Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Prayer God Answers

"Their cry for help...went up to God." Exodus 2:23 NIV

Just when the Israelites thought life couldn't get worse, it did! Pharaoh withheld their straw and ordered them to produce the same daily quota of bricks. At that point three things happened:

(1) "The Israelites groaned in their slavery" (v. 23). It's what we do when we feel so bad that words can't express it. We groan, first within ourselves, then to whoever will listen, finding relief in venting our frustrations. But lasting help requires more than just talking to yourself and others. So, they raised the decibel level and:

(2) "Cried out...for help." God had seen them grit their teeth and white-knuckle it through another day. But since they were talking to everybody but Him, nothing changed. However, as soon as "their cry...went up to God...[He] heard their groaning" (v. 24). He just wanted a prayer to answer. David declared, "He hears My voice and...has inclined His ear to me...I shall call upon Him as long as I live" (Ps 116:1-2 NAS). Instead of complaining, pray! Give God a prayer to answer and He'll answer it. "Why would God listen to someone like me?" you say. Because:

(3) "God remembered His covenant with Abraham...and...took notice of them" (Ex 2:24-25 NAS). God answered their prayers because of a covenant He made with their father. He took notice of them because they were Abraham's children. They got it "on credit." So do you!

"God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph 4:32). God's mercy and favor is yours today because you belong to Christ.

"My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name... Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete" (Jn 16:23-24 NIV).

How good is that?

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