God revealed to Amos his plan to destroy Israel, and Amos listened intently.
“I’m going to send locusts upon the crops after the king gets his portion,” God said.
“Oh, no!” Amos replied. “Please don’t do that! Please forgive Israel. Otherwise, what will happen to this small people?”
“Ok, Amos. I’ll relent.”
Amos’s prayer was answered.
A second time God shared his plans, saying he was going to judge Israel with a fire so hot it’d devour sea and land. Again, Amos repeated his plea. And again, God heeded Amos’s request.
Amos’s words weren’t fancy or flowery. They were a simple, heart-felt repetition of what he’d prayed before, a plea that interceded on behalf of a nation headed for destruction.
Climbing craggy hills with his flocks and tending to his sycamore figs, Amos likely drew little attention from others. But he had God’s full attention when he prayed. And he was tuned in to God as well. When God said he’d draw a line and not relent, Amos accepted God’s will. And when God told him to speak to the people about the approaching destruction, he didn’t second-guess himself, he put aside all the “supposed to be” criteria and prophesied to an unbelieving people.
We can learn a lot from Amos. First, our prayers can avail much. We don’t have to have a pedigree or a skillful tongue to intercede. We must simply turn a listening ear to God’s voice, then respond to him with childlike confidence. He pays attention to us because we are his. He sees our repentant, tender hearts, and he doesn’t reject the compassion that moves us to pray for others, people he, himself, wants to restore. Like Amos, when we pray, we voice our desires, then trust God with the answer. Sometimes, that answer is so much bigger than the prayer we prayed. Just as Amos’s simply formed words held off God’s judgment of an entire nation two times, our prayers can have global and eternal impact. That’s why we are admonished to pray about everything because the answer God gives just might be what we prayed to receive. Secondly, relationship with God is reactive. God reacts to our prayers, and we become more trusting of Him. We grow sensitive to his timing and to his will. We become more willing to step out of our comfort zones to be what God says we can be instead of some self- or people-imposed definition of what we should be.
Relationship with God moves us away from the assembly line of the mundane and ho-hum into the position of prayer and fulfilment of purpose. It eliminates our "pre" conditions and gathers us into heavenly fellowship where we are known and loved for exactly who we are. There, our common, factory-like existence is exchanged for the extraordinary, and we become part of God's everlasting, supernatural plan.
Tip/Tidbit: Your life has extraordinary purpose and priceless value, regardless of your history, pedigree, or personal skill. Let God use you in prayer and service today.