Heard

In this week's message, Pastor Tate explored four vital aspects of our heavenly Father's L.O.V.E.: He Listens to us; He Observes or watches over us; He Validates our worth; and, He Encourages us through love, support and hope.

Through this quarantine I have been struggling with completely grasping one of these areas. I know when I pray God hears me. The Bible tells me He does, He has answered my prayers before and sometimes He speaks back to me. But throughout the last two months I have been going through some challenges that have made me question...am I really being heard?

One of my favorite verses that I have on my wall is Psalm 116:2. It says “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” I see this verse on my wall every single day. It’s etched in my brain, yet as I have been battling some chronic health issues the doubt began to slowly creep in.

Why am I still dealing with this? It's been weeks! I am doing everything I can do...where is He? Is he hearing me at all? What is going on? On top of my own thoughts, toss in the enemy who further fuels the fire by saying things like, “He doesn't really care, you will be like this forever.” The worst feeling in the world is to think that your safety, your security, your resting place - your Heavenly Father- is not listening and is not near. Now I know what the truth is. He is always near. The Bible tells us, “He will never leave us or forsake us,” but sometimes it feels like that.

So as I began to battle this, the Lord took me to Daniel. In Daniel 9 we see Daniel earnestly praying to God for wisdom and understanding. As he was still praying the angel Gabriel came and visited him. He said to him, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.”

AS SOON AS he began praying, word went out! What an amazing example to us: when we pray, we are heard- the moment it leaves our lips.

Then as I continued to Daniel 10, I saw a slightly different situation. In this chapter Daniel has another encounter with a heavenly angel. Daniel has a vision and becomes distraught about it. He mourns and fasts for three weeks. Then in verse 10 it says that while Daniel was by the Tigris River, he felt a hand touching him and he began to tremble. The angel, who isn't named, says, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.”

So here we see again, Daniel’s words were heard as SOON as he set out to gain understanding and humble himself before the Lord. However, Daniel did not receive his answer right away, like the last time, because whoever this is representing God to Daniel was stopped by a satanic force and needed the chief angel Michael’s help.

When I read this God allowed me to understand that our prayers are #1 always heard, and #2  have an effect in the spiritual realm. It says Daniel prayed for three weeks and the angel said he was held up, engaged in spiritual battle for 21 days. What if Daniel had stopped praying? What if he said, “No one is listening, there is no point to this?” Would he have received his answer? I don’t know. But what I do know is that God was telling me, Lisa, “I am listening, I hear you, keep seeking, keep praying, and keep believing.”

Friends, there is so much more going on that we can’t see or understand. When we pray for our country, or when we war for the unsaved, or against a health condition, or for a prodigal son to return home...He hears us. Sometimes we may get our answer right away like Daniel did in chapter 9, or we may have to battle for it, grow through it and wait, like in chapter 10. But one thing I know for sure is once we pray, the word goes out and help is on the way.

by Lisa Duvall
Lisa has been attending Kingsway and serving on the prayer team since she moved to South Jersey in 2015. She is a freelance writer and former television reporter who now gets to spend her days at home with her two small children. Lisa is also passionate about the pro-life movement, volunteering with a local group called the Helpers of God's Precious Infants NJ, and freelances for pro-life online sites.