Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Of course, when you're young, your prayers are pretty simple: thank you God, protect my family, oh, and please get me a shiny new bicycle, the big wheel just isn't cutting it any more. God, please help me find my wallet which I have lost for the twentieth time. Etc. So I would say these things and somehow know that God heard them.
Yet I wasn't insulated from the world of prayer around me, in that I heard what older people were saying. God spoke to them. God spoke to them! They prayed, and they heard from God.
Why wasn't I hearing from God? Why wasn't God speaking to me? All those times I had prayed before, all I had ever heard was my own voice echoing in my head.
At that time, I was too young to really think about why that may be. I was somewhat content knowing that God heard my words even if I didn't hear back from him, and somewhat distracted by the joys of being a little boy, but the question didn't go away.
In my teen years the question jumped right back in my face with a vengeance as I began to take a more adult and robust entry into the faith. I kept trying to have a dialog with God, but it never really worked. I would ask questions to God, and sometimes I would get responses, but those responses were little more than my own anxious mind filling in the blanks to answer my own question.
I was tempted to believe that it was God answering, but I just couldn't accept that as being the case, given that the answer always came in the same tone of inner dialog as when I would ask myself if I wanted one or two scoops of ice cream. I expected more from God. Something I could recognize as only His response. Something which might just leave me trembling. Yet all I heard were empty echos, and the sound of my own inner voice.
How about you? What was your prayer life like when you were young, and later as an adult believer?