When I was younger, I used to own a "Teen Study Bible," NIV, from Zondervan Publishing. I don't recall the exact definition, but it listed the definition of prayer, and then it listed what prayer meant to most teenagers and adults: talking to the ceiling wondering if anybody is listening. While it took me a long time, I was raised to believe in God. It didn't come till two-three years ago that I started thinking seriously about the way I was living and where I was at in my walk with God. I was at the point where I hadn't prayed in about a year, and I thought that, as long as I thought about God once a day, I was good. Not so. I will not go into detail, but the mission that he told me, literally told me to do, I have begun. That is the very purpose of creating this blog: To start what I have been given, and to seek and save the lost, according to what Jesus tells us to do, and how to do it.
Now, he may not have directly said, "Go out into the nations and save souls using a blog on your computer at home." But he did tell us to seek and save the lost, and I intend to do that whenever and however I can. My whole point in telling you all of that, is this: It took me several years to even begin to understand the importance of prayer. Prayer is an open communication to God, it is not talking to the ceiling and wondering if anyone is listening, as so many often wonder. People sometimes pray for the wrong reasons, that is why some prayers are not answered. "Dear God, please help me as I go to the casino tonight." Well, for one, God tells us not to gamble. Two, because you are praying for something he is against, he will not help. Other times, people do not see a change. I tell a person that I am praying that they feel better. When I do this, sometimes they come up to me and ask why they are not feeling any better. Why things aren't going so well with their husband or wife, their boyfriend or girlfriend. Why they couldn't pass the test... that they used someone's notes to copy, and didn't read them or remember them.
The reason most of these may go "unoticed" is this. For some cases, God is ready to bring you home. That is why a speedy recovery is not always an option. Other times, he needs you to stay on Earth, and use what resources you have to spread his word.
Again, other times. Say that you have just gone through the most traumatic event in your life, and the entire time you prayed for God to stop it. Sometimes, we learn and grow from these experiences, and God can see the benefits of learning and growing, even when we cannot. I have had people ask me why God "did not" help them at times. I told them this. "Are you still alive?" They respond yes. "So you got through it. What did you learn from it? Why were you at this house in the first place? With what kind of friends? What kind of drink?" Things like that. As I stated in last night's entry, we so often place the blame on God for things - for decision we ourselves made.
Was it God's choice to go party and get caught with your friends? Was it God's choice to drive home drinking that night? No. Personal choices. I cannot speak for every instance, but more often than not, we blame God for things that we ourselves caused, not him. Switching back to prayer... why should we pray? God wants to hear us. Yes, he hears our every thought and desire, all of it. He hears every word that comes out of our mouths. He sees what we see. But we wants us to have open communication with him, and he is never too busy for us. To those who always tell me that God is too busy, let me say this. God would not create a Universe in which he was ever too busy for his creation.
Something else, about prayer. You don't need to kneel down in the middle of a meeting or a classroom, or your cubicle for that matter, to pray. I find that I feel my prayers more effective whenv I close my eyes, but there are many times during a day when I need to keep my eyes open, so I put my hand over my mouth, or make a gesture, and pray out loud, but in a low voice, so that God hears it. We need to be patient in what we pray for. Messages can come in thought or in a strong feeling, telling you, urging you, to do something. Whenever - and however these messages come, they are only for you. Jesus tells us that if we believe God will give us what we ask for - if it is right, that is, he will deliver.
Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." If you ask God for something, as my dear friend, mentor, and Pastor would say, "Nothing is too hard for the Lord." God can do whatever you ask him to do, it just depends on whether it is for good or bad purposes - and God sees the end result of how it will effect you in the long run, and the reason prayers may go unanswered at times is because God knows that it will end badly if he grants us what we desire in a certain thing. When you pray, don't hold back. Pray from your heart. The best prayers are prayers in tears, according to God. Does that mean that simple prayers don't mean anything? No. They mean everything to God. He wants us to commune with him. So, do so.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Take Care, and God Bless You. Troy Hillman