Mark 1 :40–45
In my seminary days, one of my favourite hymns is “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended” written by John Ellerton, which we normally sing before night prayers. One of the most beautiful parts of the song is where he writes
“The voice of prayer is never silent, Nor dies the strain of praise away”.
What he means in essence is that our prayers and praises to God are not and can never be in vain.
The voice of prayer is never silent means that every sincere meeting or encounter we do have with God is not a waste of time.
I just fell in love with that verse that I always pray the choirmaster intones this song every night prayers. Let us take time to meditate deeply on this.
The writer of this song must be writing out of an experience. Who knows how many years He has asked God for something, and God answers at an unexpected time.
Or who knows how his close encounter with God changed His life. Sincerely, the voice of prayer is never silent.
The voice of prayer is never silent, because the Person we pray to, is so loving and willing to save.
The voice of prayer is never silent because the person we pray to is always longing that we come back and have a relationship with Him. He is ever merciful.
So, the voice of prayer can never be silent, because He is not deaf nor wicked.
Secondly, when we go through the scriptures, we would hardly find any person who meets Jesus and begs for healing, food, deliverance etc and Jesus refuses.
Jesus saves the wedding guests at Cana, even when His hour has not yet come.
He is omnibenevolent and super loving. Even to the point that Jesus immediately assures eternal bliss to the repentant thief on the cross when he requested for that.
This grand nature of Jesus is really what the Leper encounters today in the gospel.
The Loving Nature of Jesus.
In the gospel, A leper comes to Jesus, kneels before Him and begs Him “Sir If you are willing please heal me” Then, feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretches out his hands and touches him.
Then Jesus replies ‘Of course, I want to!’ receive your healing” And that leprosy leaves him at once and he was cured.
Jesus immediately sends him away and sternly ordered him to say nothing to anyone, but to go and show himself to the priest, and make the offering for his healing which was prescribed by Moses as evidence of his recovery.’
The man goes away, but he could not withhold his joy. He tells the story everywhere so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, despite that, people from all around still come to Jesus.
The Prayer of the Leper.
The prayer of the leper is very simple. His prayer to Jesus is “if you are willing, please cleanse me”. Of course, Jesus would not say no.
The leper is someone castigated and discriminated against, yet Jesus hears Him.
His prayer was very simple, yet Jesus listens. The leper did not shout like we do today during prayers, yet Jesus is never silent to Him.
The implication of this encounter is very simple: being in the presence of God is never in vain. So, let us always understand that the voice of prayer is never silent.
Therefore, never take the time we spend in God’s presence as a waste of time. Truly God does not keep quiet. The voice of prayer is never silent.
Whenever people come to His presence for healing, Jesus would always give a yes answer.
This is an indication of who Jesus is.
When we take time to study the nature of our God, our decision should be “despite whatever that comes against me, I will always believe in my God”.
When We go to the Lord’s Presence.
Beloved, whenever we go to the presence of Jesus, do not think He is keeping quiet.
We have to understand that He cannot but love and save.
We know Jesus can never send that leper away just like that. Let us not have this belief that God hates us and does not want to answer our prayer. Sometimes what affects us is our faith in God.
Sometimes we already go in the presence of God with an already defeated mind. Instead of believing we are meeting a loving God, we believe we are meeting God who is so heart hardened to listen to us.
Instead of going to God with full assurance that we are meeting a loving Father, we go to Him with a “let me try God mentality”.
God is not a machine to be tried. He is our Father, and we have to treat Him like one.
Sometimes, the problem is that we only remember God when other approaches have failed. It should not be so. God should be the first.
We Do not force God.
When we critically evaluate the leper’s model of prayers this morning, we can observe three things;
1. He already has faith that Jesus is a healer, otherwise, He would not have met Him in the first place.
2. He was not shouting at God nor using force to pressure God to answer.
3. His prayer was simple. Therefore, A simple prayer with a higher magnitude of faith is more powerful than a long prayer without any atom of faith. Faith is the oil.
We do not force God during prayers to obey us. God acts out of His will. Our shouting and jumping up and down should not be seen as a way we pressurise God. God is not a machine or Atm. He is a Father.
Our function is to pray, and then Jesus acts according to His will. Therefore, however, He chooses to answer is good and for a reason.
To understand this is to have peace of mind even when the heavens seem to be silent.
We can pray as the spirit directs but let us not think that there is a way you would shout on God and because of that, He would obey. We do not command God at prayers.
The true point is that God always answers prayers. He may answer “yes” or “wait”. He may answer “no” if the request is not according to His will.
Let us not go to the presence of God, already thinking that God is dead, nor that God is a figment of human imagination to give people hope. Let us quit seeing God as a heart-hardened Father. He is not.
The truth is that He hears, and He answers. The Voice of Prayer is Never Silent. Let us not mute this voice, despite anything that comes our way.
May God answer our prayers beloved even when we think all hope is lost. Amen.