“I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.” ‒ Zechariah 10:6 (NIV)
Often I’m tempted to believe one of the greatest lies about God: His love for me is dependent on what I do (or don’t do) and when I align my life with His teaching and His priorities, He loves me FAR more than when I don’t. This is completely inconsistent with the God I find in Scripture. The prophet Zechariah is writing to a nation that had gone WAY off base spiritually. They were living lives that didn’t honor God or one another, and, as God’s prophet, Zechariah came to explain the truth. And so he did. But this verse in chapter 10 is what John Ortberg calls a “grace note” that we find throughout the pages of the prophets. Despite the fact that the people of Judah have been living lives that didn’t honor God or other people, God’s not done with them. He wants them to thrive, not just survive. He wants to see them restored, not rejected. He will answer their prayers.
So too with me. My prayers aren’t answered because of my power, my holiness, my goodness. God responds to my prayer out of who HE is. Learning about and remembering who God is informs how I pray.
- William Attaway