Tuesday, December 4, 2012

God Bends to Hear Me

I often think that my prayer is just one of the billions that flow out of the hearts, minds, and mouths of the world's vast population.  I picture it as in the scene from Bruce Almighty where Bruce checks God's prayer mail and is inundated with a flash flood of prayers.  Bruce is overwhelmed by the requests and simply replies "Yes" en masse. 

The truth is that God is not overwhelmed by our prayers.  He yearns for them, longing to hear his children's voices, desiring to bless us as we accept His plan for us.  One of my favorite verses is Psalm 116:2 from the New Living Translation:

"Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath."

Can't you just see the Creator of the Universe bending down to hear your whispered prayer?  What a beautiful picture of God's love and compassion for us.

I am a teacher to twenty eight- and nine-year-olds.  Most of the time they are loud and demanding.  They want what they want, when they want it, and they are not afraid to say so.  But, there are times when students come to me with needs that they whisper to me; perhaps it is embarrassing.  It might be because I am intimidating, and they are afraid I will say no.  It might be simply that they are shy.  However, in order for me to hear them and to meet their needs, I must bend down to their level. 

No, God doesn't need to bend down.  He is omnipotent, knowing our needs before we even ask.  But, because God is all-loving, He bends to come near to His beloved.  He bends to hear your whispers of pain, your moans of distress, your cries of fear, your tears of confusion and loneliness.

There is another scene from that same movie that reveals the intimacy of our prayers.  Bruce, presumably still serving as God, peers into the window of his beloved's bedroom and hears her praying and sees her tears.  His heart is broken for her, and he is moved to act.  Out of all the voices crying out with their demands and their needs, God stops and listens to my prayers.    And He chooses to act.  God will not be manipulated by our tears, but He is moved by our prayers, by our desires to please Him.  He is the God who loves us and hears us.  He draws near because He cares.  He loves me.  His heart breaks for me.  And, His heart breaks for you out of that same love.

God bends down to listen.  To you.  To me.  And because He cares enough to come close to me, I will pray and praise as long as I have breath.