Tag Archives: God listens

Call in Truth

The Bible tells us that the LORD is close to all who call on Him in truth. This verse speaks of prayers that are made in truth—or sincerely, with an upright heart. This speaks about prayers that are made by someone who is trusting in God, waiting upon Him for the answer.

So many people tell us how to pray and it can complicate something that is supposed to be simple. He promises, “You will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:12 NLT). He says, “Call to Me and I will answer” (Jeremiah 33:3 NLT). What blocks you from calling on Him and speaking what is on your heart?

Don’t overcomplicate prayer. Don’t neglect to pray because you think you won’t do it right. Pour out your heart—your real heart. There’s no need to insert fancy words or tell Him what you think He wants to hear. Speak boldly. Speak the truth. Reveal what is on your heart. Trust that He will answer. Wait for the answer. This is calling in truth.

“The LORD is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him in truth.” – Psalm 145:18 [NLT]

He Restores

I have been studying Jeremiah this month. One of the most quoted verses in Jeremiah is Jeremiah 29:11: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Many times this verse is not used in the proper context. As you read the verses around it, you read of a people who is in exile. This does not sound like something desirable. The promise for a hope and future is made to the people in captivity. It was a promise to those who spent seventy years under the rule of others. It was a promise to bring back the people.

After the seventy years were up, just as promised, God delivered his people out of captivity. The people of God were able to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple and the city walls. God restored His people. Just in the same way, He is able to restore all that is broken. That includes you and I. For just as the earth and all it contains, you and I are broken. Praise God, He promises to restore us.

Though this verse speaks about a people long ago, God also promises us hope and a future (Hebrews 10:23). He also listens to our prayers (Psalm 77:1, 1 John 5:14). His Word also says when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Today, remember what the Psalmist wrote: “Trust in Him at all times… pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (62:8 NIV). Let Him continue to restore you by fixing your eyes on Him and following His leading.

“This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’” – Jeremiah 29:10-14 [NIV]

The Yellow Shirt

It was early morning and I had broken sleep. I had not had my morning cup of coffee and I was walking not one, but two dogs, as Max was joined with his pal Marci. I felt like I was sleepwalking through the first half mile. I looked forward and saw a man in the distance sitting on a lawn chair. He looked jaundice. I immediately began to pray for him. As I got closer I realized he was just bald and he was wearing a yellow shirt. It was highly unlikely that he had jaundice. Then I said, “Lord, you’re probably laughing at me. I know I would.”

It was a good morning laugh. I was so quick to pray for the man and it was for something not relevant; however, I’m sure that God answered my prayer. The point that I want to highlight is the fact that I instantly prayed for the person. I don’t always do that but it is the best thing to do when we know of someone who is in need of prayer. When someone asks you to pray for them, do it right away. It does not matter where you are at or who you are around or what you are doing.

Prayer lists are great. I have one. Having a set time of the day when you connect with God in prayer is great as well. But there should always be this open door policy throughout your day where there’s no list, there’s no set time, there’s just you and God. When you are driving in your car and you see someone in need of prayer, pray for them. When you are on your work break and just saw someone post something on Facebook that shows a need, pray for them. Right then and there. Sometimes we put the list together and lose it. Sometimes we plan to take that list to our bedroom and pray before bed but we fall asleep with only good intentions that failed. You will feel better if you pray right away and at the same time, you will know that you took it to God first. It is always best in His hands.

“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]

Gravity

I recently watched the movie ‘Gravity’ with Sandra Bullock. There was a moment in the movie when Sandra’s character was in real trouble. Much of the movie found her character trying to make her way back to Earth despite catastrophe after catastrophe, hardship after setback. At this point in the movie, it appeared as if all hope was gone. Sandra’s character says something like, “I’d pray but no one every taught me how.” When I heard that I couldn’t help but consider those who don’t pray because they think they do not know how to pray or that they need to be taught by someone how to pray.

When I was a little girl my grandma introduced me to Jesus. I spent many years of my life speaking to Jesus. I included Him in my life just as He wants to be included. I gave Him my everything. I had long winded conversations. I talked about anything and everything. He was a part of my life. Years later things changed. I’m not sure how it all changed but things were very different. People made me think that my prayers were not right. I had to say them a certain way. I had to be in a certain position. I had to speak particular words. When I followed their instructions I did not feel like I was speaking to God, as I did as a child. It was very different.

