(Paul Merrill writes here every First Friday)
I constantly seem to forget how important and real prayer is. A few months back, I wrote about a friend who was facing foreclosure because he had not received a paycheck in over a year. I prayed with him for several months. God brought a job! Another friend had been looking for a job for a long time. I prayed with him. He has a job! A third friend – the same.
My prayers are certainly not amazing or special. But God is. He must realize that my trust in Him needs some bolstering right now, so He is clearly answering some of these requests.
I’m asking God to provide a “yes” for another friend who is looking for a job. Heather and I haven’t received an answer to those prayers yet. (Maybe we have received an answer – and it’s “no” – but I still want to keep praying.) Paul reminds me in Romans 12 verse 12 to “Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.” The being patient part is hard.
God simply wants us to talk to Him. And a great thing is that He doesn’t mind if all we do is talk about ourselves. I’ve read books and heard sermons about how our prayers need to follow formulas. I don’t think God uses many formulas. He just does things like an artist – effortlessly. He is like a good father who loves hearing what His kids did that day. (What good father would tell his kid, “But you didn’t ask me the right way or in the right order!”) He also doesn’t mind hearing us cry about our problems. As Jon mentioned, David did a lot of crying to God in the Psalms.
So be honest with God. Your earthly father may have rejected you. God won’t.