June 22, 2009

Does God Hear Us When We Pray?

Today I just want to offer an idea and some encouragement in your relationship with God. I know that, for myself, there are times when I pray and I wonder whether-or-not God paid any attention to what I said. This lack of faith is more evident in my life when I'm going through difficulties and, by his grace, I realized this one day a few years back. I was talking to God in my devotions and he gave me the idea of writing down everything I ask of him and noting the date. Then I could record when and how he answered me.

I began my very first prayer journal and I still use it to this day. During times when I struggle I simply pluck it off my bookshelf, open it up, and start reading all the prayer requests he has answered. There are still a few here and there that remain without an answer. But I know now that if there isn't an answer its because he's working on giving me one. :)

Whatever you're going through know that God isn't ignoring you. He hears your prayers. "For the Lord is watching his children, listening to their prayers." 1 Peter 3:12

And we should never be ashamed to ask him for help or advice in even the smallest things. "Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you." 1 Peter 5:7

I know that my faith is shaky at times simply because I'm a human being living in a broken world. But I have the hope of God's promises to me. And he will never break them. He is doing something good with my life as he is doing with yours.
"Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always". Romans 12:12

So stand tall and be confident in the Lord. He knows what he's doing even when we don't. And he knows how to lead our lives for the better even when we can't see how current circumstances can improve.


girlintheroom said...

you know, for the past 3 weeks I wondered if God was listening to me, if He heard me. Because I couldn't hear Him... then a friend told me that maybe what God wanted was for me to still talk to Him, still be faithful, even in His silence. Two days later I heard the same message at church! I still can't hear God right now but I know He hears me.

Thanks so much for this post... the prayer journal is a wonderful idea, I think I will start one!


girlintheroom: I know what you mean. I've been there and some days I'm there again. It is natural for us as human beings to doubt and to worry. Even more so if we're women! :)

But what your friend said is very wise. Sometimes God desires proof of our love, not because he wonders whether we love him or not, but because it is a powerful tool to strengthen our faith.

And sometimes those moments of doubt are direct attacks from the enemy. He is always looking for a way to discourage us and turn us away from our Lord.

I praise God that you have been encouraged and I hope that you do go ahead with the prayer journal. Its amazing to see with your own eyes how faithful God truly is!

Robert Madewell said...

About 10 years ago, I asked God to reveal to me that he is real. I can't say that I have gotten that answer yet. Since I am a null hypothesis type of guy, I take no answer to mean non-existence. Of course, maybe he's taking his time or maybe he's too busy finding that job for my neighbor or whatever.

I don't think my request was too greedy. I'll even accept something personal. Though, I have to know it. It can't be something weak like a warm fuzzy feeling. I get those all the time. Like when I see a picture of my wife.


Mr. Robert Madewell: First off, thanks for visiting. I was surprised to see you here. :)

I'm glad pictures of your wife give you warm fuzzies!

Rest assure that God is not in the business of hiding from anyone. He says in the Bible that he desires everyone to know him! If you are sincerely searching for him then you will find him. Countless others have done so... why not you too?

There really isn't anything to lose by believing he exists. If there is no hell then there is no loss in having believed in God. And there is no catch to knowing him, no monthly payments, no fine print. Just simple faith. The Bible says it is the kind of faith a child might display. That does not mean, however, that the faith is based on naivete.

Emotions with no context are weak. If they are based on pure fantasy then they are useless. But I love the example you gave of how you feel about your wife's photo. You love her, no? In a similar way I love God. And even though I have never been married I imagine that emotional expressions are a part of displaying love for another. But that doesn't mean someone is cognitively unaware, as I'm certain you already know.

For me, I look at the world and see its beauty and its intricacy. And in the past I wondered why it existed at all? Why all the beauty if everything is just a pointless, random blip. I don't want to be a pointless life. I refuse to accept or believe that there is no purpose for suffering and loving and everything in-between. So I searched for answers and I found God had them all. I chose to trust, to believe in him and my love for him bloomed from that willing trust. And for me, I can only love someone if I have positive, personal experiences with the individual.

I don't know the details of your particular case. Everyone's discovery of God and relationship with him is unique. But, whatever your motivations I sincerely hope an answer to your prayer comes your way. :)

Robert Madewell said...

"There really isn't anything to lose by believing he exists. If there is no hell then there is no loss in having believed in God."

I disagree. I've been over Pascal's Wager a gazillion times.

Believing in a lie your whole life is a big loss. You'd have lost your whole life in observing ritual, worrying, having guilty feelings. This life is probably the only one we'll ever get. Why waste in on superstition.

Robert Madewell said...

Also, Pascal's Wager is a false dichotomy.

There's not just two choices. There's thousands. Even according to christianity, believing is not enough. What if your worshiping God wrong? What if you believe in unconventional doctrine? What if it's the wrong God? How will you respond if Joseph Smith is judging you? What would you say to Allah when he asks you why you didn't trust his prophet Muhammed? What would you say to Ganesha for not trusting his holy word The Vedas?

See, not all religions can be right, but they can all be wrong.


Mr. Robert Madewell:

I appreciate you being so open and honest. Its okay if you disagree with me. I won't judge anyone for seeing life differently than I.

For me, personally, believing in God is as natural as breathing. Just as you find it impossible to believe in him so I find it impossible not to.

Robert Madewell said...

"Just as you find it impossible to believe in him so I find it impossible not to."

I don't find it impossible to believe in God. I believed in him for over 30 years. I've even admitted that it's possible for me to believe again (though not so likely). Which is something that few atheists will admit to.

At my freethinker meeting yesterday, we had a presentation about Pascal's Wager. I thought about you during it. I think I may write an article about this popular argument.