than that, we need to know that we can repair to God in prayer and know that we are being heard. Will God answer our prayers? This question is answered in 1 John 5:14—And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. In his classic Bible Commentary, Matthew Henry had this to say about this verse—"It is not fit that we should ask what is contrary either to his majesty and glory or to our own good." 

But I'm not sure this is fair. For one thing, if we're afraid to bother God with any request that doesn't match God's glory and majesty, then I'm afraid we wouldn't pray at all. Christ seemed to tell us we could go to God—even pester God!—with any request. And Paul doesn't disagree.

And another problem with Matthew Henry (whose theology is generally impeccable) is that one of the reasons we need to pray is because we don't know our own good. We may think something is good and therefore worth praying for, but God knows that if we were granted that prayer, it would prove disastrous in the future. 

And so in prayer, it's important to remember that God is loving and trustworthy; and, that trusting in God's love, there's nothing we can't or shouldn't pray for. God will listen, and God will know how to answer.
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Lord, come to me; my door is open.
 Michael Quoist
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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