Devotions for the Praying Heart
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Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.
Jonah 3:10 – 4:2

It was God’s mercy and compassion that moved Jesus to raise the dead son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:13). That widow had lost the last person in the world who would take care of her, and when Jesus saw her weeping, mercy overtook Him and He was compelled to bring her boy back to life.

Jesus didn’t shower that kind of compassion on just a couple of isolated individuals. He didn’t have mercy on only a few folks here and there. Matthew 9:36 says that “… when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”

Think about that. Through Jesus, God proved that He has compassion for everybody. He has mercy for multitudes!

I could go on and on giving scriptural evidence of that mercy. We could talk about the story of Jonah, for instance. We could talk about how God so desperately wanted to show mercy to the wicked city of Ninevah that He drove an unwilling prophet (by way of a whale!) to preach to them so they could repent.

We could talk about David, the man who knew God’s heart better than any other Old Testament saint. We could read Psalms chapter 136 where he recounted the mighty works God had done throughout Israel’s history and followed every incident with the exclamation, “For His mercy endures forever!”

I believe we should all read through the Bible at least once for the express purpose of seeing with a fresh eye all the merciful acts and ways of the Lord. That, more than anything else, would help us get a better revelation of God’s mercy. It would make us better pray-ers and better receivers by giving us a greater comprehension of the magnitude of His love.

Scripture Reading: Jonah 3:1 – 10; 4:1 – 11

Source: Devotions for the Praying Heart by Lynne Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Lynne Hammond Ministries

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