Life from the rear-view mirror

Do your prayers get past the ceiling?……..Vol 113

June 14, 2016 | Comment

prayer-2Bpraying-2BhandsAre your prayers effective? I know that’s sometimes hard to know as God is always working behind the scenes. But maybe you’ve felt that you’re in a dry spell. Maybe you don’t spend as much time in prayer any more. Maybe it feels like you just keep tapping God on the shoulder…but he never turns around and you’re not sure if he hasn’t felt you tapping…or he’s just ignoring you. That’s an interesting thought…could God be ignoring you? What? I’m his kid, he made me in his image…there’s so much going on in my life and others. How could God ignore me? How could he NOT listen? What would make that happen?
Check your heart.
Let me answer one of the questions I posed. The whole did God “feel you tapping” or better yet “did God hear your prayer” thing. The answer is a resounding yes. Of course he heard you…felt you…whatever. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be God. But that’s not the real issue here. The real issue is will he answer you? We’ve all heard at times that God answers all prayer. And, the answers are Yes, No, and Wait. And that sorta makes sense…if you believe that God was “listening” to you at the time. Not just hearing, but “listening.” If you don’t know the difference…ask your husband/wife…or take away the smartphone…
So if God loves me (He does!) and wants the best for me (that too!) and wants to talk with me (He sure does!) Why in the world would he not answer me?
You aren’t going to like this…
It’s the same reason that Christ had to die on the cross…sin.
What?
I thought when I asked Jesus to come into my heart and forgive my sin.. He did it… Yes he did. We’re not talking about whether you have a relationship with God through faith in Christ and what he did on the cross for you. This is not about whether or not you are in the “Family of God” and going to heaven.
This is about whether you and God are on “speaking terms.”
The Bible calls sin rebellion…and rebellion towards God loosely translated is…wanting something different for ourselves than what God wants. If our lives are in rebellion because of sin…that creates a situation much like when you are on the “outs” with a family member… and you need something from them. You have to mend the relationship first. Then they are more likely to help.
I know that’s really over-simplified…but I’m confident you get the point.
If you have a minute, read I John 5:14. If we want our prayers to be answered, we have to pray “according to his will” or “want the same things that God wants for us.”
If we are in rebellion (sin) are we really wanting the same things that God wants? No…we’re in rebellion! We’re wanting something else…something selfish, something we think will make us happy. Rebellion is shaking our fist in the face of God. Now you might say…I don’t believe that. Or that is too strong a statement. Is it? You’re not gonna like this either. There is no such thing as a little rebellion…it’s like being a little pregnant. You either “is” or you “ain’t” Again…check your heart.
Here’s something you will like. This condition is fixable.How?
Glad you asked.
If you have another minute, read I John 1;9. Boom! There’s your answer to being answered. That’s how we “mend the fence” with God.
I can’t tell you how often I pray that prayer…because I’m so often in rebellion…so often going the wrong direction…and yet…so needy. Not just for myself, but for those I love in my family and the larger family of God.
I know God always hears me…but I want him to listen too. More than that, I want him to answer in a way that I know it was him. In a way that Yes, No and Wait are meaningful because I know my heart was not in rebellion when I prayed.
It only takes a minute to make sure our hearts are right when we go to God in prayer…and doesn’t he deserve a clean heart? A heart not in rebellion but in unity with his?
“Yes” is always easy to hear. But the “No” and the “Wait” are easier to bear when we know God was listening. When we know our heart is in tune with His.

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