Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ears to hear

4:35 p.m. Today's project was to restart my prayer partner and my weekly prayer appointments at 9 a.m. In order to have plenty of time for my own devotions and prayer journalling, I got up earlier than usual at 6:30. Monica and I had a wonderful, anointed, encouraging time of mutual intercession as well as prayer for others.

Since Sunday, I have been reading The Purple Pig and Other Miracles by Dick Eastman, an incredible history of his journey in the realm of intercessory prayer. From his prayer closet in college, to the global prayer outreach he heads today, God has performed one miracle after another with a simple message: He wants His people to pray!! God spoke to Solomon regarding the temple he was chosen to build.

II Chronicles 7:14-15:

If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.

Of what sin are most of us as believers guilty? Prayerlessness! We most likely pray quickly and simply throughout the day, and may have a designated time of prayer daily. We may journal our prayers, imploring our Father's help with our problems and crises. But do we spend the hours in intercession for the lost, the diseased, the persecuted and the discouraged whose plight breaks our Father's heart? I know I don't. Reading of entire weekends devoted to high school prayer retreats, hours of prayer that led to visions of God's plans as He instigated the Jesus Movement, Youth With a Mission, Every Home for Christ, and the International House of Prayer, has convicted me of my lack in this area! A sore lack!

Yet our God is so merciful, allowing us to be taught by His Spirit in gentle increments--or by mind-boggling shocks, if that is what is called for! This morning, I was writing in my journal about a difficulty in my daughter's life, and just prayed that she would help her friend whom she had been very close to, move into a new place. I went on with the day, and texted her to see where she was later this afternoon. She was helping her friend move! We hadn't discussed this at all--it was the Holy Spirit mending and healing their relationship, and I had the privilege of bring on the same prayer "page."

It's the "unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 4:3!

This morning I had the distinct impression--or more like a compulsion--to pay my health insurance bill today, although tomorrow would have been fine, too, and maybe it wouldn't be raining like it is today. But I felt led to call the Jurupa Unified School District Benefits office to advise of my payment, and the technician said, "This is the last day we'll be in until January 10th." God knew that I had just until this afternoon at 4 p.m. to get my payment in. As a retiree, I certainly don't keep abreast of district matters and schedules any more, but God does! And He never "slumbers nor sleeps" (Psalm 121:4) but keeps us safe and cared for around the clock!

God always does His part, but it helps if we look and listen to His still, small voice, or even open the mail He sends our way in a timely fashion... I was working on sending out bills for the first of the month when I came across one huge blessing that had been in the bill folder for a week, a Verizon credit of $49.00! I had overpaid last month, forgotten about it, and dreaded opening the current bill. Foolish fears! Next item in this uplifting check-writing session: as I was making out our mortgage check with plans to send it in time not to pay a late fee, I had the impression that I should check to see if an "interest paid"total for 2010 was on the bill like it often is at the end of the year. And what did I find?

"Credit for interest paid in 2010 will be given only if received by December 31, 2010."

NOT by the 1st of January as I would normally have sent it in! You can believe I mailed that check at the Chicago Ave. central post office ASAP!

Jesus exhorted His listeners six times in the Book of Matthew alone, to "hear." He quoted Isaiah 6:9-10 about the people being hard of hearing (13:15). Matthew 13:9 says, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" In v. 43, again, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

Jesus is not talking about physical ability. Revelation 2 contains six similar exhortations: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." We are to be quiet, ready and listening to God's voice!

As to the heavenly end, I take much comfort in knowing my Father is looking and listening, too! Ponder and be blessed by I Peter 3:12a:

For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,

And His ears are open to their prayers.

Thank you, Lord!

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