‘He saw through their duplicity’ Luke 20.23
The context for these words is when Jewish leaders sent spies to try to trap Jesus by catching him out in something he said. They failed on two counts: first, because his answers contained so much wisdom, and secondly because he recognised the true motive in their hearts so saw through their plan. In other words, ‘He saw through their duplicity’.
It is quite some thought that Jesus not only hears the whispers of our prayers, but he also looks beyond our words into our hearts. Actually this is good news! Our prayers often arise out of confusion or desperation; an uncertainty about what we are really meant to be praying for and a distinct lack of eloquence or structure. No wonder that God is not only attentive to our words but also what is on our hearts.
Our prayers for others may seem so small in comparison to their need, but Jesus hears the love and care behind our words. Similarly, our prayers for ourselves may seem so faithless, but perhaps what Jesus sees is that we are beginning to catch a vision that our lives can be different.
Your prayers may not be perfect, but if Jesus sees your heart turned towards him he must be thrilled. Take a moment to catch his delight in the fact that you have turned to him, and let this change your attitude to prayer.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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