#DailyDevotion When It Doesn’t Look Like God Hears Our Prayers


#DailyDevotion When It Doesn’t Look Like God Hears Our Prayers

Introit  Psalm 116:1–4; antiphon: v. 5

5 The LORD is kind and righteous; our God is merciful.

I love the LORD because He hears me call and plead. 2 Because He turns His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live. 3 The snares of death came around me; the distress of the grave took hold of me; I experienced anguish and grief. 4 So I prayed in the LORD’s name: “Please, O LORD, rescue me!”

5 The LORD is kind and righteous; our God is merciful.

On this Maundy Thursday things are really heating up for Jesus. He knows his time to suffer and die are very near. In this Psalm he recalls that the LORD, that is God the Father is kind, righteous and merciful. That indeed is the very revelation of his name given in Exodus 34:6 “the LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, slow to get angry, rich in love and faithfulness, 7continuing to show mercy to thousands, forgiving wrong, rebellion, and sin, without treating it as innocent, but disciplining children and children’s children to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their fathers.” Indeed, because of his name sake is why Jesus himself is about to suffer and die, to show his name there on the cross.

Jesus prays to the LORD and says he loves the LORD because he hears him call and plead. He turns his ear to Jesus. Jesus prays if this cup could pass let it but not his will be done but the Father’s will be done. The answer is the cross. Jesus feels the snares of death come around him and the distress of the grave took hold of him. Jesus experienced anguish and grief. He prays, “Please, O LORD, rescue me!” Yet to the cross he goes. He will be abandoned by his friends. He will be betrayed a friend, one who shares his cup. Jesus dies. By all looking on into the Sabbath day, it doesn’t look as if God heard Jesus or rescued him.

You too, his holy saints may undergo the same anguish and grief.  You may feel the snares of death encompass you. You may feel them encompass someone you love. You pour out your heart in prayer. Perhaps though you have not gotten to “not my will be done but yours.” Turn to Jesus and learn his ways. Know that the grief, suffering and shame he experienced was your very own. Your prayers are his prayers at the right hand of the Father. You may be looking into the Sabbath with the appearance God did not hear your prayers or answer them.

In this very same Psalm used for the introit of the day it is said, 15“Precious to the LORD is the death of His holy ones.” Yes, our LORD and God, our Heavenly Father allows his holy ones to die. For his purposes we do not nor do our loved ones escape death. But our death is precious to him. Through it we are purified of our sin and made whole again. Jesus prays, 8“You saved my life from death, my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling, ‘so I might walk before the LORD in the land of the living.” You see God did hear and answer Jesus’ prayer. He does save Jesus from death by having him rise on the third day. He has heard your cries for mercy. For the sake of Jesus he will raise you and your loved ones in Christ on the Last Day. Death and the grave do not have the last word. Jesus who is our Life and our Light has the last word. It is Life.

Heavenly Father, in your infinite wisdom you allow your servants and children to suffer and to wait the answer to their prayers for mercy. Yet in your mercy you let us see the answer to our prayers in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Give us faith to endure until we see your salvation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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