Exodus 2:24 – God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. (NIV)
Years ago, one of my best friends was diagnosed with a terminal condition. It was completely unexpected, and the doctors told him that he had only months to live. I was shocked when I heard the news and couldn't accept what was happening. For a whole weekend, I fervently prayed and wrestled with God, asking for healing and mercy, restoration and grace to be given to my friend. It was one of the most intense weekends of prayer that I have ever experienced.
In the middle of the night when I awoke, I got up to pray again. I was already fatigued and exhausted, but I felt that my friend needed more prayer. I can remember praying for about ten minutes, and then, a great feeling of peace came over me. It was as if God were saying, "I'll take over from here. Go back to bed."
The next day, I visited my friend in hospital. He was due to get some sort of surgery as a temporary relief from his cancer. When I went into his room, he was sitting up and smiling. He then told me that his surgery was no longer taking place, and when I asked why, he told me that the cancer was gone. His doctors were amazed. That very morning, when they took an x-ray, they could not find any sign of the cancer. Ten years later, he is still cancer-free.
God remembers His people, and He hears our prayers. For the Israelites, it took several generations to restore their freedom. God raised up a leader in Moses as the perfect answer to their groaning and prayers. The promises and covenants that He had made with their forefathers were not forsaken; instead, God fulfilled them and brought His people back to Canaan. He answered their prayers.
Perhaps we are struggling with something and are worried about the future. Perhaps we've tried everything we know to remedy the situation or to resolve our problems, but nothing seems to work. I think that the answer to what we need is found in how sincerely we pray, how much we focus on God, and how often we wrestle with Him. He hears our prayers and groaning; He remembers His promises.
Prayer: Lord God, You know our hearts and minds. You know all our anxieties and concerns. Help us to really bring our prayers to You. Enable us to wrestle with You. Empower us to ask boldly for help and healing, restoration and strength. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.