OK. lets chat awhile about answered prayers. I have known people that say all prayers are answered and sometimes the answer is, “No”. I have known people who firmly believe that God will listen to all the prayers. I have heard people say it is ridiculous think that makes sense. I have thought about prayer as an opportunity to talk to God, to commune with the Creator. Alternatively, I have also thought that prayer is me talking to my invisible friend.
I pretended for years to pray. I said great things and suggested I pray at meals and with my ex wife. I would assume a caring look and falsely reassure someone that I was praying for them. It was a wonderful tool to get people to stop talking and be grateful to me at the same time. I used it as a conversation ender and an image builder.
And still, I was doing it. I did foxhole prayers for a long time. “Please God, get me out of this mess.” I prayed for new cars, financial success, etc etc. I treated God as a vending machine. I put in money for charity and the donation plate, and I expected goodies out the bottom. I was kind of pissed when I didn’t get what I wanted. I used it to help me question God’s existence.
I tried to pray to bring the wrath of God upon others. I prayed for car accidents and financial ruin. I urged God to give people their come uppance. I am embarrassed to say that I tried to manipulate God to do my bidding. I tried to hire God as my Holy Hitman. I was pissed that he didn’t gleefully take the job.
Seven years ago, I finally uttered the first honest prayer of my life. “Help me.” It was all I could get out. I was dead spiritually and emotionally and hoping to die physically. I was shattered. God answered by surrounding me with other people who screamed the same prayer at some point in their life. “Be careful for what you pray for, you might just get it.” Aesops fables.
I prayed to see where God wanted me. I prayed to be content. I prayed for humility. I prayed to be true to myself and to God. I prayed to be honest and open and real. I prayed to God to help me in my unbelief. God answered. I didn’t see it for a long time. I am not sure I really even see it now. However, I have been treated to the opportunity to be humble and avoid humiliation. I have had to be brutally honest. I have seen and heard doors closing. I have been in a situation that there is nothing else to do, where I have to just be. God answered