Daily D – Isaiah 65:24
I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! ISAIAH 65:24 (NLT)
One of my coworkers and I worked with a delightful team yesterday morning. We led them through a group coaching experience aimed at helping them clarify some strategic goals for the last quarter of this year. The process went well as the team dreamed and planned and collaborated.
At one point, I asked a question that remained unanswered for what is normally considered an uncomfortably long time. It is all too common to step into moments like these to rescue the person or group pondering their response. It is much better to wait, to get comfortable with silence. That silence was rewarded with precise answers.
Some questions are answerable immediately. Some require reflection. It is in those moments of pondering where thoughts align in heretofore unexpressed originality and clarity. This is worth waiting for.
If you are going to coach an individual or a group, get good at waiting. Become comfortable with silence. Give people space to process at a deep level.
Sometimes prayer feels like that, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is precisely that. Our Father in heaven gives us time to process our thoughts and feelings aloud or in our heads. He helps us reflect on what we are asking and why he should say Yes or why he might say No. Many of the Psalms are like that.
Then there are those blessed times when this verse is fulfilled again in our lives. God answers seemingly in the middle of our sentences.
A few years ago, a gut-wrenching conflict was going on. I stood on the edge of it completely helpless. I did the only thing I could do and prayed. I can joyfully declare the veracity of this verse. Other instances come to mind. They provide pleasant memories of God doing what only God can do.
Yesterday’s verse from Isaiah 65:1 quoted God as saying, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.” Pair that verse with this one. What do we discover when we do?
God is more eager to answer our prayers than we are to pray them.
This truth should lead us closer to the spiritual discipline of 1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Never stop praying.” “Pray constantly,” (CSB). “Pray without ceasing,” (ESV).
I will pray expectantly.
Our Father, you love me more than I love you. You want time with me more than I want time with you. You want to hear and answer my prayers more than I want to pray them. Would you please empower me to do what I need to do to close these gaps? I want to love you more like you love me. I want to know and experience you in every moment. I want to pray more like you want me to pray. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.