"and we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. and if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for."
1 John 5:14-15
lately i've been struggling with a bad case of prayer apathy. there have been very few times in the last several months when i have been able to pray with confidence. some times it just feels hopeless. do my itty bitty prayers really mean anything? God's will is going to happen whether or not i send out a few prayers, isn't it?
prayer has become a boring and dull monologue for me. there's no passion, no eager expectation, no anything. i tried to figure out when this apathy set in. the most obvious answer i could think of was when i prayed and prayed on a flight home to san antonio that i would be able to say goodbye to grandpa. when i realized i had missed him by four hours i wanted to crumble up into a ball in the middle of the airport and scream at God at the top of my lungs. in retrospect i can understand why my prayer was never answered. it was selfish of me to want my grandpa to suffer longer just for me to say goodbye. who knows what might of happened if i got that chance to say goodbye. what if it wasn't goodbye at all but rather a plea for him to hang on and stay with us. who knows what that could have done to him. i might not have even been able to handle seeing him all hooked up and connected to tubes either. now i don't have to try to push a way a horrible memory of him in the hospital but instead get to remember him the way he would have wanted me to. i can totally understand why God didn't answer my prayer but did it even matter that i prayed? does it really make a difference somehow?
last week les got a crazy call from his sister. his entire family has been praying for her for a long time, praying that she would finally understand what Christ could do in her life. it looks like their years of prayer haven't been in vain. it seems like she's finally taking ownership of her actions for the past 42 years and is grasping onto the concept of grace. maybe those years invested in prayer are really worth it after all.
the apathy kicker for me was last night. i was reminded of when Jesus prayed in the garden of gethsemane in Matthew 26:36-46. "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Jesus prayed this three times. Since he was 100 percent man and God he had to know that there was no way for the cup to taken from him and yet he prayed about it anyway.
it occured to me that lately i've been tackling prayer all wrong. i've been treating it as a one way give me this and give me that monologue. prayer isn't just about a one way communication with God but rather a two way dialogue or conversation with God. this morning i broke through the apathy and realized i've been missing out on a lot. i've been missing out on just chatting and and hanging out with my Creator and Savior. all this time He's been waiting patiently and missing me too.