Friday, December 7, 2012
GOD HEARD YOU
Recently it has been brought to mind that some believers think that sometimes God does not hear our prayers. I admit that I was shocked by this declaration from someone I love and it disturbed me to sleeplessness in pain for that person and for others who were exposed to these thoughts. I keep hoping that “God ultimately didn’t hear our prayers,” was a misstatement and not an actual belief of this person. The next words were about how active God had been, and currently is in the situation; so I am sure that faith is still strong there, but I was drawn to find words to express the absolute truth that God hears our every prayer.
There are many different teachings about prayer in scripture; some are hard to handle, and some are just plain wrong. One school of thought is that when we are not “right” with God, our prayers “hit the ceiling” and never leave the room. That is wrong on so many levels that it would take a long term study to cover it all. But it is important to note that sometimes our working relationship with God is hindered by sin in our lives. This does not mean that He goes deaf and does not hear our prayers. It means that we do not enjoy the comfort of knowing and feeling His presence with us when we continue trying to serve Him while living with unconfessed sins
But, because at least dozens of people were praying through many long years, the sheer scope of the praying flies in the face of this whole idea that God did not hear those prayers. It is not probable that all those people were out-of-sorts with God, all at the same time, even if that would affect God’s ability to hear. And I suspect that, in fact, the vast majority were quite diligent in obeying God and living their lives for Him. So why would there be room to suggest that God did not ultimately hear those prayers? In fact, there is no room. God hears are prayers and they are like incense to Him. (Revelation 5)
The bold truth is that our exuberance in prayer (or lack thereof) is not the requisite of God’s hearing. Nor is seeking Him from a point of great faithfulness, or being a proper, fully mature saint (whatever that is.) All He requires of us is that we believe in Him as our God and Savior, keep in touch, and come to Him with any and all of our requests and needs, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
I believe that those of us who have accepted Christ as personal Savior not only have unrestricted access to God for praising and praying, but we have within us the Holy Spirit who carries our prayers to God in God’s own language, expressing our hearts and minds in a way that we could never accomplish on our own. God not only hears the words of our prayers, He hears more than we pray. He hears our hearts and our minds and our intentions. He knows better than we do what our requests really are.
So why might we choose to say that He did not hear our prayers? Because we did not recognize His answers. A quick “Yes,” is what we are looking for, but sometimes the answer must be “wait” or “no” or even “Watch”… for I have a different solution than the one you think you need. “My thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) I am God and I am in charge of how things turn out. I know what is really best. Trust Me.
In Genesis 18, Abraham prayed several times that God would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of a specific number of possible faithful few who might be still living there, knowing that his nephew and his family were there. God heard and answered every prayer, “Yes.” And yet He did destroy the cities in chapter 19. He did, however, spare the faithful few who actually did live there. He knew Abraham’s heart and true intent and saved the remnant of believers, even though He had to destroy the cities because there were not enough faithful believers to overcome the evil existing in those cities. Though Abraham verbally requested the rescue of the cities, God knew it was his family that he cherished and wished to preserve; but his family did not add up to the number Abraham had set as a point of consideration. God had a different solution than the one Abraham thought he needed.
I originally wrote this page for my own edification, but I have decided to share it with others in the hope that God might bless someone, or many, with the truth of His eagerness to hear our prayers and to always answer them in His own way. May God be praised in the rise of incense from our hearts and lips as we go through our days with Him. Amen