What if God were an app? Key in a prayer and a fraction of a second later, voila! The answer.
I would pay big money for that app.
The “problem” with God is that sometimes his answers don’t seem clear cut. Maybe we just can’t see them clearly. Or maybe we don’t like that particular answer so we feign confusion. Sometimes his answer is a clear yes. Sometimes, no. Often, wait, or “I have a better idea.” Sometimes he wants to develop our character in the process. (I get that one a lot.)
Sometimes God reveals options we hadn’t even considered. For example, on a certain hot topic, some think life begins at conception. Others think it’s about viability. God said this to Jeremiah (Jer. 1:5), “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” Might life begin before conception?
And then, there are times when his answers are gut-wrenching. The “nevertheless” prayer accepts the outcome (yes or no) in advance. Jesus prayed it in the garden after he talked to his Father about the possibility of “letting the cup (of his crucifixion) pass from him.” In the final analysis, literally through blood, sweat, and tears, he arrived at the words that changed the world. “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” He wants us to arrive at that place too.
So communicating with God is not about instant gratification. Experiencing the depth changes our world view. It’s a lifestyle of being intertwined with God. It molds us into Godliness over a lifetime. Accepting his answers nudges us a little closer to him, one answer at a time. It keeps us from being alone…or shallow…or going through life without meaning.
Prayer often means struggle. Floods. North Korea. At times, our own personal hells. There are no easy answers, but I have to believe there are answers, eventually and always. There is a big picture. And God is love.
God have mercy on us as we seek the depths.
Mother Teresa said, “Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”
C.S. Lewis said, “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It does not change God—
it changes me.”
Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”