Think of a parent and child who have a healthy bond. In this scenario, the child will come home after school each day and relate to the parent all what took place during the day. It (pardon me for using the term ‘it’ – else I would have to use his/her and it gets a tad tedious 😦 ) would voice its joys, achievements, concerns and struggles. The parent may not be able to set things right, but the child nonetheless animatedly chatters with the parent with whom it is secure, knowing that the parent isn’t just waiting to pounce on the child. The moment a child ‘feels’ (which is not necessarily reality but it often is) that the parent isn’t approachable or will just judge / condemn without hearing the child out, the child begins to hold back to the point of pushing the parent away. “Hearing” doesn’t mean simply listening with the motive to say something “adult like”, reflecting ‘power’, but rather to totally understand what the child is saying and what it’s not saying, in order to recognise its fears and emotions.. to try to understand the heart beneath the appearances.
The chatter increases intimacy… Even if the parent doesn’t give in to the child’s wanting of something, the child begins to learn that it isn’t because the parent doesn’t love it but rather because the parent has a reason for not giving it…
Our relationship with God isn’t much different… But, before we go any further, let’s just reflect on this following common occurrence:
Often we hear mighty proclamations of God “hearing” our prayers and videos of ‘miracles’ as a result of our ‘prayers’. Yes, we love to elevate ourselves – that ‘we’ prayed and God did what ‘we’ wanted.. GOD IS MOVING is the conclusion of this.
I have a few questions with such posts – whether on YouTube or FB or what not…
- Does that mean we have actually instructed God to do what WE tell Him to do? Does it mean that we know better than God?
- Does that mean God isn’t moving when a miracle doesn’t take place? (Well, at least if it doesn’t take place obviously and instantly)
- Does that mean those whose prayers haven’t been answered weren’t heard by God in the first place?
God knows what’s good for us and what’s not.. In fact Scripture is clear that even before a word is formed on our tongues, our Almighty God knows it (Psalm 139:4) – Obviously right?! Hence, isn’t it right to say that He hears our prayers even before we have said it? Jesus tells us not to babble on in prayers like the hypocrites, for
“your Father knows what you need before you ask him” – Matthew 6:8
He is Sovereign and everything is under His control and He makes ALL things BEAUTIFUL in His time. He knows what is good for us..
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:11
God withholds or denies or refuses (similar to earthly parents – yet in His infinite wisdom) when we ask… and for that matter even before we ask!
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. – Hebrews 12:9-10
Parents will give gifts or discipline according to their limited earthly wisdom but God, who is Alpha and Omega, knows EVERY thing in the scheme of eternity – totally mind boggling for us!! Through all His Name will be glorified; His plan fulfilled.
It’s not about miracles.. it’s not about instant responses to prayer.. We can do miracles in Jesus Name, we can cast out demons in His Name, we can prophesy in His Name but without a relationship with Jesus, we can actually be called by Jesus as evil doers and end up in hell! That’s scary.. but it’s not miracles or wonders that God is looking for, but rather a relationship with Him. We ask because it takes humility to ask – to know that it’s out of our hands and capacity – that only God can intervene.. It also enhances our dependency on God as much as it establishes deeper faith – to sincerely trust Him.. to trust no matter what the outcome because we know He knows best, whether it’s a YES or a NO or a MAYBE.
(For more on child like faith, please go to this post: https://priyanthiv.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/infant-like/_ )
We don’t pray thinking that it’s our prayers that changes things.. (However, there is an aspect of prayer against spiritual warfare too, but nonetheless we have Jesus standing in the gap as our intercessor always!). Our prayers that are yielded to the Holy Spirit changes us, changes our heart condition to receive the things of God.. Seriously let us not think we are superior to God to tell Him what to do.. Jesus, being the Son of God and one with the Heavenly Father wanted the cup of suffering taken away from Him, yet He surrendered “not my will but Yours be done“. And in that, He was able to draw upon the required strength to face this suffering that He didn’t deserve. Likewise with most of the characters in the Bible… It wasn’t about a smooth path but being taken through the fire and not getting burnt..
A prayer warrior or preacher or prophet or one with the gift of healing.. whoever it maybe.. if they do not have a deepening relationship with God and be rooted in God’s Word, they are set up for a major surprise – and not a pleasant one for that! Does the LORD know you?
Let’s be watchful in the words we utter as people who must give account to all this to God.. Are we causing hurt or condemnation to others because ‘our prayers were answered”? Are we saying God changed His mind because of our prayers? Are we insulting God saying, “God is moving” as if our God isn’t a LIVING GOD, who doesn’t sleep or slumber, who constantly isn’t watching over us?
God is SOVEREIGN and OMNI-PRESENT.. It’s the condition of our hearts that allows us to ‘feel’ or ‘internalise’ His presence or inhibits it..
How much of room have we given our Lord Jesus in our hearts today? How we ‘feel’ God’s presence is nothing but an indicator of that!
Why? He is alive always.. !!