“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right;
His ears are open to their cries for help.
“The righteous cry.” Like Israel in Egypt, they cry out under the heavy yoke of oppression, both of sin, temptation, care and grief. “And the Lord hears;” he is like the night-watchman, who no sooner hears the alarm-bell than he flies to relieve those who need him. “And delivers them out of all their troubles.” No net of trouble can so hold us that the Lord cannot free us. Our afflictions may be numerous and complicated, but prayer can set us free from them all, for the Lord will show himself strong on our behalf.
“Livin’ on a Prayer” is Bon Jovi’s
But how many know that Jon Bon Jovi did not like the original recording of this song?
Richie Sambora convinced him the song was good, and they re-worked it and it went on to hit the #1 slot on the charts for about 6 weeks.
But it didn’t achieve its real legacy and staying power until after the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
New Jersey, (Jon Bon Jovi’s homestate),was the second-hardest hit state after New York. Here, the band performed an acoustic version of this song which endeared and gave it enduring success in the hearts of his fellow Americans.
The believer, is the second-hardest hit after God’s firstborn Son.
In 2006, “Livin’ on a Prayer” was voted #1 on VH1’s “list of The 100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s“.
Repeatedly, the song hits the #1 slot even outside the USA, now nearly 25 years after its release.
Lyrically, the song represents the daily struggles of a couple working hard to make ends meet yet still maintain their relationship.
The song transcends itself as Bon Jovi makes references to its lyrics in subsequent songs and even other artists refer to it lyrically.
One, the 1992 song “Fear” from the Keep the Faith album, Jon Bon Jovi sings “take my hand, I know we’ll make it“, similar to the line from “Livin’ on a Prayer“, “take my hand, we’ll make it, I swear.” The two songs share similar themes.
In the 2000 hit single “It’s My Life“, from Crush, the song’s fictional characters are given new life in the line “this is for the ones who stood their ground, for Tommy and Gina, who never backed down“.
The song’s legacy lives on in the 2005 song “Novocaine” from Have a Nice Day, “Livin’ on a Prayer” is referenced in the line “there’s a different kind of meaning now to ‘livin’ on a prayer.'”
But the song has had a life of its own beyond the band, in various musical incarnations.
It is even sung at weddings and performed by Christian artists. It has come to represent the life of prayer and the daily struggles as the believer works to maintain relationship with the Lord of Life Himself.
“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous.”
Unlike a train wreck, where in abject horror, one just can’t look away, the Lord looks with much tender longing and love on those so dear to him that he cannot take his eyes off them.
Each one, he watches with such careful intensity as if there were the only one in the universe.
“His ears are open unto their cry.” He is all eyes and ears on them;
His mind is fixed, wholly occupied about them: if slighted by all others they are not neglected by him. They are His and He is theirs. It is a “meeting of the minds”,
a relationship built on love that works through all to make ends meet –
Jesus said in Revelation 1:8,
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
Whatever our posture, wherever the place, the ears and eyes of Almighty God are attentively upon those who cry out to Him in longing for a right relationship.
Let all with eyes of faith, according to Hebrews 12:2,
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
King David, an all time prolific songwriter, penned a signature song to our heavenly Father in Psalm 40