March 27, 2011
But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Psalm 66:19
Presidents are supposed to smile at everyone.
Franklin Roosevelt knew that, and he was good at it until the day came when he got tired of smiling and making small talk. On that day he tried a little experiment to find if anybody was paying attention to him.
Each person he met was greeted with a smile and the words: "I murdered my grandmother this morning." Most people ignored what they had heard and gushed back what they thought was an appropriate response. They said things like, "How lovely, Mr. President!" or "Continue your good work, Mr. President!"
Nobody listened ... nobody, except for one diplomat. When the president addressed him with the words, "I murdered my grandmother," the diplomat responded, "Mr. President, if you did so, I'm sure she had it coming."
You may, like Roosevelt, be pretty sure nobody listens to you.
It seems your words don't make an impact on anyone, and the world would never miss you if you just disappeared. To those who feel their words are unimportant, the Lord gives the assurance that Someone is listening to our words and thoughts.
Indeed, He promises He will -- because of His Son's sacrifice -- be willing and even eager to listen to believers who come to Him in prayer.
And you can accept my assurance. After centuries of listening, God has become very good at the skill.
This is why I encourage you to speak with Him today. Don't put it off. Don't feel all alone and unimportant. You are important to Him. Tell Him your fears; share with Him your joys, and then relax. Your words have gotten through. The Lord has heard you.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for listening. Now may the Holy Spirit transform me so I am as ready to speak to You as You are to hear. In Jesus' Name I pray these things. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries