Are you even listening?

I first wrote this back in March 2012 but am reminded of how often I struggle with prayer - My devotion this morning was about Prayer and I am linking up today with Essential Devotion's Friday link up after reading the fantastic post there about the conversation of prayer.

How many times have I asked "Are you even listening, Lord?" Loads, and no doubt so have you.

At times prayer is such a struggle. It seems to make no sense, there is no formula for getting prayers answered.

Sometimes, prayers are answered that I haven't even prayed, other times a quick answer is a relief and a lot of the time, for the stuff that tears at my heart, when I plead, there seems to be no answer forthcoming and I feel like shouting to God 'Are you even listening?'.

The Bible tells us:
To believe and it will happen (Mark 11: 22-24)
To ensure our motives are right (James 4: 2-3)
To clear the sin we may have (Psalm 66: 18-19)
To keep God's commands (1John 3: 21-22)

There are also many more verses in Isaiah that help (1: 15-17, 58:3-9 and 59:2). All this makes me wonder that question should not be 'Why are my prayers not being answered?' but 'How on earth does God answer any prayer that comes from me?'. I know I have prayed and God has answered but I certainly hadn't ticked all the right boxes!
That is grace!!

If I work really hard to live the ways God wants, the way these verses tell me to then will all my prayers be answered?

No! Even if I could live a 'perfect' life, which I can't, God has an overall plan that I can't see. Sometimes even when I feel that my prayers are coming from the right heart, with the right motives and only for His glory, I can still get it wrong. I think that at some point the apostles must have prayed for Jesus to be spared, he even prayed for himself and he did live the perfect life. Sometimes things just have to happen a certain way and one day that way will become clear.

I believe God is listening, I believe he hears me when I pray, I believe he answers what he can, even if the answer is 'no' and even when I hear nothing, I still pray because I believe that prayer has a changing and cleansing power in all of us that brings us into a closer relationship with God.

1 comment:

  1. Tania, thanks so much for mentioning my series on prayer and linking up at Essential Fridays. Your words here are so important and I love that you have written from the heart. The mystery of prayer is that regardless of the answer the power of prayer changes us and grows us in our intimacy with God. Blessings.