I visited a new non-denominational church last Sunday. As we entered, each worshipper took a bulletin that informed us of church activities and the order of worship for the day.
Included in the bulletin was a long list of prayer requests. I counted 28. All prayer requests were on behalf of a loved one, or someone needing spiritual guidance. I read only one request for guidance for the person actually making the request. Virtually none of the requests were asking for material objects, or even for financial help. I feel that the nature of the requests and the abundance spoke of the true nature of the congregation.
As I read the prayer requests, my thoughts drifted to some of my own requests of God. Some of my requests were in the form of actual, word-inspired prayer, and some were prayers of the heart, which literally everyone makes, whether we are conscious of this or not.
God certainly has His work cut out for Him–hearing billions of requests each and every day from the inhabitants of Earth, and perhaps elsewhere in the universe. How does God keep it all straight? Sue is asking for this, and Jack is asking for that, multiplied at least a billion times each day, every hour, every minute, every second.
Yet, we have a personal and caring God who hears each request, and responds according to His will. Those of us who have lived on Earth for some time know that His answer may not be immediate, may be a different answer than we are expecting, and may, and I assert, usually is, indirect.
I also visited this non-denominational church’s Wednesday evening Bible class. Wouldn’t you know it, that evening’s study was about God’s answering prayer. We studied 1 John, 5:14-15. The verses speak for themselves, but I will make it easy and copy the verses here from my Amplified Bible:
“And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.
And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the request made of Him.”
I have nothing else to add to this beautiful scripture. Have faith.