Despite the fact that everyone is home, all is quiet in the house. Everyone is happily doing their own thing. No bickering, no fighting. Aaah, sweet peace.
Ooh nooo, I just remembered I have to make a phone call. Aw maaaannnn, I don’t want to mess with the contented vibe that’s happening right now. If I pick up the phone, I will set into motion the Universal Law of Mommy’s on the phone, make it stop!!
Quietness and peace will cease. Suddenly, my kids, who could have been on the peak of Mt. Everest a mere nano-second ago, will be right beside me because they “just want to ask a quick question.” I will wave them away, point to the phone and whisper, “I’m on the phone.”
This will only cause them to dig deeper and try harder to get my attention as they pat my arm and say things like “Mom, can I…?” “She bossed me.” “She won’t stop looking at me.” “I’ve wanted that [thing I never knew existed before she touched it] for a long time and she won’t let me have it.”
Why? Why? Why?
I think I could understand this behavior an itsy bitsy bit if I was on the phone a lot, but I’m not all that often, because I really, really, don’t like talking on the phone. And I really don’t like leaving messages.
When I hang up, I will, for the one hundred bazillionth time, remind them that when I am on the phone, or even talking to anybody at any time, don’t talk to me. Unless, of course… then I will recite the guidelines for when they can interrupt: profuse bleeding, arms and legs falling off, house on fire, zombies in pursuit, you know, bona fide emergencies. Besides, you do see your father sitting right there, don’t you?
On second thought, I think I’ll wait to make that phone call. Sigh.
Praying, at times, feels to me as if God is on the phone and He won’t look my direction to pay any kind of attention to me. Or, if He does notice me, He’s waving me off as if He’s telling me to chill out, He’s handling some important stuff and my piddly little non-issue will just have to wait.
So frustrating that feeling. And such a lie.
Throughout this life, I’ve prayed many prayers. I’ve seen some pretty cool answers to some prayers with details taken care of that I could have never imagined to ask about. I’ve also gone through many years of praying about some things that never seem to get any kind of response at all, just silence.
So, I don’t understand how, when, or why prayer works or doesn’t seem to—why some prayers get answered rather quickly and some we wait for years to see an answer, or never receive a discernible answer ever. I’m not in charge of prayers. I just know that I’ve been told to do it, and He has given us permission, even encourages us, to bug Him silly about what’s on our heart.
But since I have a tendency to tell God exactly what He needs to do for me and how all things should work out, I recently thought I should maybe change things up a bit. I have been trying to focus on asking Him what He wants, what His dreams are for me, what His plans are, what He wants prayed. And then I try to listen. It’s a step into faith I haven’t taken in a long while.
I am nervous to ask such things, but I figure He’ll answer the things He wants done. This new way of doing things has not stopped me from bugging Him senseless about the things I want, but I expect eventually He’s going to have to address those prayers too, either that or He will give me a new way to ask.
The problem is most of us don’t really believe that He truly loves us and His heart is always for us. We mistake His silence as proof of His lack of interest in us. However, He’s not on the phone ignoring us and getting perturbed wondering why we won’t just leave Him alone. On the contrary, He’s setting things in motion to answer prayers we don’t even know we have, taking care of things we don’t know we or others need, doing what’s best for all that will be affected by His answers, changing us so that we can enjoy the joy of being loved by Him.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4