Then Manoah prayed to the Lord: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.” God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her.
With all the shocking news headlines bombarding us each day, it is becoming difficult to find anyone who will stop and listen. It seems that everyone has an opinion about everyone and about everything. Civil discourse has become an ancient relic of yesterday, and listening has become an abandoned art from the past, left lying crumpled on the noisy highway of modernity.
The arena of listeners may be barren but God still listens. He listened in the days of the ancient Fathers and he listens today. When Manoah received word that his barren wife was soon to be with child, he prayed to God seeking instruction on how to raise the child and God listened (Judges 13:9). Manoah said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born (vs. 8).” And despite what seems like unbelief, God sent the angel a second time to confirm his instruction to Manoah and his wife. This same God is in control of everything concerning you. You don’t need someone else’s opinion on the matter and you don’t need to be anxious about it either. Go ahead and tell God about your problems, because he is listening and he wants to hear from you. He is ready to confirm his promises concerning you during your barren situation. He is ready to cut through the noise to get through to you.
Others may be too busy with their barren situations and with their opinion-sharing to truly listen to you, and you may be too consumed with unbelief to hear him, but fear not, God says in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” In other words, amid all the mean tweets and the noisiness of the airwaves; amid the roaring winds of hurricanes, rumblings of earthquakes and terrors of falling mountains; amid the cracking foundations of marriages and mutinous sounds of teenage rebellion; amid every barren situation and environment of unbelief, amid every disconcerting sound and unnerving movement in our modern lives, God is listening.
God is listening for the sound of your heart, as you open up to him and to his Holy Word. God is listening for the sound of your voice, as you raise up your praise, your worship, your prayers and your petitions to his Holy throne. God is listening for the sound of your footsteps, as you move in obedience towards him in response to his call upon your life. And God is listening for the sound of your groaning spirit, as you prepare to give birth to his promise in you. God is listening because he cares deeply for you.
Heavenly Father, you listened to Manoah; you listened to Moses; you listened to Job, to Hannah, to Elijah and to the children of Israel, and I know beyond a shadow of doubt, you are listening to me and to all those who call upon you today in Spirit and in truth. I commit my situation to you and I thank you for your intervention by faith. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.