So it’s been long since I posted part 1 of the “Too Busy Not to Pray” series. I’ll try posting the rest more frequently.
Last time I focused on the war between the Israelites and the Amalekites and I wanted to emphasize two lessons:
- Prayer is a channel for God’s power
- The secret to powerful prayer is continuity
I ended the discussion with the part of the story where Aaron and Hur helped raise Moses’ hands when he got tired, and I asked “Who are your Aaron and Hur that help you continue praying when you just can’t do it anymore?”
This week’s chapter is about God’s willingness to listen to our prayers, and the wrong perception some people have towards His rejection or unwillingness to listen.
Although the title of the chapter is the same as the book, I will try writing about it from a different point of view.
God is Willing
Many people find it hard to believe that God really wants to listen to them. People read the story of the Persistent Widow and the Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8), and mistakenly think that God is the unjust judge. Anybody who really knows our compassionate Jesus, knows He would never say, “because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.” (Luke 18:5) If they had just completed the paragraph they would have noticed that Jesus said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.” (Luke 18:6-8) This is meant to be a parable that explains the point using an exaggeration, comparison or perhaps contradiction.
I would have loved to show only the bright side, but there is another side to the same coin. Let’s read together Lamentations 3:44
You have covered Yourself with a cloud, That prayer should not pass through. (Lamentations 3:44)
In this part, God is specifically talking to sinners. God cannot stand sin, it is actually a barrier between us and Him. We all are sinners, the trick to get your prayers through is Repentance (Click here for more about repentance). God wants to listen to you, but He can’t stand you in front of Him with all that sin. I’m sure some people went through this scenario; a guy after a football match would go to his father telling him, “Dad, I’d like to talk to you about something”, so he’d answer back saying, “sure, go take a shower and let’s talk after.” That’s exactly it! Take a shower (repent) and He’ll be there waiting to listen to you.
The verse in my blog’s header is “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Timothy 2:8)
I’ll leave you with some pointers that St. John Chrysostom gave to be sure you will be heard.
“How can I believe that I shall obtain my request? By asking nothing opposed to that which He is ready to grant, nothing unworthy of the great King, nothing worldly, but all spiritual blessings; if you approach Himwithout wrath,having pure hands,holy hands: hands employed in almsgiving are holy. Approach Him thus, and you will certainly obtain your request.“
Are YOU Sure God is Listening??
- Too Busy Not to Pray – Part 1 of 15 (mikeazer.wordpress.com)