“Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:” Psalm 10:17
Encouragement from Matthew Henry’s Commentary:
1) The Lord never said to a distressed suppliant, “Seek in vain.”
2) May we not hope that he who has been will still be, will ever be, a God hearing prayers?
He had heard and answered their prayers: “Lord, thou hast many a time heard the desire of the humble, and never saidst to a distressed suppliant, Seek in vain. Why may not we hope for the continuance and repetition of the wonders, the favours, which our father told us of?”
He pleads their expectations from God pursuant to their experience of him: “Thou hast heard, therefore thou will cause thy ear to hear, as, Psalms 6:9. Thou art the same, and thy power, and promise, and relation to thy people are the same, and the work and workings of grace are the same in them; why therefore may we not hope that he who has been will still be, will ever be, a God hearing prayers?”
But observe, (1.) In what method God hears prayer. He first prepares the heart of his people and then gives them an answer of peace; nor may we expect his gracious answer, but in this way; so that God’s working upon us is the best earnest of his working for us. He prepares the heart for prayer by kindling holy desires, and strengthening our most holy faith, fixing the thoughts and prayers, raising the affections, and then he graciously accepts the prayer; he prepares the heart for the mercy itself that is wanting and prayed for, makes us fit to receive it and use it well, and then gives it in to us. The preparation of the heart is from the Lord, and we must seek unto him for it (Proverbs 16:1) and take that as a leading favour.
02 Jan 2015 Leave a comment
23 Oct 2011 4 Comments
One July morning, the Lord gave me a verse, a hope to cling to, a quiet confidence. That day was July 23, 2000. The 23rd day of every month will always be one of my favorite days. You can call me sentimental. I am. Before God gave us our son, every day that I realized was the 23rd day of the month brought me hope and faith. Now it brings me joy, and I praise Him.
I wrote about this in one of my earlier posts: Psalm 113:9 God’s Promise. If you read 5 Psalms a day each month, you will come to Psalms 111-115 on the 23rd day. That particular day on July 23rd in 2000, I read Psalm 113:9 – “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.”
Most months, the 23rd day passed without incident, but sometimes – a couple of times a year – that day proved to be very difficult regarding our infertility. I would look to God for hope or encouragement or reassurance and realize it was the 23rd. If I had missed reading Psalms that day, I would soon realize what verses I would be covering. It would make me smile – or smile and cry at the same time. I knew God was still in control, and my heart would be comforted.
I want you to know you can count on me to be praying for you on the 23rd day of every month until you have a baby. I pray for the barren women I know by name and their particular situation or specific prayer request. Even if I don’t know you by name, I pray for everyone who has subscribed to my blog or who might read this post and beg God to do the same for you and turn your hope and faith into joy and praise.
17 Mar 2010 Leave a comment
We enjoy counting down the days to a special occasion or exciting event that is going to happen in our lives, don’t we? I counted down the days until my wedding day and always count down the days until vacation or Christmas. It brings a lot of excitement and anticipation.
We can also look for the coming of something special even though we don’t know when it’s coming – as in the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Bible says we don’t know the day or the hour, but we should be ready (Matthew 24:36-44).
In my Streams in the Desert journal, the entry for January 19th says prayers remaining unanswered mean the moment of the answer is so much nearer. I believed God had not said “no” to my prayers for a baby; He was saying “not yet” or “wait.” Since our prayers had remained unanswered for so long, it must really be so much nearer!
In my journal, I had written in 2004 that I was trying to clean up my office at work. I started clearing out files and junk in anticipation of when I would quit work to stay home with my baby. Although I didn’t know the date, I knew it was one day closer than yesterday! I adopted that as my new motto – “One Day Closer”. When rereading that entry a year later in 2005, I just had to smile and say, “I’m not just one day closer, I’m one year closer!” Still hopeful, too. In 2006, it was exciting to write a p.s. by that entry – I was pregnant and only had about 28 days left until the anticipated day of my baby’s birth. I didn’t realize it when I wrote that entry I was actually 2 days closer instead of 28 because he arrived four weeks early!
