"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16
As I prayed last night at bedtime, I confessed to Almighty God that my prayers had become a long list of intercession for those in great need of prayer. While this certainly is noble and necessary, prayer is so much more than intercession for all the good causes and struggling men. Prayer is our communication line with God. Over the years, I have studied several formulas for prayer. Jesus Himself taught us how to pray. God loves our prayers, but what God really wants to hear is our heart. He is not interested in completed formulas, but instead bared souls.
With a broken heart, I have prayed over and over, "OH, GOD!" When no words would come--no words were adequate--my two word uttering or scream as the case might be were interpreted by the Holy Spirit as they flowed from my heart-
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us
through wordless groans.
I am only speaking for myself, but somehow I know that God desires for me to pour out my heart to Him. I have a Godly friend who told me, "God has a big chest and does not mind you beating upon it in anguish." Why else would Jesus encourage us to retreat into silence and solitude when we pray? I can promise you we will never bare our hearts in front of a crowd. The world is too distracting and we are too aware of those who listen to strip down to the nitty gritty and tell God everything on our hearts, unless we are alone.
When we pray and petition God we are expecting Him to answer our prayers. I have heard the old adage of how God answers, "Yes, No, or Not Now". God also answers our prayers by changing our hearts. I have been reading a really good fiction book~
One of the lines which captured my eye is, "God did not change the circumstances of your life; God changed you."
Profound. It reminded me of Jesus telling us the poor will be with us always. Why? So that He might use them to grow and sanctify His people through service. There will always be babies born who are different--not what society considers normal. Why? To teach us there is no normal and we are all different--beautifully and gloriously different for His Good Purpose. There will always be illness and death. Why? God appointed our days here on this earth before we ever took a breath. We do not get out of this alive and do not get to chose the date and time. There will always be wars and evil. Why? Read the Old Testament!
NOT ONE THING that ever happens is a surprise to God and ALL THINGS can be used for His Good Purpose.
I have personally had God change me, so subtly-so painlessly, that I became a different person without realizing it had happened. He has faithfully changed my mind, changed my heart and changed me each and every time I admitted my personal failure to affect change and given Him the control. I seem to be a slow learner, and still insist upon making a mess by trying to maintain control when I know where it is headed~ANOTHER MESS. We can all be stubborn fools!
Pray--pray--pray--let your prayers be sweet incense to our Holy Father. Know that your prayers will be answered--and sometimes the answer is in your changing.
"I have heard your prayer
and seen your tears.
I will heal you."
II Kings 20:5