“When you pray, I will answer you”.
Isa 58:9 GNB
Religion is all about communication. People communicate with God and he communicates with them. It is relatively easy to communicate by talking. It is a different thing to receive someone else’s communication. Listening is not easy. Hearing is even harder.
When you listen to God all manner of “sounds” get in the way. What emotional state you are in is one sound barrier that can distort what you are hearing God say. What you desire to hear can also be a problem – especially if what God is saying is not what you want to hear. Then previous attempts and situations can influence you to hear – or not hear as the case may be. Then what you want to say to God is another factor. If you are praying in order to ask for something from God – which is probably the most frequently employed kind of prayer – God may deem it a selfish request – in fact too selfish for him to grant. But if you are praying to thank him for a prayer request he has already granted he may be more willing to listen.
One thing you can be sure of – he delights to hear his children pray even when their requests may be selfish or unsuitable. All parents love to hear from their children. It promotes the relationship, increases the love and causes delight. So when God says, “When you pray, I will answer you” it does not necessarily mean “I will answer you immediately”. Nor does it always mean, “I will give you everything you ask for”. Sometimes his reply will be “Wait a while”. But he has promised to answer.
Lord, teach and help me to pray.