I didn’t grow up in an atmosphere where prayer was talked about much. It was expected that we did it as individuals, and we occasionally did it as a family, but there wasn’t much emphasis on it at all.
In my church life as an adolescent prayer was mentioned often, but there were no instructions on how to pray. And, the vibe of the place certainly discouraged asking about it. You were expected to already know. Asking would simply blow the whistle on your ignorance.
Over the years I paid some attention to what other people… people I admire and/or respect… had to say about how to pray. I learned. I came into my own way. My own method. I can’t even really explain it. It’s not like what I hear most people doing. Actually, now that I think about it… I’ve never heard anyone pray the way I pray.
But that explanation is for a different day.
Today I want to talk about my journey to learn how to listen for the answers to prayers. For the longest time I felt that my prayers were never answered. In a lot of way’s praying seemed pointless. But as I thought about it I began to realize that it wasn’t the praying that was off. It was my awareness of what constituted a response.
There’s a scene from the movie “Evan Almighty” that I think sums up how to listen for answers to prayers. I think that if I learn how to listen for the answers in our opportunities, rather than for specific events or moments I’ll find my answers. When I apply that lens I see and hear answers to prayers everywhere!
For example; I’ve always prayed for financial stability. Not necessarily for wealth, but for enough to not be in obvious need. Did I find a boat load of money? Nope. But I have found that I’ve been provided with opportunity to be financially stable. I’ve accepted that opportunity and things have worked out.
I’ve discovered that when we pray for a loved one to be released from pain we have to be prepared for the answer to be something other than healing. Healing happens. But so does death. Both are a release from the pain.
Want more friendships in your life? Pray for them. Then look for opportunities to be a friend.