Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is our keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. Psalm 121:4-5
The 44-year-old man was distraught. He felt psychologically unstable. He was thinking seriously of taking his own life.
In desperation he pulled himself together and called the suicide hotline phone number. It was around 2 a.m., and his request-for-help call was passed on to a pastor -- a trained counselor from the Church of Sweden.
The man began sharing his pain and the pastor listened quietly -- too quietly.
About four minutes into the conversation, the troubled individual heard deep breathing on the other end of the line. When the caller loudly asked, "Are you taking notes?" the dozing pastor woke up . . .
. . . for a few minutes.
Eventually, the pastor fell asleep again, and the caller hung up.
Now the good news about this story is the caller became so angry at being ignored in this way, his feelings about committing suicide were quickly forgotten.
You know, most of us can understand how he feels. As a pastor, I've preached many sermons which were never heard by a large part of the congregation. As a parent, there have been those moments when I'm pretty sure my children didn't hear my right-on-the-money suggestions.
Can you supply a list of your own which covers those times when people seemed so unconcerned and bored that they didn't pay attention to what you had to say? I'm sure you can.
Thankfully, we have a God who always pays attention to the humble and heartfelt prayers of His people. As the Psalmist says, the Lord neither slumbers nor sleeps.
It's just another way of assuring us the Lord is vigilant, constantly listening, constantly protecting, and constantly blessing us.
And why does God remain at the ready for His children? The answer is simple: it's because of Jesus Christ, His Son, our Savior, and our Brother.
This is why we offer up our prayers "in Jesus' Name."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I give thanks that You have -- because of what Jesus has done -- adopted me into Your family of faith. Even more, I rejoice that You are always ready to listen to my prayers, to help me in my need and protect me. May I, Heavenly Father, be equally ready to listen to You. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries