Let us lift up our hearts and our hands unto God in the heavens. (Lamentations 3:41)
I have a memory which remains as fresh as when it occurred decades ago. In the little Texas town where I was raised, we lived in a neighborhood of chain-link fences in the backyards. No fences in the front…only in the back, so parents could corral their colts who were not ready for the open range. My little sister, who was two years younger than me, had watched me scale the chain-link fence with ease to make it to the neighbor’s backyard to play with my friend.
Because she didn’t want to be left behind, she climbed up the fence and reached her hand toward the top pipe but instead grabbed the jagged forks of the fence. At that same moment, her footing slipped; this caused her weight to shift and her left hand was impaled by the fence. Dangling helplessly, she cried, “Help Me!” Running to her aid, I found I could not lift her out of her situation. Her crying intensified my effort to no avail. Leaving her to get assistance, I ran into the house and yelled, “Dad, help! Come now! Help!” Rushing into the backyard, without a word, He ran to my sister’s aid and gently lifted her out of the situation, carrying her into the house with loving arms. He was so strong and I was so weak. I couldn’t remedy the problem, but He could. He was my strong father!
Our fervent prayers occur when our hearts and hands are aligned in one direction. We look heavenward and call into His ear; and He hears our call! Sometimes, our prayers are simple ones with few words like “help.” At other times, the pain is so deep we cannot seem to put two words together, and we just groan. Still, He hears and moves alongside us with the kind of comfort we need at the moment. Prayer, effective prayer, is positioned from a place of true helplessness. When we are not helpless, we aren’t very fervent. During those times, our prayers seem to be more about us and how we feel about things, rather than desperation.
When my father heard my cry for help, he did not say a word, but ran to help. There were no lectures before his intervention, and there were no lectures after his intervention. His focus was on his child, my sister who had a hole in her hand and was in deep pain.
What is your prayer today? Is it one of desperation for God to intervene, either in your life or in the life of another person you love? Be assured, He hears your cries and can move faster from heaven to meet the need than any earthly father can from his house. Don’t hesitate to lift both your heart and hands toward heaven today…it is the one place where you will always be heard!