On Friday nights (Saturday mornings, for you day-folks), I get to prayer lead Worship with the Word for a wonderful lady who is also an excellent worship leader. We’ve been singing through Psalm 27 for a couple of months now, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to do so. The more we do this psalm, the more it is opening up to me.
Last night was amazing. If you get the webstream, go back and look it up (Feb 2, 2:00am). Especially the last hour or so, things began taking off. We began singing about how God hears us and answers us, going off of verse 6 where a song of joy is brought forth about God’s delivering power. We sang back and forth for a long time about God’s responsive heart towards us. “He heard my cry.” “He answered me.” “His heart was moved with compassion.” “He acted on my behalf.” And on. And on. And on. And on. I was a little disappointed when the transition began for the next prayer meeting, because as far as I was concerned, we could have kept going.
My heart was so alive when we got off of that set. Think about it. I mean, really, really think about it. God is… well, He’s God. He has an entire universe to manage. He has thousands upon thousands of angels worshipping Him. He’s big and important and perfect and self-sufficient. Surely He wouldn’t listen to little old me. But He could. He does. He loves to.
If you’re ever feeling discouraged in prayer, or if you feel like you’re just going through the motions, meditate on this. You’re not just rattling words off to the ceiling. You have God’s rapt attention. He isn’t waiting for an eloquent speech or a theologically profound supplication. He wants to hear your voice. He really sees you and really cares that you showed up to talk to Him. He’s really listening.
Not only does He listen, but His heart is moved. Not only is His heart moved, but He responds every single time. Now, exactly what that looks like is another topic for another day, but it’s also the secondary point. The main point is that when you — yes, you — lift up your voice in prayer, the God of all creation pays attention. He loves it. And He actually does something in response.
Folks, that’s huge. The Lord cannot be guilted, bullied, or bribed into doing anything. No one can restrain or otherwise manipulate His hand (Dan 4:24). He is God, and so He has the complete right and capacity to do whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3). He is absolutely, utterly sovereign, infinitely powerful, with no obligation to anyone. Yet when we wait on Him, He actually acts. When we petition His throne of grace, He actually responds. We fallen, broken, messed-up people, with stammering words and foolish perceptions, actually move the heart of God to action. He is so kind, so humble, and so merciful, that He has opened His heart to us, bringing us into partnership with Him. He wants to hear from us. He wants us to ask Him to do things. It delights Him when we pray and He gets to respond in such a way that will blow our minds and win us over to love Him even more.
Read Isaiah 64:4. Read Psalm 18 (especially verses 1-19). Read Psalm 40 (especially note verses 1 and 17). Read it aloud. Write it down. Sing it for awhile. Journal it. Thank God for the truths in these verses. And just see if that doesn’t make you a little bit more excited about prayer. 🙂