Monday, September 21, 2009

Prayer Revisited

How do I know God is really listening when I pray? To be honest, I've just about given up praying because it doesn't seem to do any good.

Brad: I guess you missed our previous post on this topic. But since it's something I hear a lot--Why doesn't God answer my prayers? Why doesn't prayer work? Why does it feel like I'm talking to a wall? and so forth--that I feel it would be worthwhile to revisit these concerns.
First, what you must understand is that you can't have a discourse with God when your heart's full of sin. Sin absolutely erects a barrier between ourselves and God, preventing our prayers from getting through at all! In an analogy that my daughter made up, sin makes us kind of like a damp stinky sock and God's all like "Eeeew!" Let me be clear: God will not answer a prayer from a sinful heart. So first you need to pray to God to absolve your sins. Once he has answered and purified you, only then can you begin to pray. Get it?
Secondly, even with a pure heart, God will only grant our requests when it is His will. If it's not something He wants to happen, you can pray for it all day long to no avail.
Now you may be asking If God only responds in ways that were His intent all along, how is prayer doing anything at all?
God sometimes refrains from doing things that He wants for us. We have to ask Him specifically for these things. We have to prove that we want what He wants sometimes before He'll do it. First pray and ask God what He wants, and then wait for Him to tell you, and then pray for that. That's how it works. I hope this post has cleared things up for you.

Eric: If you pray loudly enough, maybe at least the neighbors will hear.

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