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On Prayer – He Hears and Answers…

6 Jun

On Prayer – He Hears and Answers…

I was asked to talk about prayer and how we know the God hears them and answers them. Recently our pastor mentioned that familiarity with the Father tells us we are not sincere with our prayer or are just going through the motions because of it.

I’m not so sure I agree with that statement because I think God would like us to be as close to Him as we can get throughout our life and to rely on Him for everything. But that got me to thinking about the different phases of life and prayer.

I accepted Jesus as my savior when I was 12, about 65 years ago. I remember praying for just about anything, mostly things I wanted and my list was long. God blessed me with just about everything I asked for and what I didn’t receive, I was shown reasons why. God does know what is best for us.

During my 20’s and 30’s my prayer became less about my wants and needs to more about the needs of my family and the needs of our soldiers and Marines on the battlefield in Vietnam. More to the survival of sick, wounded and to bring us back alive from our missions.

God continued to bless me with favorable answers for the most part along with some disappointment about those too hurt to bring home. There were times where I questioned why He chose to take them while leaving some of us here, but over the years I’ve come to see He had other plans for me.

Over the past 40 years or so my prayers have been more of a continuous conversation with God asking for His guidance over each and every step I take. I never have any qualms about where He is leading me and know He will protect me from all harm. It is this closeness to Him that has given me continuous peace and comfort in my daily activities and walk.

In the Bible Paul tells us to be in continuous prayer with God, relying solely on Him for all things. To me walking daily with God at my side and been the biggest blessing of my entire life. If this is being too familiar with the Father, He hasn’t stopped answering my prayers, rather He has answered each and everyone of them, not always the way I wanted, but always with my needs in mind.

I think the problem of God answering prayer is more that we fail to listen, rather than Him not answering. That brings me back to my childhood when Grandfather told me that God gave me one mouth and two ears for a reason. I am to listen more and talk less. God hears all our prayers and answers everyone of them according to what is best for us. We all need to look beyond what is me and learn to look to what is Him. We are here to Glorify Him and His word. He blesses us to further His Glory. I am truly blessed!

So that brings me to the question – How do we know God hears and answers our prayers? Before I get into the question, I need to clarify myself. When I get an idea for a post, usually in the middle of the night, He wakes me up and has me write until I have written His message.

This post is a culmination of four other posts written several years ago. He has had me reword it many times. Enjoy.

In my post “The Simple Life” I showed how prayer is a two-way street. That when God speaks to us we should be listening to what He has to tell us. We have learned to pray as Christians but have we learned to listen?

When grandfather had me go sit on the cliff and listen to the wind, he was really having me find a quiet, secluded place to sit and talk to God. He was also teaching me to listen to what God tells me. Today we pray, but do we listen to His answer? I think most don’t listen when He responds and that is why we are in this position.

In my post “Two Ways To Live” I wrote how we have the choice to be positive or negative in our life and our choices determine who, what and why we are who we are.

Grandfather said there are two ways to live your life and I should be very careful on how I make my choices. If you believe that all the miracles happened in the days of Christ and that the days of miracles are over, you are going to be a pessimist. Your life will consist mainly of negativity and you will have a poor me attitude. It will appear that everything goes wrong, no matter how hard you try, because you have already decided you will fail. You will feel that your problems are obstacles that you just can’t get around. It will be a very unhappy life.

On the other hand, he said, if you believe miracles can happen everyday, look at your problems as challenges to grow and that there is something positive is every situation in life, than your life will be happy, full of promise and you will walk in confidence that you will succeed in every task.

I followed up with my post “The Silver Lining” where I tried to show our every thought, word and deed is tied to our relationship with God and how close He watches over us.

Much to my surprise, as I continued to grow, I learned there is not a silver lining in these clouds of disappointment, but there is a silver thread. This silver thread is connected to every experience of our life and when we tighten our grasp, we are shaping our character. In other words we are who we are because of how we handled the good and bad times in our life’s. We shaped our life and built our character by how well we handled the bumps and pitfalls as we grew up.

I pulled it together with my post “Do We Complicate Christianity” where I showed some of the many ways God answers prayer and talks to us.This asks you why you don’t follow what He is saying.

The truth is God does answer prayer, many times right away, but we don’t always listen to the answer because we don’t necessarily agree with it. Sometimes we have to wait for an answer, for our time and God’s time are on different time tables. During your daily walk in life you should invite God to walk with you and have a running conversation with Him. You will be surprised at the insight He has on your life. He is there to guide you around and over all the concerns in your life.

God talks to us many ways, the Bible, through prayer, through our friends and in our thoughts. The pastor of my church says many Christians read their bible during bible study class and service on Sunday and it gathers dust the rest of the time.

I have to say I don’t know any Christians like that, but I am sure some do exist. I’m also sure God had that in mind when He gave us life. That is why He talks to us in many ways. The problem is we just aren’t listening!

Over the past few weeks our Bible study teacher has said there has been many times when he prayed he felt like it wasn’t going any higher than the ceiling in the room. Frustrating as that may sound, many other have felt the same way once in a while because their prayers were not answered the way they thought they should have been. Some think it is because we aren’t in a sincere state when we pray or are asking the wrong way.

Just to be clear, God hears all your prayers, in fact He knows your needs before you put then to words and is acting on your behalf before you even ask. As our Father, He is watching over us and meeting our needs according to His time table, not ours. He wonders why you don’t listen when He is talking. He reminds us that He gives us everything and everyday we are blessed in some little way, whether we realize it or not.


He talks to us in quiet times as well when we are in need of comfort. He calms us in the midst of our storms and warms us when we are chilly. He guides us through our everyday life, yet so many times we choose to take another path and end up coming to Him for help. He is very patient with us and also very forgiving in spite of our misgivings. Yet, we say He doesn’t hear our prayers or He didn’t answer my prayer.

He asks “I gave you life and a land to live on, along with instructions on how to care for the land. Did you follow the instructions and give the land time to recover? I told you My greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as I have loved you, do you, or do you love only those you think worthy of your love?

Where do you get off determining who is worthy of my love? When I come to you as a neighbor asking for assistance, do you find excuses not to help and push it off, or do you extend your hand in help? Are you doing everything you can to help the needy or are you complaining because they are asking for a hand up?”

Can you answer those questions honestly? God blesses us everyday of our life, yet we find it hard to bless others with our help and company. He listens to our requests for this and that then gives us what we need, yet we fail in the very thing when someone comes to us for help. He says live your life as an example of Him and lead others to Him. What kind of leader are you?

Yes,God hears and answers every prayer in His time. If we share our blessings with others, they are blessed and we are blessed again by them. If we would listen more and talk less we just might hear Him when He whispers in our ears. Hear what He is telling you!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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