Does God hear our cries?

GETTY IMAGES People climb down a destroyed section of boardwalk after checking the storm’s approach as a nor’Easter arrives in … Continued

GETTY IMAGES

People climb down a destroyed section of boardwalk after checking the storm’s approach as a nor’Easter arrives in the Rockaway neighborhood on Nov. 7, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City.

Like many others, I have not been so preoccupied with the national election that I have ignored what is happening in the Northeast. I have watched with horrified fascination as picture after picture of devastation in New Jersey and New York, in particular, have come across my television and computer screens. I have wept and grieved and felt the sheer hopelessness of those who are now faced with the loss of everything.

I know from personal experience that after the television cameras and news people have left, it will be months and maybe years before those affected return to even a shadow of the life they had known before the storms. So many, many things that were destroyed are irreplaceable…including, and most especially, human lives.

And as I have watched the scenes, I have also heard the cries. People who bravely and courageously faced Hurricane Sandy seemed to be broken by the nor’easter. It was just too much. Too soon. One man in Queens was quoted as saying he was petrified– he felt he was living in the sequel of a horror movie. Another woman, choking back tears as she stood in front of her demolished home, said she had lost everything and didn’t know where she would go, but was thankful that her family was with her. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said after the storms, he was now waiting for the locusts and the pestilence.


View Photo Gallery: More than a week after Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline, states in the Northeast are striving to recover. The storm killed more than 100 people in 10 states.

So a question that has risen from my heart, been tossed about in my mind, has now surfaced on my lips: Does God hear our cry? Does He still care for a nation that has shaken its fist in His face as it has defied His institution of marriage, demanded that public prayers not be lifted to Him in the name of His own beloved Son, insisted on the right to take innocent life, flaunted activity that He says is wrong, profited from greed and selfishness, oppressed the helpless for political gain, among many other issues? Does God still care? Or has He turned His face away from America?

To find the answer, I have not asked my father or my friends, my pastor or my peers. I have turned to the only source I know that can give me an accurate, truthful answer, whether it’s one I want to hear or not. I have turned to my Bible. And the Bible says clearly and emphatically, yes, God still cares. But, when we demand, in effect, that He get out of our government programs, out of our social policies, out of our marketplace, out of our business, out of our schools, out of our national conversation…when He is even removed as the object of our national day of Thanksgiving and the celebration of His own Son’s birth …then He begins to back away. Slowly. With a heart that is grieved. The Bible says that when we “do not honor Him as God, or give thanks” then He gives us over to whatever it is we’re insisting on. (Romans 1:21, 24, 26, 28) God just lets us have our way. He removes His hand of blessing, and we are subjected to things that previously He had protected us from. This is where I believe we are today.

And so I return to my original question. Does God hear our cry? Will God hear our cries today after we have defied Him and disobeyed Him? Again, I turn to my Bible and find the answer stated again and again. Yes! But the key is that our cry must be directed to Him. God is a gentleman. He keeps His Word. But He patiently waits for us to turn to Him for help. When we do, He responds. The greatest king of Israel, David, who experienced his own personal failures as well as national crises, affirmed God’s trustworthiness when he testified, The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down…The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; He hears their cry and saves them. (Psalm 145:14, 18-19)

God also promised David’s successor, King Solomon, that when a nation experiences disasters, whether environmental or political or economical or the attack of radical extremists, “if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

God Himself was the hope for David and Solomon, and He has been our hope in ages past. Is He still our hope today? Does He hear our cry? We may never know until we cry…to Him. So let’s find out. Let’s turn to Him and start praying in earnest sincerity with humble repentance of sin. I believe He is waiting to hear from us…

Anne Graham Lotz,who speaks around the globe, is the founder of AnGeL Ministries, independent, nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, N.C. Her Just Give Me Jesus revivals have been held in more than 30 cities in 12 different countries.

Anne Graham Lotz
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  • marcyds

    I stopped by here thinking this was a serious piece. What a let down. Yes, by all means, keep on believing in the Bible, that will get you far…

  • Rongoklunk

    As far as we know there are no gods, and never were any. They are mythical by definition. The only brain that uncritically accepts the God-hypothesis is the child’s brain – which is why religions want them when they are young enough to be indoctrinated – and will be hypnotized for life.
    This imaginary skydude ignored the holocaust, and ignored the Asian tsunami that killed hundreds of thousnds of poor people, just as he ignored every other disaster that ever happened since time began. He didn’t ignore everything because he’s lazy – but because he exists in the imagination and nowhere else. Time we ditched this pathetic superstition and faced REALITY. There’s nobody up there except an infinity of other planets and other suns. No god needed.

