Wednesday, July 6, 2016
When we pray most of us want more than just an awareness that we have been heard by our Father God. In other words, we pray with our own end-of-game in view. We pray either telling God or knowing how this thing about which we pray is supposed to end. When we pray for someone to be healed, the disease goes away. When we pray about a broken relationship, the other person comes to their senses and asks for forgiveness. When we pray for a new job, the phone is supposed to start ringing. And, if God does not seem to be responding as we deem appropriate, we either figure He is not going to get involved, or we have not really prayed effectively.
Seldom is it enough for us to know God has heard us. We want Him to act on what He has heard from us. Then, and only then, has He done enough. The 6th Psalm records the prayer of one suffering and struggling through a serious illness. "...my bones are shaking with terror...my soul also is struck with terror...I am weary with my moaning..." (Ps. 6:2-3, 6) At the end of his desperate prayer we hear the suffering one as he comes to the place of praying, "The Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication, the Lord accepts my prayers." (Ps. 6:8-9) There is nothing here to suggest the weight of suffering and illness has been lifted. The only certain thing is that the one who prayed knows he has been heard by God.
Is being heard enough? Is knowing that God knows enough? Can we live with the kind of trust which does not require action we deem to be the right action in order to continue believing and depending on God? Is God doing what we want God to do more important to us than God doing what He wants to do with us? Are we going to hang on with God regardless of how He chooses to respond to our prayers?