When people pray, I believe sometimes that they forget that God hears and answers their prayers. We sometimes pray, not expecting answers to the prayers we pray when the truth is, God not only hears our prayers, He answers them. Especially those prayers that are in alignment with His will.
“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for” – 1 John 5:14-15
If you follow this blog, you will remember this post, The hardest lesson I have had to learn in 2020 in which I shared what the hardest lesson for me to learn this year has been. Another very important lesson I am learning this year is realizing that God actually listens to us. Not only when we pray but also when we speak – especially when He is the topic of conversation. God listens. This means that if God listens to our conversations, He most definitely listens to our prayers.
Recently, I was reminded of this because for a while, I had always prayed that I saw people, not as they are but as God saw them. I started praying this prayer because I realized that the people who got the best out of me were people who saw me, not as I was but as God saw me. They released the potential in me and allowed me the grace and room to become the better person they saw and I wanted the opportunity to do the same for others – so, I started praying to see differently. What I did not know was that God must have answered that prayer a while ago because upon reflection, I began to see hints that my opinion of people was always different. At work, in Church, at home. I was always the person with a different view of whoever is being discussed and it was always positive. It also began to sink in when people would behave weirdly and I would struggle to accept certain behaviours because I could not marry the idea of a person in my head with whatever they had just done. Needless to say, I got hurt, a lot. It is only now that I see why things like that kept happening. I forgot what I prayed and did not adjust my behaviour and responses to the prayers I was praying.
When it became obvious what the issue was, I will be honest and say, I was tempted to start praying, “I take it back. Let me see people as they really are” but you see that is unhelpful because we are supposed to keep our thoughts on good things not the bad things about people or about life (https://biblehub.com/nlt/philippians/4.htm). I remember why I started praying to see people as God saw them in the first place and I will willingly admit that I must have disappointed and hurt the people who saw the best in me on numerous occasions – so why did I not expect the same? As I always say, “people will people”.
In speaking to someone who told me about a prayer she prayed concerning her future. She said that she prayed that if God did not want her on a particular path, that rejection should come her way but was surprised when she was rejected. I laughed when she told me because in my head, I asked, were you not expecting God to answer your prayer?
I am asking you the same question today. When you pray, what do you expect? Do you expect an answer or do you just pray because you believe that that is what is expected of you? I have to answer these questions myself as I ask you.
Did you know that God hears the prayers we do not even speak? He states that He will answer us BEFORE we even pray…you don’t believe me? See…
“I will answer them before they even call to me.
While they are still talking about their needs,
I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” – Isaiah 65:24 (NLT)
When I first read that verse, I was puzzled but the remembered the greatness of God. I remembered that He is not limited by time and the above was very possible for God. I was reminded that as children of God, the prayers we pray are not for nought – they have a lot of impact…
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” – James 5:16(NLT)
Be encouraged and be reminded dear reader that when you pray, something happens. Don’t pray so carelessly or without intention. Pray knowing that you yield great power because you are a child of God. When you pray, in the name of Jesus, you have the ability to change lives for the better. Pray with confidence. Knowing that our Heavenly Father is listening and ready to answer – especially when you pray according to His will. There is nothing that cannot be resolved in the place of prayer – whatever the issue, take it to God in prayer, knowing that there is a great big God, able to answer that prayer. Whether the need is a burden or it is a prayer of thanks, a prayer for healing and deliverance for a friend or family member or a need for wisdom – even prayer for your enemies. Please know that there is great power in the place of prayer.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” – Phillippians 4:6 (NLT)
I will not stop praying to see people as God sees them – even though it has allowed me get hurt, it has also been the direct result of positive change. God is doing a good work in us all and that work is not always carefree and a barrel of laughs. I will continue to take it all to God in prayer because I know now that that is where it all goes down. For the person who may be reading this and may jump to the wrong conclusions, please note that prayer is simply, conversation with your Heavenly Father. When you want to pray, just speak – whether that is with your mouth, in your mind or with your heart. He is listening! He is ALWAYS listening!
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” – Ephesians 3:19-20 (NLT)
Love and Blessings,