  • libdem1

    This is a good example of why I became a post-evangelical after 40 years. The myth that this was ever a Christian nation and that it has thus strayed from its root is a creation of the politicized evangelical church. The use of old testament analogies for our national leadership and policies is inappropriate and leads to questions such as why we do not allow bigamy — common among the old testament leaders. Climate change and not social change has lead to highly destructive storms like Sandy. Weather intensification is made of man not God so let us not blame God for what is of our own making.

  • ShowMeTheData

    If you had donated the time it took you to write this article to helping the people in NY and New Jersey through some charitable act, you might have changed the world. Instead, you wasted that time.

  • Army205

    So, god has yet another human emotion. Grief. allong with hate, love, anger, jealousy. i expect better from my self.

  • nkri401

    Mea culpa for derision on my part…

    If a person to go around globe saying this kind of drivel, there must be more than a sucker born a minute…

  • epespinoza43

    Let’s be clear: Only thru Jesus.

  • epespinoza43

    Do you have children?

  • epespinoza43

    By our definition, by our definition.

    Have you ever been a situation that you can’t find the words to describe a situation or event or feeling?

    If you are not of the Spirit, then you won’t understand the question.

  • epespinoza43

    It’s not a matter of distance, it’s a matter of a situation you’re in wherein time does not exist.

  • DJWinMassachusetts

    “As far as we know…”

    Who exactly is the “we” in this sentence?

  • DJWinMassachusetts

    Anne, my dear sister in Christ, the Lord has given me a word to share with you today:

    “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2)

  • Catken1

    So it’s OK with you if millions and millions of your sisters and brothers – good, decent, kind people – burn in agony forever and ever because their parents taught them different religious beliefs than yours, or because they were never convinced by yours?

  • DJWinMassachusetts

    Cat, you should read Dante’s Inferno to get a picture of the traditional Christian belief about this. The idea is that the “good pagans” sit in an outer circle of hell where there is no pain. Dante pictures it kind of like a college campus where they sit around talking philosophy all day but it’s really boring philosophy. OK, that could be a pain for some but Dante was an intellectual so to him it was an ok sort of afterlife. Not sure I buy this myself, most modern Christians don’t, but it is the most traditional belief on the subject.

  • DJWinMassachusetts

    I suppose I should have mentioned my own belief about this as well. I personally believe that God has not given me any reliable information whatsoever about what will happen to any other person in that person’s afterlife, since I have no way to know what is in any other person’s heart. My God-given task is to clean up my own act and not anybody else’s.

    I am, however, quite familiar with what Anne Graham Lotz’s believes also, since she is quite a prominent speechmaker in the Christian community. Anne is firmly convinced that you and your pals will all get your tootsies toasted.

  • DJWinMassachusetts

    I’m well aware of that, cen, thanks. I have read a great deal of their work. Most of these “scholars’” methods are not directly evidence-based. They are based on asking,”What do you think a typical first century Jew might have said under those circumstances?” This is conjecture, not evidence. I am a trained medical scientist (Ph.D.) now involved in textbook authoring, so I know a little bit about what evidence is and is not, and I am not easily fooled. There is actually NO written or archaeological evidence anywhere for what Jesus may have said other than the oldest manuscripts of the Christian gospels. Today’s bibles have already been conformed to those oldest manuscripts (which is one reason that today’s bibles differ slightly from the old King James).

  • DJWinMassachusetts

    And as you read all of the above, keep a close eye on the difference between evidence and conjecture. One of the things I have found is that most of this genre of “Jesus studies” is highly conjectural. But don’t take my word for it. As cen says, read for yourself (if you have the stamina to do so).

  • DJWinMassachusetts

    Here’s a good example of what I mean. The Jesus scholarship movement is fond of what they call linguistic analysis. They will look at thoughts and turns of phrase that are commonly found in the first century gospels and they will discover for example that these very same thoughts, often with same turns of phrase are highly developed in third century and later Christian writing. They will then conclude that the first century manuscripts were doctored in the third century to incorporate third century ideas.

    But is this a logical conclusion? Isn’t it just as likely that first century gospels were so widely read and distributed that they had a profound influence on a Christian academic movement that began to flourish in the third century after Roman persecutions had subsided? We see this kind of influential effect with great literature all the time, sometimes skipping over centuries. Nineteenth century English prose is filled with ideas and phrases that we also find in Shakespeare. Does this prove that our copies of the works of Shakespeare were doctored in the 19th century? Or does it show how influential Shakespeare was even centuries after his death?

