Wednesday, July 10, 2024

God of Earnestness

I am not a good enough human being for God to hear my prayer. Or to care about it. 

Have you had that thought? It's very common for us, in seasons of conviction (or perhaps due to church teaching unnecessarily heavy-handed on the sin of humans), to have thoughts like this. We may want to pray, but we wonder if we can. Will God hear me with an unclean heart? 

Sometimes, we're tempted to try to clean up our own live before we pray. We want to be the kind of persons who deserve God's attention. (By the way, you are already are that kind of person - you are a person knit together in your mother's womb by a Father who already loves you so much that He can't wait to have a relationship with you, even on your hard days, even in your broken seasons.)

Even...if you're primarily wicked. For real wicked. 

Manasseh was a king of Judah who was particularly wicked, as many of the kings had been by the late age of his reign. The Bible tells us that "Manasseh corrupted Judah and the people of Jerusalem until they were more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before them" (2 Chronicles 33:9). So not only was he a wicked king, but he corrupted an entire nation of persons (mostly). He was responsible for hundreds of thousands of other persons going astray. 

If ever there were a man who should wonder if God would hear his prayer, we would think it would be a guy like Manasseh. I mean, I've had my days of feeling undeserving, but as far as I know, I have never corrupted an entire nation of persons. So there's that. 

Yet just a few verses later, after God has led an enemy into Judah's territory to try to get Manasseh's attention and recapture his heart, we see Manasseh embracing his "complete powerlessness" (v. 12) and praying to God for forgiveness. 

And God heard him. 

And God forgave him. 

Before, I think we can safely say, Manasseh ever forgave himself. 

Before he had cleaned up his life. Before he had had a chance to prove he was a different man. Before he could put together the evidence to even suggest that things could be different if he had a second chance. 

From an earnest heart, a troubled Manasseh, noted for his wickedness, prayed to the Lord, and the Lord heard him and answered. 

That should be good news to all of us who have ever felt undeserving. 

Pray, friend. Your Father is listening, and He is ready to answer. No matter who you are. No matter what you've done. 

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