Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. – Isaiah 64:25
He was ten and already struggling, striving to hear from God. He believed in Jesus, was baptized, had faith and all that. But he wanted to hear from God. He went out alone in the night. Stars dotted the black sky.
“Speak to me God. Hear my prayer.”
And a meteor shower erupts from the night sky. It was enough. He felt he had heard from God. Was it a sign from God? That’s hard to say for certain, but he felt it was. That meteor shower – but more importantly, that prayer – put him on a path to be a pastor.
18 years and many miles of life later, he is struggling once again.
“Speak to me God. Let me know that you are listening to my prayer. Give me a desire, a passion for my life. Show me, Lord.”
Does God hear? Is he really listening? Or is prayer at best something that makes us feel better and at worst a colossal waste of time?
It is neither. God does hear. He is listening. There are nearly countless stories about the power of prayer. There’s the story of the African medical missionary who delivered a premature baby in equatorial Africa. They had not electricity for an incubator and their last hot-water bottle had just broken. He met with the orphans for daily prayer and one little girl asked God for a hot-water bottle to come that very day as well as a dolly for the 2-year-old sister (the mother died giving birth to the preemie). That very day the doctor’s first ever package from home arrived with clothes for the children, food, letters, and a hot-water bottle and a dolly.
The simple truth is that God listens. He does hear our prayers.
God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want. He answers our prayers in exactly the way we need.
Sometimes that means that the answer is no. Sometimes that means the answer is … silence, at least for a little while.
Let’s go back to our young boy who is now a young man.
“Speak to me God. Let me know that you are listening to my prayer. Give me a desire, a passion for my life. Show me, Lord, that you are here.”
Silence for a little while. He continues to pray, to search, to struggle.
Then an answer is given. No meteor shower out of the night sky this time.
He hears branch breaks as something steps on it. Out of the corner of his eye he sees movement. He is still, hardly breathing. A massive buck walks by not 15 feet away. Wild and yet subdued. Grace and fierceness embodied in a magnificent beast. He lies motionless as the buck walks slowly toward him. It stops, as if it catches his scent. It is unsure, waits, then continues on. The young man lifts his head just a little (he’s been laying on his back looking into the heavens) and looks into the eyes of the buck.
The buck stares for a few moments, then turns and runs off into the woods. The grounds shakes with its passing.
The presence of God is sometimes more evident in the things of his creation then it is in “Biblical signs.”
Sometimes it’s a burning bush. Sometimes it’s a blinding light from heaven. But it can also be a man of God with a word of comfort or admonishment. It can be the cry of a newborn baby. And yes, it can be in the gentle fierceness of a buck walking up to you in the middle of a star-light meadow.
God does hear us. He listens to us. Why? Because Jesus Christ opened the way for our prayers to get to God. With his death and resurrection, the sin and death that separated us from God was bridged. For the sake of Jesus Christ our prayers are heard and are answered.
©2016 True Men Ministries