O Lord, let Your merciful ears be open to the prayers of Your humble servants and grant that what they ask may be in accord with Your gracious will; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
My first real boss had a wonderful gift and was a wonderful gift to me. I still cannot believe he entrusted me with so much at such a young age. I was untested and truly in over my head. But he trusted me and more importantly he heard me with a merciful ear. I was placed in charge of a small group of workers, but we were far from any immediate oversight. We were given assignments, driven to fields at some distance, and given specific instructions. It might be afternoon before we saw anyone else.
One day, after a particularly trying day of recalcitrant workers, getting lost on the way to a field, and a grumpy seed corn representative, I made a call to my boss. I do not know what exactly I was looking for. I am not even sure I had a specific request. I just needed to talk to him. I did, the emotions were on the surface of that conversation. I was weary, angry, more than a little afraid. He listened to me. He paid close attention to what I said. He helped me see my mistakes for what they were and helped me do a better job tomorrow. He assured me that it would be OK. He would talk to the seed company rep. for me and smooth things over. But most of all, he listened to me.
Today we pray that God hears us with His merciful ears. I think of Larry and his patient hearing of my youthful and insecure self when I hear those words. I am sure that I was a bit of a headache for him at times. But he always listened to me. What I said was important to him and I was important to him, for reasons which transcended the profitability of my crew. I pray as you think of your many experiences in life, that somewhere you too have been heard with merciful ears. God listens to every one of your prayers with such tenderhearted mercy.