“Prayer which takes the fact that past prayers have not been answered as a reason for languor, has already ceased to be the prayer of faith. To the prayer of faith the fact that prayers remain unanswered is only evidence that the moment of the answer is so much nearer. From first to last, the lessons and examples of our Lord all tell us that prayer which cannot persevere and urge its plea importunately, and renew, and renew itself again, and gather strength from every past petition, is not the prayer that will prevail.” William Arthur, Streams in the Desert, January 19th.
04 Mar 2010 Leave a comment
In January 2005, we were accepted into a shared-risk program for IVF. Our 1st IVF attempt in January of that year did not result in a pregnancy. Although it was difficult to hear that my pregnancy test was negative, we knew we had two more chances. My husband’s words of comfort were that he was still confident I would get pregnant. In my previous post, I said the evangelist’s message on importunity was preached on March 30th. That gave me renewed hope to persevere in my petitions, to keep praying for a baby. The dictionary defines importunity as the quality or state of being overly persistent in request or demand; to beg for urgently.
Our 2nd IVF attempt in April was cancelled because of a cyst. Our 3rd IVF attempt in July resulted in a pregnancy – for about a week. One of two embryos implanted, but it did not continue. After the July IVF attempt, we thought we would have one last chance with the shared-risk program, since it allowed three attempts. What we did not realize at the time was that they considered the cancelled cycle one of the attempts. So one day they left a message on our answering machine saying they were refunding 70% of our money! After praying about it and consulting with our specialist, we decided to try one more time. That IVF – 3rd attempt to us – occurred in October 2005.
I mentioned hearing that message on importunity twice in the space of seven months. It was as if the Lord knew I needed one more shot of encouragement to keep praying and asking. On October 30th, the same evangelist preached at our church from the same exact text! I smiled to myself when I realized it was the same message. I thought, “God wants me to hear this message again!” It was for me! This was my opportunity to keep praying. I just said, “OK, Lord. I’m going to keep asking you for a baby.”
Again, this was the evangelist’s message. Praying is asking. Importunity means relentless asking. Keep at it until our prayer is answered. Keep praying until we get what we wanted and asked for, not a no, or a maybe, but a yes!
My retrieval day was 4 days later on November 3rd. This final IVF attempt was not without another exercise in faith that I’ll share in another entry, but on November 16th, my first pregnancy test was positive and this time, it continued! I was finally pregnant!
The November 17th entry of Streams in the Desert shares these thoughts on importunity. “God will hear prayer, but He may not answer it at the time which we in our minds have appointed; He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, but not just when and where we have settled in our own expectations. Hence the need of perseverance and importunity in supplication. Never let us despair. God’s time for mercy will come; yea, it has come, if our time for believing has arrived. Ask in faith, nothing wavering; but never cease from petitioning because the King delays to reply.” C. H. Spurgeon
03 Mar 2010 4 Comments
I yearned and prayed for a baby. Month after month, year after year, my prayers were still unanswered. At times I would grow weary of praying and waiting. Perhaps those well-meaning people who said they were praying I would get pregnant if it’s God’s will were trying to tell me, maybe it’s not God’s will for me to get pregnant. Was His answer “No?” Many times I remember praying, “I believe you can open my womb, Lord. Help thou mine unbelief.” One time a friend from church asked my husband if we could accept it if God didn’t want us to have children (naturally). He answered, yes, but that we didn’t believe the Lord had completely closed that door. What did we learn in times like this? Keep praying!
As Christians, prayer is a vital part of our life or should be. Even little children learn how to pray and God hears their prayers. Jesus gave us a model prayer in Matthew 6. I have heard lessons on how we should pray using the acronym ACTS – adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. These examples of prayer have their place, but I heard a message once, actually twice in the span of seven months, on prayer. It was like a breath of fresh air to hear a sermon like that, as if I had permission to keep praying for a baby! I didn’t need permission but it was still reassuring that God was ok with me praying for a baby, even if I’d been praying for one for 8 years.
On March 30, 2005, an evangelist at our church preached from Luke 11:5-10 on prayer. The specific verse that mentions the word “importunity” is Luke 11:8b, “because of his importunity, he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” Importunity is persistent praying or asking.
- God wants us to ask.
- God wants to answer.
- God wants to give us His Spirit to do His work in us.
This is his message in a nutshell. Praying is asking. Importunity is relentless asking. God is not offended when we ask for things, and if our prayer – what we ask for – is not answered, keep asking. Keep praying!