Much to my chagrin I quite often find myself in a conversation with one of my children that goes something like this:
Child: So can I?
Me: Can you what?
Child: What do you mean can I what? Are you even listening to me?
Sheepishly I must admit to said child that although they are a profound treasure from God's very hand, I was indeed not listening.
This morning I am reading Hebrews 5. I know I have read this passage multiple times on past trips I've taken through the Bible yet today the 7th verse leapt off the page as if I've never even seen it before this morning. "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." Whom better to model my prayer life after than Jesus himself?
- Passion - "With fervent cries and tears" - Jesus' prayer life was not characterized by repetition or boredom. When he communicated with His Father, He was filled with passion. The word fervent means showing a great intensity of spirit. I have a feeling that Jesus wasn't nodding off in the middle of his prayers the way I do sometimes.
- Focus - "To the one who could save him from death" - If I found myself pleading for my life, I'll bet I wouldn't start formulating a grocery or errand list in my mind. Somehow the distractions of my day pound their way into my mind when I am supposed to be praying. Yet what is the purpose of praying for my children if not that God alone is able to save them? What is the object of prayer if not to spare my relationships? What is the function of prayer if not to rescue my heart? If I really thought about whom it was that I am speaking, I too would learn to pray with focus.
- Heard - "He was heard because of his reverent submission" - Jesus was entirely willing to do things the Father's way. He was permanently on God's page. When I pray out of a heart that only seeks to know God more intimately, I pray with a submissive heart. Isn't the whole purpose of prayer that we desire God to hear our prayer? He hears the prayer offered in reverent submission.
Jesus, thank you that You never tune me out. No matter how weary or weak my cry, You hear me. Today when I talk to You, let my voice be passionate. Let my mind remain focused. Let my heart be surrendered. Today I will choose to believe that I am heard.