    This is what I mean when I say that so-called Jesus scholarship isn’t always on a logically sound footing.

  • CoderHead

    I always find it odd that when natural disasters strike (or, as stated in the article, god “backs away”), they strike the faithful and unfaithful alike. If god is backing away because we’re asking him to leave, why is he still killing off those who have asked him to stay? There’s a very inconsistent and illogical argument being made here that god will be as involved as you want him to be…except when it comes to natural disasters.

    Even though you try to soften the wording of the condemnation in this post, you’re still just regurgitating Pat Robertson’s shtick and blaming the tragedy on the liberals and gays. Good job.

  • abbygirl

    Actually, ShowMeTheData, you really don’t know what Anne Graham Lotz did charity wise. Sounds pretty judgemental to me.

  • Secular1

    Abbygirl, do you have any data in that regard? We know enough about that family of carpet baggers to make such judgment.

  • question1

    What is it you are asking God to do – protect us from the environmental disasters that we’ve created? Help ameliorate the pain? I usually pray that God never lets me reap what I’ve actually sowed! Is that what you’re asking?

    God answers all prayers, if we don’t tell Him how to do it. I find it endlessly confusing when Christians quote the Old Testament to preach their faith.

    How about: “You have not, because you ask not. Ask & you shall receive. Knock & it shall be opened unto you.”.

    This is a physical, mortal world. Now I’d LOVE to see what would happen if all – or nearly all – peoples of the world would pray for world peace at the same time every day for 30 days. Regardless of religion, regardless of whether you HAVE any religion. Just pray/meditate at noon GMT every day for 30 days & see what happens.

    God set up the physical rules that govern the universe. Whatever we don’t screw up ourselves, we’re subject to. We’re mortal.

  • Phil Armo

    This woman is desperately in need of “Therapy” !

  • twmatthews

    So DJWinMassachusetts, you say God hasn’t given you reliable information about what will happen to any other person. My question is what information (read evidence) has God given you to know he exists, loves you, cares for you?

  • Phil Armo

    When confronted with a question we really have not got the anwser too, i.e. What happens to us after we are dead?, the intelligent thinking individual has only one true answer – We do not Know.
    The fools and scare mongerers who would like to control other people’s lives pretend to know. The Scare mongerers search for power and wealth whilst the “sheep” in their stupidity follow.

    For a very long time such gods as Thor, Apollo, Isis etc etc were believed in, some people genuinely believed that the Earth was actually flat and standing on”who knows what”. It would be nice to think that now in the 21st Century we are a little more enlightened and intelligent but unfortunately “voodoo” is still deep in the subconscious of some people. Without religion we could all be friends and we could lean on each other in hard times, we would not have the need for imaginary gods.

  • twmatthews

    DJWinMassachusetts,

    How do you know what the “oldest” versions of a text are? From my reading, since all copies were made by hand and oftentimes, by people that we would not consider literate, that there were mistake after mistake. How do you know, which copies of copies represents a closer rendition of what was or was not said? Even more confusing; how do you distinguish between intentional variations, wanting to emphasize some aspect of Jesus’s character with unintentional changes? How do you know that the bible you are reading is not the result of literally thousands of alterations/additions? There are, after all, no “original” manuscripts.

  • Madtown

    We don’t create hurricanes. We’re not that powerful.

  • jvhealey1

    If there was a god, he / she would not likely expose the world to the devastating effects of war hunger, disease and the rest of the outrageous suffering that humans experience.

    If there is such a god – I’LL PASS !

  • gw2304

    Thank you Anne Graham,, the comments below only prove what you said in your article. God is so patient w/ us (2 Pet. 3:9),, but sin brought trouble into the world.—Thank you again

  • junnipersnippets

    Einstein is dead. God is surely alive and He pursues us with His great love. He is not limited by time, space or matter. He also has many quotes that are much better than those spoken by biologist Stephen Jay Gould (whom God, by the way, created), like: It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust man. Psalm 118:8

  • aby2

    Surveys indicate that atheists in this country are about 30% of the general population. Another statistics indicates that 70% of population had experienced a paranormal activity such as a ghost. My conclusion is that atheists are those unfortunate enough to have never experienced a paranormal activity. I hope that for their sake they encounter a mean spirited ghost to shake up their worldview.

  • CoderHead

    I’d love to see your source on the “70% of people have seen a ghost” claim. I’d also love to see how “ghost” is quantified. Even if you could produce such a “study,” what does that have to do atheism? Or prayers?

    Atheists have only one thing in common: they don’t believe theists’ claims about gods. Period. Atheists are still free to believe in ghosts and werewolves if they want.

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