“Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalm 116:2
My friend AJ posted the verse above as her Facebook status earlier this week. I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since then.
I picture a pretty little girl we see each Sunday at church. She just turned six and she’s very small for her age. Her favorite color is pink. She has physical challenges that require her to be supported by a walker and she has the sweetest, tiniest voice you’ve ever heard. It is so soft that, even when she is loud by her standards, each listener must lean in close to make out her words. Even then, her speech is often difficult to decipher. She is determined, though. She will just take another deep breath and patiently repeat (and repeat!) until we get it or her grandparents are able to translate for us. When we finally understand her communications, the most beautiful smile breaks out over her features and your whole day is just better for seeing that smile.
The image is so clear to me and I’ve been thinking about how God–with all that is going on in the world and all the other people who are praying at any given time–is so great that He can bend down and take the time to listen to each of us. On our celebration days when our hearts are full and laughter and praise comes so easily, He bends down to listen. On those days when our limitations seem so much larger than our abilities, when the day has just been too much for us and our hearts are broken and even our vocabularies are strained…He bends down to listen. According to Romans 8:26 & 27, those are the days He goes even further and provides a intercessor/translator for us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t know where you are today–physically or in your spiritual walk–but I do know we all know someone who could use someone to just listen. Maybe it will be you or me. Maybe we’ll be the one who is “Jesus with skin on” for them today. Maybe we’ll be the one who lifts them in prayer. Maybe we’re the ones who need to be heard. Either way, I promise you–and them, He will bend down and listen. The One with the plan for our good and theirs will bend down and listen. It is the incentive I need to keep praying for some of those long-term prayer requests on my list and “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” How about you?