by Denise Petek, CVCKids Minister

My son Nathan and I were going to dinner a few months back and had an odd experience on our way. There was a back-up of traffic, and as we inched up, we saw that there were a bunch of baby ducklings in the road. Someone was out of their car trying to encourage them to safety, but the ducks kept flocking together under other cars. They were moving aimlessly, obviously stressed and unsure what to do. Then I saw the unfortunate reason why: Their mom was had been hit by a car. She would no longer be their protector and guide. I couldn’t help but make the comparison of these lost ducks to lost souls, or a life without God Dependence.

Whiel reading Nehemiah and Luke according to the CVC reading plan and was captivated by the prayers of both Nehemiah and Mary in the first chapter of both books. These prayers impacted my own prayer life, especially that day on the beach.

The book of Nehemiah starts out with him stressed about the condition of Israel and God’s people, his kinsmen. His first reaction was to fast and pray for days, and then it records his prayer.

In Nehemiah 1:6 he said, “Let your ears be attentive, and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying.” I could imagine him saying: “Hello? Are you there? Are you listening? I have been praying and fasting for days, you know?”

We all feel like that sometimes; but this is the all knowing, all powerful, omnipotent God. Why do we need to tell him to have attentive ears and open eyes to our prayers? He already knows everything. I don’t even have to speak my prayers. He knows them, right? I found comfort in asking God to have attentive ears and open eyes as I prayed. I know God knows me, God loves me, and God knows my needs. Praying like this helped reassure me that He is listening, He is watching, He really does care for me. He really does love me!

When you have a problem, do you wander aimlessly like the ducklings, or do you pray and fast like Nehemiah? He praised, he gave thanks, he repented, gave his requests, and committed to follow God. God did hear him. God answered him. And God gave him a plan that could only be attributed to a creative God.

In Luke 1:46-55 is Mary’s prayer. She’d just found out she was chosen by God, and would be an unwed teenage mother. Her response is incredible, especially considering the time and culture in which she lived.

What faith! What an example of God dependence!

What you are stressing about? Is your response like a lost duckling without its mother, or are you God dependent and praying like Nehemiah or Mary?

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” (Luke 1:46-55 ESV)