My thoughts (Genese Parker):
There was a time in life when I found myself wondering if God is listening to me. There was a time when I have found myself wondering if God will ever bless me with the career and the family that I long for. I even spent time ranting to my friends. Was I asking for too much? “All I want is a career, a spouse and kids. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think that is too much to ask!” After listening to me rant for a while, one friend actually told me, “Forget about the white picket fence; just go buy some paint and paint the dang fence!” I laughed at the time, but deep down I can relate to David’s prayer in Psalm 17.
“Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry.” ( I don’t think that I am asking for too much!) “Hear my prayer, it does not rise from deceitful lips.” ( I am a good person, don’t I deserve to have the career of my dreams and a family that I love?)
I am struck by David’s prayer because we get the sense that he has prayed about all of this before, but he does not seem to get discouraged, or decide that God must not be listening to him, and stop asking God to work in his situation. Instead, David has faith that God will respond and that he will be “vindicated” in the end.
I believe that we can all learn from David’s example. It is easy to get discouraged and to believe that God is not listening to our prayers. But even if we feel like we have been asking for the same thing over and over again, it is important to continue to seek God. Persistence is an exercise that demonstrates that we still believe in God’ ability to care for us. When a child is persistent in asking a parent for something it is because she believes that the parent has the ability to fulfill her request. The same thing is true for us and our relationship with God.
“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. “ Psalm 17:6-9
David believes that God will respond and that God is capable of showing great love and support to recuse David from his situation.
I look at my life now, and yes, God was listening, and I can see that maybe I was listening to God better than I can remember.
Thought for the day: What situation have you found yourself in that you feel like you have yet to hear a response from God about? How could persistence in prayer grow your relationship and trust in God?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.