I receive more answers to prayer than most people seem to. People have remarked that I’ve got God wrapped around my little finger. Others have asked, “why you?” Fair question. I’ve asked it. The answer is twofold. First, I receive more answers than most people seem to, not than they actually do. I often voice my requests to others, so it’s out there what I am praying for, and then, they see the answer. That is one benefit of sharing requests with others: their faith is strengthened as well. I also write down the answers in my journal. It’s easy to forget in the hard times what God has done. So, I title those entries, A Loaf, (because in Mark 6:52 the disciples were astounded at Jesus walking on water after he just did the miracle of loaves and fishes “for they did not understand about the loaves”) and flip through and reread them when I need to be reminded of what kind of God I serve.
The second reason that I seem to receive more answers is that I ask God for more, and I find that this is where many Christians have trouble. They say, “I don’t want to bother God.” “Why would he be concerned about this when there are people starving.” “This seems too small.”
1. Bother God- God wants a relationship with you! When something is important to you, you tell those close to you. Even if they already know, they want you to talk to them about it because it’s important to you and they love you.
2. There are bigger things- If God is omnipresent and omnipotent, I’m sure that there is enough of him to go round. Please, refer back to number 1.
3. Too small- When my little four-year-old came to me crying because he found a dead ladybug, I didn’t ridicule him. I understood that there are untold numbers of ladybugs and that they have short lives, but I put all that aside and got down on his level. He was sad about this ladybug, and I was sad with him. We put it in the dirt in my garden, and I held him while he cried. Did I have bills to pay, food to make, a house to clean? Yes, but there was nothing more important to me than what was on my son’s heart. This is me, a very imperfect human. Our heavenly father is perfect and so much more loving. Please, refer back to number 1.
If it is on my heart, I take it to God
So, I ask God about big things and small things. I pray for healing from M.E. and for my friend’s headache. I ask God to bless the plants as I plant them in my garden, and I pray to find my other earring. I ask for wisdom in raising my sons (every day), and I ask God to guide my friends as they are facing hard decisions. I ask for things I need and things I want, for practical things and ridiculous things. If it is on my heart, I take it to God and know that because it matters to me, it matters to him. Then, I keep my eyes open. When the answer comes (and I know he will answer, even if it is “no”, because he cares about me), I thank him for hearing me and answering me… Well, I do that most of the time. Sometimes I get angry that God hasn’t healed someone, didn’t come through in the way I thought needed to be done, and then I yell at God and cry at him, and he doesn’t smite me or get mad at me. He already knew that I was upset, but by coming to God with my disappointment and my anger, I don’t give space for that anger to cause me to drift away from him.
I don’t consider myself a “prayer warrior”. My prayers are usually simple and to the point. I talk to God like I talk to other people. I go on and on about stuff that I’m thinking about or trying to figure out, but when I need to ask for something, I don’t beat around the bush. I just ask for it. So, I’m not giving you a formula for answered prayers (there isn’t one), but rather, let me encourage you to pray and to ask God for what you need. You don’t need to be elaborate or “know how to pray”. Just talk to God. Please refer back to number 1.