Prayer is an action that could be better understood as a conversation consisting of a request & a response…
However, more times than not, we find prayer to be quite one sided, meaning that we’re the only one whose voice is heard.
Now, am I suggesting that we should hear an audible voice, in a Morgan Freeman kinda way?
My thoughts are:
- Absolutely, we should expect to hear while in prayer
- No, it’s unlikely to be an audible voice.
There may be accounts of like encounters and not be discredited, unassumed, or taken lightly. I believe though, that it would be uncommon yet He speaks in different ways.
The main question though is why is it that we leave prayer without hearing?
Please know, there’s no shaming, but the question of focus is:
If prayer is what we depend on & is man’s main source of communication to heaven? “What makes us content to exit a prayer without a reply?”… A reply could look like an instant change of heart or prompt of scripture reminding you of a promise.
“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. ”
~ Psalm 5:3 NIV
Could it be that when we’re going through rush moments of the day (even with pressing matters) that our requests are so brisk that it leaves with no time for the Spirit to say “I’m here”.
Does this occur because we’re not prepared for conversation? I think we all (in unawareness) underestimate the Father’s attention towards us.
Come and hear all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
~ Psalm 66:16-20, NIV
If we wait for his presence there is capacity to build confidence.
What if we understood that when seeking the Heavenly Father that a response was expected…Not the immediate answer per sa but in initial response. How would it change the way we approach coming in prayer?
Just recently, I had a major concern where I failed to sincerely seek God. Thinking my idea was admirable, that in this, I didn’t need any counsel or back-up so to speak. I would rely on logic & business sense, after all I knew most of all what was needed to do the contract. Looking back now, though my intentions were genuine with the parties involved my attitude towards God was prideful. I didn’t desire to hear as I should.
Well, after I presented my case to the presentee, without saying, what followed didn’t exactly turn out as planned. Now, I am stressed & every day repeatedly, relaying “what-ifs” scenarios to my husband each evening, as a way of seeking comfort. All the while he peers compassionately over glasses saying, “Honey, it’s going to be alright.”
I’m literally chasing God pleading to fix what seems to be this surmounting mountain because I choose not to hear. Days later I come solidly repentant; available to receive correction & hear hard things.
And so I had to be honest with myself & God, saying. “Lord I’m sorry. Now, show me what to do.”
And let me explain my “now” was not a tantrum or demand. My “now” was that my heart was now ready to hear.
And with the ear of my heart open, I tell you moments after my anxious mind was gently poured over in quiet love like a molten cake. In parallel the peace of God downloaded not “what to do”, but “how”.
And in that “how”, when it was time to reassemble the plan, the wisdom of God met me with gentle patience. He lovingly guided through all the required, sensitive steps. He responded with a clear biblical approach to take, that it made sense instantly, because this time “time” was made to hear. (Not just necessarily in a natural sense of time but with an invited, intentional expectation).
I’d learned a humble lesson, it’s not that we are not capable of carrying out tasks but it is that without Him we are undoubtedly fallible. And that’s why it is without God we can do nothing.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’
~ John 15:5 NIV
May the ear of our hearts be always open,
firmly pressed against heaven doors; wherever we are in your presence patiently waiting for your response.
~TSH in the Sanctuary