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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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.