Sometimes desperate situations that we have put ourselves in rob us of our faith to believe that God will do anything gracious to us. Sometimes, in those moments, we need others who seem to be in right standing with God, to make that prayer for us. Such was the case with Moses. The people knew their complaining was not to Moses, but directed at God. When He struck them, they knew exactly why. In this very real moment they did not ask for a golden calf, they knew the answer laid in the saving work of God.
The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Now pray to the Lord to take these snakes away.” So Moses prayed for the people. – Numbers 21:7 GNT
God’s remedy was not necessarily simple to put together from Moses’ perspective but it was simple for the people to receive their healing. It took a little while to be organized and put together so more people died while waiting for the plan to take shape, but when it was completed all they had to do was look and live.
It is what we all hope for when we pray – that God would listen and hear as we call out to Him.
Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer!
In despair and far from home
I call to you! – Psalm 61:1-2 GNT
Crying out is what I do when I am not content in expressing my need but an actually need for heaven to hear and for God to help. And while I may hope that my prayer is heard I want more. I want God to listen to it so that in His wisdom He may see fit as to how He will answer it. I do not believe that God is ever hardened against the cries of His own children. For whatever reason God does not act on our behalf in the way we think He should, praying is never something we do in vain.
I can only imagine how much this description can fit me when I am in a depressed or melancholy frame of mind – far from home. While I may be diminutive in my calling out, David continues to call out. David knew that there is no place in the world unsuitable for prayer. What he is sure of is that some circumstances require resolve and it helps sometimes to call them out. Is it not true that when I fail to pray that it becomes the end of myself – despair takes over. I love that David sought no one else but God.
Am I not ashamed when I find myself praying with selfish motives after listening to such an honest prayer?
And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures. – James 4:3 GNT
I sometimes amaze myself when I think about how much I am not like God in how I think and act. When I drop the mask and really look at my motives when I pray, I believe I find much more self-centredness than I would hope to find.
At the end of the day, God has not called me to walk in comfort, but to live for Him in a world that does not actually like me – maybe I should be ready for the day when it will hate me. How much more important is my prayer time and to set aside time for others, like me.
It is a glorious divine manifestation of God unto the soul, shedding abroad God’s love in the heart; it is a thing better felt than spoken of: it is no audible voice, but it is a ray of glory filling the soul with God, as He is life, light, love, and liberty, corresponding to that audible voice, ‘O man, greatly beloved’ (Dan. 9: 23); putting a man in a transport with this on his heart, ‘It is good to be here.’ (Matt. 17: 4.) It is that which went out from Christ to Mary, when He but mentioned her name– ‘Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master.’ (John 20: 16.) He had spoken some words to her before, and she understood not that it was He: but when He uttereth this one word “Mary”, there was some admirable divine conveyance and manifestation made out unto her heart, by which she was so satisfyingly filled, that there was no place for arguing and disputing whether or no that was Christ, and if she had any interest in Him. – William Guthrie, The Christian’s Great Interest