Psalm 116:1-2 (ESV)

I love the Lord, because he has heard

my voice and my pleas for mercy.

[2] Because he inclined his ear to me,

therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The inclining of the ear of God preceded the calling upon Him. Our calling to God does not force God to act. His inclination toward us causes us to call. Why should you call upon God today? Because, if you are a believer, He is already inclined to hear you. He has come to you and is ready to hear, ready to answer, ready to give and work for your good. He is there.

What is the unwillingness to pray? We pray because He has inclined to hear us. Why? Why does He incline His ear to hear? For the honour of His Son.

The greatest work of bending down to hear us is Jesus Christ. When we celebrate the coming of the Son of God into the world to save us, let us remember that He has bent down a great distance to hear us. He came and He lived for us and died for us and rose from the dead for us. All that is His inclining to hear us. We cannot pray and be heard by God if Jesus Christ has not come and done the work of saving people.

When you, as a believer in Jesus Christ, say your hurried prayer in the morning between a bagel and a bus stop, it is the incarnation, the passion, the resurrection, the ascension, the intercession of Christ at the right hand of the Father that has enabled you to utter that prayer.

Do we fail to spend real time with our Saviour because of busyness? Do we fail to pray because everything is going along pretty well right now? Do we fail to pray because we can’t really believe that such a God would hear us? Do we fail to pray because we are not sure it will make any difference anyway? Can any of these reasons stand up in the face of the coming of the eternal Son of God to earth to redeem us from the just punishment of our sins? He came to earth and endured all that He endured and now we believe that He will not hear us when we pray or that He does not care for us, or that it doesn’t make a difference? Where does such aberrant thinking come from?

We need to be more Gospel focussed. We need to remember Jesus when we read such Psalms as this. They speak of the purpose of the Scriptures – to tell us of the saving work of Christ for a loved, yet undeserving people. They take us to Him where we can say “Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.”

Even a thousand years before it happened, when this Psalm was written, it was the promised coming of Christ that enabled the Psalmist to know that his prayers were heard. He did not know that, but it was the case.

What a work the Gospel is! What an unfathomable thing the work of saving sinners is. Do not simply see “He inclined His ear” as meaning He chose to listen. He did that, but when He did, He had to do a massive work to cause it to happen. See the work of Christ and be amazed that this is what it took to be able to be heard by God. And then see how the reasons you give for not praying really do not carry any weight at all.