...and he answered them

Psalm 99:6 – Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called upon his name. They called to the Lord, and he answered them. 


I’ve concerned myself with the 99thPsalm this week as I’ve prayed for the church family God has blessed me to be a part of at NRBC.  And I have prayed in full faith that my time has been well spent, an investment into eternity that hopes to yield infinite fruit.  


I admit, sometimes I don’t pray as much as I should simply because it seems like a waste of time compared to so many other things I can get done.  Even something like rearranging my sock drawer can seem more productive than prayer.  I look in my drawer and notice that it’s messy. After a few minutes, I can look at that same collection of socks, and they look sorted, organized, and begging to be worn.  I know this is what will happen before I dig in. But before I begin a time of prayer, I’m tempted to think that after I get done praying, nothing will be evidently changed. It can feel like a waste of my time before I start to pray.


But when I do pray, I find that it usually ends with a conviction that what I just did was a profitable enterprise.  I really think that God heard me because of Jesus. I really think that what I asked him will be answered in a way that will bring me and a lot of other people some real tangible good in this life.


I’m sure that is why Moses, Aaron, and Samuel prayed to God.  Moses and Aaron, in particular, had the privilege of hearing directly from God on a regular basis. They had the visible pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.  Their prayers were answered with accompanying smoke, earthquakes, and the parting of water.  “They called to the Lord, and he answered them” (v.6). Yes, indeed.


Now, he’s never done anything that immediately spectacular for me.  But he’s certainly done plenty of things just as significant.  In answer to prayer, I’ve seen people come to Christ. I’ve seen marriages restored. I’ve seen wayward children turn back to following the Savior it seemed they had left.  I’ve seen extra years granted to those of the verge of death. I’ve seen God do amazing things.  And I really think he did them in answer to my prayers.  I’m sure there were a bajillion other reasons God did what he did when my prayers were answered.  He accomplishes a lot of things when every stroke of his hand.  This is always true. But that doesn’t remove the personal nature of real answers to real prayers.  


So I hope you are encouraged to pray yourself. No doubt each of you could give your own examples of God’s great answers to your own prayers.  My encouragement to you today is this: don’t let that sock drawer distract you.  I know. I know. Sometimes you really do need to organize your socks. I get it.  But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that prayer is a waste of time. God really does answer our prayers.  He does it in a way that displays his glory as a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God.  


He is kind and gracious. He forgives our sins so that we might pray and be answered.  Jesus died for this great privilege. He rose again and ever lives to intercede for us so that we can be sure that our prayers will be answered.  Keep praying, dear friend.  Keep praying. Your investment into eternity will one day yield an infinite reward. You will see it, if not here then there in his glorious presence. You will rejoice that the King who sits enthroned in heaven with angels before him hears your prayers.