Prayer changes things. I am confident of this fact because I've seen it with my own eyes. I have witnessed answered prayer for myself. I have seen firsthand a hardened heart become softened to God's leading. I have seen addicts break free from the chains of drugs and alcohol through the power of prayer. I have seen parent/child relationships restored through the faithful prayers of parents and children alike. I have heard the first hand testimonies of countless folks whose doctors can't explain the sudden disappearance of an abnormality on a scan or the complete reversal of troubling numbers other than through the supernatural working of prayer. Perhaps you too could attest to such answered prayers.
We know that God is not only listening but we know that He cares. We're familiar with passages in the Bible like Matthew 7:7 that tells us to not relent in our pursuit of God's intervention in our lives. We've experienced it for ourselves, we've heard the accounts of others, we know that prayer changes things and yet perhaps we still struggle to make prayer a daily, intimate part of our relationships with God.
Why is it so difficult for us to still ourselves and to quiet our spirits to spend time in prayer? I was chatting with someone just the other day who was lamenting their lack of focus in human to human conversations. They attributed this inability to focus directly to their time spent on social media scrolling through the endless news feeds and personal updates of friends and not-so friends. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat and whatever other social media platform you use are great for keeping up with friends and the latest news but they severely handicap us when it comes to the discipline of focus. When human to human conversations don't move at the speed of a Twitter or Facebook scroll we struggle to stay committed to the conversation. The same can be said of our human to God and God to human interactions. We've lost the ability to still ourselves, to listen and wait for a response. We've allowed our prayer lives to turn into a divine social media scroll. We quickly scroll through our list of needs at the speed of light. In turn we expect God to unveil His answers in a similar progression. We want the instant download of what to do about this, how to handle that and where the money is coming from for that. When God's answers don't come in rapid succession like our news feeds do we become impatient and lose focus even more quickly.
If we want a deeper faith we have to wait for deeper answers. The complexity of God and His full desires for your life can't be ascertained in a social media scroll type of prayer life. Slow yourself down. Give your spirit a chance to become quieted.
Be encouraged and keep moving forward. -Andy