Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Does He really hear me?"

"Praying in faith is not an inner conviction that God will act according to our desires if only we believe hard enough.  It involves believing that God will always respond to our prayers in accord with his nature, his purposes, and his promises." -Alvin VanderGriend

That ever-common question of 'Does God really hear me? I'm just some country kid of no great importance and a sinner.' It's asked by so many people and, to be honest, I've asked it before. Last summer, though, God worked in my heart and life. The main thing He did was show me, constantly (because I just can't seem to believe without seeing! I'm still working on the 'faith like a mustard-seed' concept.) that He is with us all the time, and that He does listen to our prayers from the heart, see our troubles and triumphs, loves us with an unconditional love, and knows how much we can handle. That's a lot of stuff, and I don't think I'll be writing about it all in one post. Right now, I'm going to focus on the listening to prayers from our heart one because it's on my mind right now. Just last night, I saw how it is so true that God hears our prayers, especially when they come from the heart and out of genuine compassion. I prayed for a certain person while driving home from a gathering (Actually was praying for this person for the past month) and later I heard some great news and realized God had answered that prayer...in the specific way I'd prayed. It wasn't my own thoughts or words, I truly believe the Spirit spoke through me...I had no idea this was what this certain person needed. I was in such awe of God's greatness and love. It showed me, once again, how God does listen. Even to us country bumpkins in the middle of no where.

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
-- John Bunyan

"How then do I pray? It's so hard to know what to say sometimes..." Yes, yes, yes it can be hard to know how to pray and what to say. Something I personally struggle with is wondering if I'm being selfish, and shouldn't be praying for what I'm praying for. I guess the whole saying "Practice makes perfect" is very much true in this act. The more we pray, the more comfortable we feel with it, and the more we love Christ and the more we grow. It's so amazing. When I'm at that point where I don't know what to say I like to turn to the Book of Common Prayer. It is full of prayers, and thanksgivings, for just about every reason you can think of. The prayers in this book are also beautifully written, making them all the bit nicer. And then, of course, you can always turn to the Lord's Prayer that Jesus taught us.

We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts, and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity. Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your Name, now and for ever. Amen. (from the BCP)

Thanksgiving is crucial in our walk with the Lord. We (myself included) often forget to pray in times of abundance. The pilgrims set a good example of how we need to thank God in times of growing and in times of harvest. When we pray, we sometimes get led astray with all we want and the lives we want changed. This is all good and well, but let us never forget to look around and see all the beauty and goodness God has in our lives already. Yes, I want ______ to find Christ, yes I want ______ to have physical healing, but what is most important is to continually give God praise. How would it be if our parents always did what we wanted and were constantly providing for us, only to have us ask for more and never thank them. I don't think they would like that very much...and we'd all end up spoiled brats. God is our Father, he will chastise us when needed, and he certainly won't let us be spoiled rotten. God wants to see our hearts really love Him, he wants real genuineness out of us. Praise God in the storm. Praise God in the sunshine. Praise him everywhere. It's a hard habit to get, seeing as humans typically have the opposite, but you'll find peace and joy in thanksgiving.
So in conclusion, yes, God hear's each of our thoughts and prayers. He know's us better than we know ourselves, He loves us more than we can comprehend. He's loving, and he's a father. Contentment is the key to peace. Continually give God thanks, pray consistently, and be genuine. I'm no expert, I'm a sinner, but I am content. God has it all in control, that's not to say we sit back and do nothing...but that's for a whole new blog post. Sometimes we don't feel God's presence, but don't give up. Keep praying, He'll be the best friend you ever knew. 

“What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God's eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when he catches us, as it were, off our guard.”-C.S. Lewis

1 comment:

  1. This is a great synopsis on prayer!! Thanks for your encouragement. Momma