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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Closely Attended Words

 29 God keeps his distance from the wicked;
   he closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people. 
(Proverbs 15:29)

There are times when we feel that our prayers are seemingly unanswered - just spoken words into a void.  Then there are other times when it seems that the words are no sooner spoken and they are answered - life's catastrophes avoided, circumstances changed, hearts mended.  Regardless of the "timing" of the answer, the promise we want to hold onto is that God closely attends to the prayers of his kids.

His attention to the "details" of our life is not accidental - it is purposeful and intentional.  I cannot fathom with my human mind how God keeps all the details of my life, the lives of my friends and family, not to mention the other several billion people who live on this earth in his sight and constant attention.  I don't have to understand the "abilities" of God to know whole-heartedly that I can count on them!  

The promise indicates that God "closely attends" to the words of his people.  There are times I would rather God not hear the words of doubt intermingled in my prayers, the words of fear spoken in moments of terror and my undoing.  Yet, in his intense love for us, he hears each and every one of the doubts and fears - taking them to his heart and wrapping them in his care.  He does this because he is our "close" friend, our "caring" father, and our "compassionate" savior.

Prayers are nothing more than the expression of our heart.  When we learn to share our heart with God in an open and realistic manner, he is there to "closely attend to" the various needs of our lives.  Sometimes we don't think God wants to hear about our doubts - but how will he help us overcome them if we cannot express them freely?  There are times we think it is "unspiritual" to have fears, to be angry, to feel frustration - it may very well be that those "emotions" are what God needs to see expressed in order to open us up to what it is he desires to do within.

Prayers can be desperate or easy, frantic or calm, rapid-fire or bubbling forth in free-flow of expression.  There is no "right" or "wrong" way to pray - the simple matter is that God wants to hear what is on your mind and in your heart.  As he does, he attends to us like no other could possibly do.  He intentionally intervenes wherever, whenever, and however we intentionally share our need.  

Open up to God in the honest expression of your heart and mind - learn how closely God attends to that open communication with him!