The cries to the Father for one little disabled Lost Boy from a hidden mental institute were heard. Through those prayers, one bitter judge said yes. Thousands of bowed heads. We will never forget that day. We will never forget the reality that we were not alone. We will never forget the thousands of bowed heads. Never.
But lest you think that God only hears us if we get thousands to pray for us. Lest you think that He sits on His throne tapping His fingers, waiting, counting, holding back until just the right number is kneeling in prayer let me say as clearly as I can:
God doesn't need thousands of bowed heads to answer our cries.
He doesn't wait around to answer prayers when we have rallied enough around us. He doesn't count the amount of knee pads and isn't waiting for a certain level of voices to reach His ears before He acts.
"In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears."
God hears the solitary voice as loudly and as strongly as He hears the voices of the thousands raised in unison to the throne.
"He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me."
He hears the solitary person, alone, crying out. He hears their grief and sorrow - their pain - their distress. He hears them in their despair and loneliness. He knows the desires of their hearts. He hears.
And lest you think that He is a God who is waiting around to answer their prayer after a certain amount of prayers have been raised, lest you think that He is keeping count, checking their sincerity at the door, waiting to make sure that they are spending the proper amount of time on their knees, in the correct position and making sure that they have mixed in the perfect number of Bible verses let me say this as clearly as I can:
God responds to the cries of their heart before their words have even been uttered.
Did you catch that?
God KNOWS our hearts. He KNOWS our deepest longings. He is hearing us before we even know what to pray.
"We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people
in accordance with the will of God."
The words spoken on our lips were known to Him before we knew to speak them. When we can't speak - when we can't pray - He hears our words. The deepest longings of our hearts.
Those who cry out to Him - He hears. Each and every time. Those who come to Him on bended knee, earnestly seeking - they will ALWAYS be found.
I take great comfort in that knowledge. I don't often ask the masses to pray for me. But I do often pray alone - one solitary voice - kneeling before the throne. I am comforted to know that God not only hears me when I pray with thousands beside me, but He hears me when I am utterly alone.
In the last months - coming home - changed - I have struggled often with prayers that I can barely voice. As I receive e-mails from others who also are wrestling and struggling before the Lord, I am comforted to know that I am not praying to a God who is indifferent, distant, bored, busy. He hears each and every cry. One solitary voice at a time. Despite the noise and confusion of the billions on this planet - He hears the cries of the righteous.
He hears me.