God wants you to speak with Him, to pour out your heart. The Bible talks about a child-like faith and I think when I look back on my conversations with God as a child, He enjoyed those talks a lot more than me stammering around trying to fulfill what was prim and proper by the world’s standards. When I was a child I prayed. When I got older, I was taught “how to pray.” I spent years having to learn to not do what I later did. Don’t allow something or someone be a stumbling block to God. He wants you to speak. You. Just you. It doesn’t matter how you come. It is your heart that matters. In the movie, the characters flew all around with ease because of gravity. Imagine if your prayer life could feel at ease too. Imagine if you could just be you with God. How freeing is that? How beautiful is that?

“The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.” – Psalm 145:18 [NLT]

And Mean It

 

We often say things but do not mean what we say. We make promises we don’t keep. We give our word but do not keep it. Even when we pray, we simply recite words that we have said again and again.

Tradition is great. I cherish many traditions; however, we need to be careful that we do not become so routine with our relationship with Christ that we only spend time repeating the same words over and over again. You do not have to recite the same words as the person sitting beside you at church when you are praying. You should not be praying the exact same prayer everyday as your life is continually changing. When you are doing this, your prayer life has become a duty rather than a real conversation with God.

Your Father loves you and He wants so much for you to pour your heart out to Him. He knows what is on your heart but He wants to hear it from you. He wants you to open up and let Him in. When you pray, He is listening. Pray and mean it. Every word you say. Pour yourself out to Him.

“God’s there, listening for all who pray,
for all who pray and mean it.”

-Psalm 145:18 [MSG]

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His Own Thing

People are not always reliable for one reason or another. We often let each other down. We oversleep. We double schedule by accident. We run late. We don’t pay attention or lose focus. We misunderstand. We miscalculate. We even lie. I don’t think I would be far reaching to say that there is no person who did not let someone down.

In today’s passage, the Psalmist speaks about God who “has never let you down.” He further states that “He has never wandered off to do his own thing.” He is always there, always present, always caring, always loving—He is always.

We often wander off to do our own thing when we are supposed to be helping a friend, at work, attending a function, handling our parental responsibilities, etc. All we have is excuses for our shortcomings. But with God, there is no need for excuses. He never lets you down. He never wanders off. Today let us thank Him for always being present, for always listening, for always loving.

“Here’s the story I’ll tell my friends when they come to worship,
and punctuate it with Hallelujahs:
Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers;
give glory, you sons of Jacob;
adore him, you daughters of Israel.
He has never let you down,
never looked the other way
when you were being kicked around.
He has never wandered off to do his own thing;
he has been right there, listening.”

-Psalm 22:22-24 [MSG]

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Deep Within the Pit

Jeremiah mentions in Lamentations that he called upon the Lord from deep within a pit and was answered. God told him “do not fear.” True story.  He was tossed in a cistern. Read Jeremiah 38 and see how this all worked out.

We each have different pits in life. We might have just fallen into a new pit or we might have been trying to dig out of a pit for months or years. Each pit is different. Each pit is a challenge. But no matter how deep the pit, no matter how wide the pit, God can hear your calls. We simply need to call upon the Lord.

God listens. God hears. God doesn’t want you in the pit but sometimes you need to be there for Him to rescue you out of the pit. Sometimes you need to be in this brokenness or imprisoned type situation for God to show you Who He is, Who is in control, and just how mighty He is—He can do all things. He can do the impossible. He can pull you out of that pit. Believe.

“But I called on your name, LORD, from deep within the pit. You heard me when I cried, ‘Listen to my pleading! Hear my cry for help!’ Yes, you came when I called; you told me, ‘Do not fear.’” – Lamentations 3:55-57 [NLT]

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Bends Down

There was a time when it was very easy for me to bend down. After years of working in nursing and as the Rheumatoid Arthritis has become burdensome, my knees and back are not fond of the process of bending over. But still we bend over. We bend over when we need to pick up something we dropped. We bend over when we want to reach to clean something that is low to the ground. We bend over when we want to pet our furry friends. We bend over when we play with the little blessings God has put in our life.

The Psalmist wrote that God “bends down to listen.” Consider this. God bends down to listen. He wants to listen to you. He wants you to speak to him. He bends down to listen. He bends down to hear what you have to say to him. He cares that much. He loves you that much.

Do you pray as if God is truly listening; as if he is bending down to hear you? Or do you pray as if you are simply reading off a list? Today when you speak with God, remember that he is listening. The Psalmist wrote that he would “pray as long as I have breath.” Why? Because he knew God was listening. Because he was so grateful that we have a God who listens to everything and who cares for each one of us. He’s bending down for you. Speak.

“Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” – Psalm 116:2 [NLT]

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