By Cheri Cowell –
This morning as I watched the news, I found myself turning the volume up louder and louder. Finally, I realized I was battling a baby bird whose cries were so loud they drowned out the television. Laughing at how silly I looked competing with a bird, I turned the volume down. Then I watched the chick and its attentive and faithful mother. It made me think of how God, over and over again, heard the cries of His people. Do our persistent cries matter to God today? Yes, they do, but maybe not in the way we think.
In today’s passage, Jesus tells the parable of the widow who kept pleading her case until the judge finally succumbed. From other scriptures we understand that God already knows our needs and answers our prayers the first time we utter them. It’s wonderful when we quickly see the answers to those prayers. But, what do we do when God is silent?
Recently, in the midst of a day filled with more things to do than humanly possible, I came across an African proverb that caused me to pause: “Lord Jesus, make my heart sit down.” Being persistent in prayer is not about God, but about our need to continually seek Him for all our needs. When we acknowledge God as the only source for meeting those needs, our hearts sit down.
But how do we behave when our prayers are actually answered? I must confess that I’m like a child who receives what they want on Christmas morning. I often get caught up in the excitement of prayer-success, forgetting about the Giver of the gift. Perhaps there’s more wisdom for you and me in that African proverb. If, in our countless and unending daily prayers, we could learn how to make our hearts sit down, then maybe we’d be in the proper stance regardless of God’s response to our prayers. Like a crying child resting his or her head on Mother’s lap, we can know the peace and refreshment that come with knowing our lives rest in the lap of God. He hears our prayers and, whether He answers them now or later, or in ways we didn’t expect, our hearts are reclined in Him.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for always hearing and answering my prayers. Help me learn to rest in Your lap, knowing that You are the true source of life and in Your rest I am safe.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8 KJV).
Today’s devotion is by Cheri Cowell, who writes and speaks on topics of Christian discipleship. In addition to her books and articles, you can learn about her speaking ministry. Sign up to receive her daily devotional at: www.CheriCowell.com