[#pictureLent] March 29: CRY

By Ralph Thompson
Grape Creek UMC/Conference Lay Leader
San Angelo, TX

First, read Psalm 130:1-2

God hears us! He welcomes our prayers and is, indeed attentive to our cries for mercy. I, for one, often tend to cry the loudest when I am in my deepest and darkest circumstances, at times when my own devices have forsaken me. 

And I, for one, often fail to be equally attentive to the blessings that rain down in response to my prayers. “Thank you, God, for all that is my life…not only the blessings, but the depths that so powerfully remind me of your Love, Grace, and Mercy!” 

Several years ago, a member of our praise band was just a couple of days away from being sent into quarantine in Houston because of tuberculosis. The other band members, as well as others, gathered around him and lifted our pleas to God for healing. The day after he was to be in Houston, he walked into rehearsal, proclaiming that he was CURED! 

Although I had led the prayers, I was skeptical and insisted that he had simply missed the bus! I demanded that I accompany him to his next appointment, so that I could “verify” his healing. And, yes, I was astonished when his nurse affirmed that he no longer showed signs of tuberculosis. It was, indeed, a MIRACLE! 

God hears our cries, even when we fail or refuse to realize it! This season, we acknowledge and celebrate THE ONE who came to save a world that cried out for God’s Mercy. 

Psalm 130 ends with the following: “Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” 

There is certainty in what the psalmist has written. During this season, let us cry out for God’s redemption, KNOWING that He, indeed, hears our prayers. And let us be attentive to the blessings that are sure to come! 

Let us pray: Almighty God, You are our ONLY true hope; and we cry out from the depths for your redeeming love. Through the birth, life, depth, and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, we have learned that you are attentive to our prayers. Empower us, dear Lord, to respond to Your Love by learning to love others. We ask this in the Name of the Resurrected Lord. Amen

Discussion/Reflection Questions: 

1. When do you offer your most passionate prayers?  
2. Be honest…do you ever question if and how God will respond? 
3. What do you do with God’s blessings?