Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Where'er Thy People Meet"1 (Lyrics)
I read in the newspaper that our emergency 9-1-1 call centre is having to deal will a ton of false calls from users of cell phones that have one-button emergency dialing. Some may also be children playing with unattended phones. I can understand their frustration, as all such calls must be treated seriously.
I also know the frustration of receiving a call when no one is on the line. Called pocket dialing — and a few other more rude names — these calls are dialed because the carrier of the phone hits the right button unintentionally by brushing against something, and the phone dials itself. My husband carries his phone in his pants pocket without a protective case, and it calls me at the most inopportune times. I would answer, only to hear muffled background conversation, but no welcoming hello.
These pocket-dialed calls have caused me to wonder how God must feel when we call upon Him by using His name in vain, not realizing what we have done, and certainly having no intention of speaking with Him.
Exodus 20:7 – You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the Lord will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power]. (AMP)
I also think of times when we pray but never listen or expect to hear His answering voice.
Luke 18:11 – The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: "God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector." (NASB)
Matthew 6:7 – When you pray, don't babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. (NLT)
But prayer, unlike pocket calling, is intended to be a two-way conversation. God will be there waiting to answer, but will we be there listening?
Mark 11:24 – I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours. (NLT)
So when we pray, let's have that two-way conversation with God. If we have doubt, let's not be afraid to voice that doubt to Him. He has big shoulders, and He is more than willing to answer this kind of prayer. It will boost our faith for the next time we pray, too.
Nothing is too small or too big for God. Unlike pocket calls that are dialed but no one is on the other end when we pick up, God is always there, waiting to hear from us and to speak with us. So let's pray, and then listen with our focus in the right place, on God and His kingdom, and the answer will come.
Prayer: Father God, we're so grateful that You are always there for us, whether in times of joy or stress. Thank You that prayer is a two-way conversation. Teach us to call on You at all times and in all places so that our faith will increase and our joy in You will be complete. Teach us to focus, listen, and learn from You. Amen.