Thoughts in Worship
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, February 16, 2016
This Week’s Devotional Focus is, “Prayer.”
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:14–15).
You need a confidence boost! Does it seem like I’m shouting at you? Pardon me. Maybe I am, but pay attention to what I am saying. One of the main reasons children do not speak to their parents about that which really matters to them is that they do not have confidence that their parents are listening.
Why don’t most people pray enough? Why don’t many pray at all? Could it be that a lot of people lack the confidence that God is even listening? Where would they get that impression? Could it be that so few of us actually invest the time to listen to others, that when we are forming our view of God, we develop the same emaciated picture in our minds?
If there is one thing I despise, it’s not being heard. Although I am a writer and public speaker, and it would seem I have much to say, I actually don’t. Writing and public speaking are issues oriented. Writing and speaking are situational. People who do what I do are addressing the needs of their audiences. I am not talking about that. I mean, I have few of my own thoughts and feelings to communicate on a personal level. On the occasions when I do have something of personal import, which has nothing to do with fulfilling another person’s needs, I long to be heard. And if I feel like I am not being heard, it deincentivizes my sharing. Being heard, from a human perspective, is to have one’s full attention. Being heard is to have the other person’s eye contact. Being heard is for the other person to have the decency to stop what they are doing to allow me to express myself. Being heard is for the other person to empathize or sympathize with my thoughts and/or feelings. Being heard is to allow me to speak my mind, even if you don’t agree. Are you finishing this devotional thought in your mind?
If you are not really paying attention here, you might be tempted to believe that I have made this thought self-oriented. No. What I have done is painted a basic portrait of human nature while giving you a tiny window into my own experiences. We all want to be heard. This is why some of us shout. This is why some of us have behavior problems and throw temper tantrums (oh, you thought only children did that). This is why some of us want to keep up with the Joneses. Sometimes we resort to unacceptable shenanigans all in an attempt to have people to listen.
Could it be that some of us throw fits, lack faith, become depressed, overeat, have addictions, etc., because we lack the confidence that God actually hears us? I am here to support what the Bible has communicated through our theme text. Be confident that your heavenly Father hears you. He wants nothing more that to have our complete confidence. He always has our best interest at heart. He is never too busy to listen. He’s supernatural, so He has the ability to give all of us His undivided attention (don’t try to figure this out, just believe it by faith). The more we go to God and submissively share our thoughts and feelings with Him, the more He will give us new hearts and empower us to be like Him.
If it seems like God is not listening, banish the thought. Believe that He has done all to provide a direct link to His throne room so you can not only be heard, but also answered according to His will.