Greetings to All,
Just a quick note to say hi and pass on a thought that I came across in my reading today. I have found the author's sentiments to be true in my own experience and pass it along to you for any encouragment it may offer to you. I must remind myself not only of what she says, but remind myself to respond as she says when God calls. It is from "Speech, Silence, Action!" by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott. Enjoy.
"Most of the discussion of prayer I had ever heard centered on whether God answers prayer and how we can know that He does. But during the past decade I have come to believe that prayer is not a matter of my calling in an attempt to get God's attention, but of my finally listening to the call of God which has been constant, patient, and insistent in my inner being.
In relationship to God, I am not the seeker, the initiator, the one who loves more greatly (as if I somehow desire an attentive, focused audience with Him more than He with me). In prayer, as in the whole salvation story unfolded in Scripture, God is reaching out to me, speaking to me, and it is up to me to learn to be polite enough to pay attention. When I do have something to say to God, I am rendering a response to the divine initiative.
So the questions of whether or not and how God answers prayer now seem to me bogus questions. God speaks, all right. The big question is, do I answer? Do I respond to a God who is always calling and an invitation that is always open."
If you are a praying person, I am sure you will agree.
So often I sense an inner call in my spirit to prayer - as if God is saying "Come, I want to speak." Sometimes I sense it quite strongly. But often I'm in the middle of doing something, and afraid I'll lose my train of thought or that nugget for Sunday's message, so I tell myself (and God) "Later. Just let me get this done and I'll pray a little later."
The trouble is that "little later" comes and I realize I missed the moment. I put God on hold. Or to use our author's words, I was not "polite enough to pay attention" (though I would prefer to say "I was more than impolite, I was rude and disobedient" - and that to the God of the Universe who redeemed me at immense cost to Himself, and has become my Father through adoption.
Thus I write this as a reminder to me to pause and answer next time God calls me to prayer. Maybe it can act as a reminder to you too.
Dr. Jeffrey F. Evans