top of page

He Hears the Prayer of the Destitute

Scripture: Psalms 102:17 (NLT):God will listen to prayers of the destitute. He will not despise their pleas.



Beloved, today we gather to explore a profound truth embedded in Psalm 102:17. This verse reminds us of the compassionate nature of our God, who listens intently to the prayers of those who are destitute, those who are in desperate need. The speculation of authorship includes Nehemiah, and unlike other penitential psalms, this one is not attributed to individuals or titled as a psalm but as a prayer. Let us look deeper into the meaning and implications of this verse.

Psalm 102 is a prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord. This psalm is often associated with the time of the Babylonian exile, a period when the Israelites were stripped of their homeland, temple, and identity, making them feel destitute and abandoned. However, the beauty of this psalm lies in its raw and honest plea for God's intervention and its confident hope in His mercy.

The term "destitute" in Hebrew is "עָרֵם" (ʿārēm), which literally means "naked" or "stripped of everything." It signifies being impoverished, deprived, and wholly dependent on the mercy of others. In the context of this psalm, it reflects the condition of the exiled Israelites and, by extension, all who find themselves in dire circumstances, both physically and spiritually.

The verse, "He will regard the prayer of the destitute and not despise their prayer," reveals several key aspects of God's character and His relationship with us:

  1. God's Regard for Prayer:

The phrase "He will regard" translates to "He looks upon" or "He turns Himself to their prayer." This means that God is not indifferent to the cries of His people. He is attentive and responsive. In times when we feel abandoned and overlooked by the world, God inclines His ear to our pleas.

An example can be drawn from the story of Hagar in Genesis 16:13. Hagar, feeling destitute and alone, encountered God and declared, "You are the God who sees me." God regarded her plight and provided for her needs. The story of Hagar an Egyptian servant to Sarah, Abraham's wife should definitely motivate us. When Sarah could not bear children, she gave Hagar to Abram to conceive a child. Hagar became pregnant and tension arose between her and Sarah. Sarah mistreated Hagar, causing her to flee into the desert. In Genesis 16:7-13, Hagar’s supplies were finished, and she had nothing to feed the baby Ishmael with. Alone and destitute in the wilderness, she encounters the Angel of the Lord. The Angel asks her where she has come from and where she is going. She explains her situation. Significantly, the Angel of the Lord tells her to name her son Ishmael, meaning "God hears," because the Lord has heard her misery. Hagar responds by naming the Lord "El Roi," which means "the God who sees me." She exclaims, "I have now seen the One who sees me" (Genesis 16:13). This encounter profoundly impacts Hagar, as she realizes that even in her lowest state, God saw her and cared for her.

God’s Promises to the Destitute: Hagar’s story teaches us that no one is invisible to God. God Sees and Hears. He sees our struggles, hears our cries, and responds with compassion. Psalm 34:15 says, "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry." Even when we feel abandoned, God has a plan and purpose for us. Hagar received a promise for her son Ishmael, showing that God’s plans extend beyond our immediate circumstances. Jeremiah 29:11 reassures us of God’s plans to prosper us and give us hope.


2. God Does Not Despise:

The term "despise" in Hebrew is "בָּזָה" (bāzāh), meaning to treat with contempt or disregard. Our God does not look down on our prayers, no matter how insignificant or unworthy we may feel. He values each prayer and treats it with the utmost respect and care. Consider the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. Jesus teaches us about the importance of persistent prayer and assures us that God, unlike the unjust judge, will certainly respond to His chosen ones who cry out to Him day and night.

3. God's Compassion for the Needy:

The Bible consistently portrays God as a defender of the poor and needy. In Psalm 34:6, it says, "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles." God’s heart is moved by our suffering, and He acts on our behalf. In the New Testament, Jesus’ mission is clearly stated in Luke 4:18-19, where He declares, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor." Jesus came to address our deepest needs, both physical and spiritual.

4. Dependence on God’s Mercy:

The destitute are those who recognize their utter dependence on God's mercy. In Revelation 3:17, the Laodicean church is chastised for their self-sufficiency: "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked." True spiritual poverty is acknowledging our need for God’s grace.

King David exemplifies this in Psalm 51:17, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." God values a heart that humbly seeks Him.

Think of a child running to their parent with tears streaming down their face. No matter how trivial the problem might seem to an outsider, the loving parent listens intently and offers comfort. Similarly, our Heavenly Father is always ready to listen to our cries, no matter how insignificant we might think they are.

Similarly imagine a beggar approaching a mighty king. The beggar expects to be ignored or even scorned, but instead, the king steps down from his throne, listens to the beggar's plea, and provides for his needs. This is a picture of our God, who, despite His majesty, stoops down to hear and help the destitute. He is  a wonderful God.

5. Come to Jesus with Your Burdens.

If you are feeling discouraged or overwhelmed, know that Jesus invites you to come to Him. Matthew 11:28-30 reassures us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Keep your faith strong, for God is near to those who call on Him in truth (Psalm 145:18). Do not be afraid to bring your troubles to Him, for He cares deeply for you (1 Peter 5:7).

6. Pray for Others:

True worshippers of the Lord are never satisfied with only hearing their own voices praise Him. We are called to intercede for others, to lift up the needs of our community, nation, and the world. James 5:16 encourages us to "pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

Like the psalmist, let us care deeply that future generations will see God's compassion, mercy, and power to deliver. Declare, "I am God’s answer to this psalmist."

7. Focus on Your Future in God:

Begin to expand your vision for the future. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us of God's promise: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Your current destitution is not the end of your story. Trust in God's plan for your life.


Beloved, as we reflect on Psalm 102:17, let us be encouraged that our God hears the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their plea. Whether we find ourselves in physical, emotional, or spiritual destitution, we can confidently approach God, knowing that He regards our prayers with compassion and care.

Let us remain connected to the Lord, prayerful always, and vigilant in our spiritual journey. Remember, God is not annoyed by our problems; He is attentive and responsive. Keep your faith, pray for others, and focus on the glorious future God has in store for you. May we all be living testimonies of His unfailing love and mercy.


God bless you so much. May the peace of God dwell within you throughout this week. If you've been touched by today's message and wish to explore deeper faith, join us for Sunday services at AFM in Canada. Our address and location is on our website. Together, we can grow in love, strengthen our community, and uplift each other in our spiritual journeys. We look forward to welcoming you into our family. Blessings and grace be upon you.


Senior Pastor

Leo T Mukumba

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

The Call to Spiritual Endurance

Scriptures: 2 Timothy 2:3-6 Introduction Dear friends, today we embark on a journey through the scriptures found in 2 Timothy 2:3-6, where the Apostle Paul urges Timothy—and by extension, all believer

God Has Helped

Scripture: John 12:9-11 (ESV): "When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the c

God's Unwavering Care

Scripture: Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Introduction Lif


bottom of page