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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

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Today the Holy Week journey is about the sense of hearing: our hearing, to be sure, but the psalmist is primarily concerned with God's ability to hear us. I don't know what the "inclined ear" of God looks like, but I know what it feels like. It is the feeling of hope--hope that our petitions are not uttered in vain. Whether we lift our prayers aloud in a public space or in the unsettled silence of our hearts, God's eager ears are an embodied metaphor for the abiding promise of the Divine, who receives our calls and cries.

If ever there was a week we needed to cling to the hope that God hears our prayers, this is it. When the powers within and around us seek to swallow up the message of the good news of Jesus, we require the keen hearing of the inclined ear of a God who holds fast to us in merciful love.

Hear us, O God, for your mercy is great. As momentum builds toward our inevitable betrayal of your Son, receive our hopeful prayers with forgiving ears. Amen.

Justin Lind-Ayres, '03
Pastor, Luther Seminary; Campus Ministry Associate, Augsburg University

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 (NRSV)

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. ...
12 What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.
16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

For the season of Lent and concluding on Easter Sunday, God Pause devotions comprise the Lenten devotional booklet published by Luther Seminary for individual or congregational use. Download the booklet at