Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hark The Herald Angels Sing"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 10:30 – But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. (ESV)
Informed by the news media these days, I am led to be praying for the nations of the world where bad things are happening, trusting that God has got this. Today, I felt the need to pray for my own nation, England. It seems to me that Christians have lost the sense of God's influence on their homeland, through the nation's failures and triumphs that arise from the heritage of a Christian faith. Forgotten, too, are the significant victories of Jesus with us.
One might even think how outrageous it is that one person like me could pray for a nation and expect their prayers to make a difference. Sometimes, we limit our expectation for God to answer prayers to being a God of our own making who is pocket-sized — a distant being who only drops by now and then. We relegate our expectation of seeing God move by what we could handle if we were in God's place. It seems that some of our prayers are just too big to ask. We may even wonder whether God bothers to listen to a prayer from insignificant "me" today, one of seven billion plus inhabitants of earth, all crying out in some manner.
Yet, I have to believe that our prayers do make a difference! His timing and His ways are always perfect. Given that there are approximately two trillion galaxies out there, then this is not over-reaching or too big an ask for our God. He is more than able to make significant changes to our world, more than we can comprehend. He started existence and creation just by a few words. Jesus says that even the hairs of our heads, such as are left, are known and numbered by Him.
What He is saying is that God cares for you and me, for those who have passed already and for those yet to come, enough for Him to demonstrate His love to us through His practical action of incarnation, by His birth, death, and resurrection some 2000 years ago.
Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)
So, this Christmastide, let us be reminded to celebrate and rejoice in Immanuel: God with us. Let us take a moment and give thanks for a King born out of His love of the world, and for His victory over death. Jesus is worthy to receive our adulation, our thanks, and our prayers.
I believe that He will always answer and value our prayers, for big or small, national or individual. Maybe, the answers will not be as we expect, in our timing, or with an outcome that we can currently comprehend, but Jesus, with the Father, through the Holy Spirit, answers prayers in love and care because He first loved us to become Immanuel.
Prayer: Lord, Your love is amazing, God with us. You are Immanuel, glorified and victorious. Thank You for coming and saving us from ourselves. By Your incarnation we have a kingdom hope, because You first loved us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.