Hearing God: The Vitality of Expectant Prayer

Psalm 28:1 Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

The Psalmist is not simply praying to his Lord, but also expecting a reply. It is not enough that we simply send up prayers, but also with them we should send up urgent expectations for our Lordโ€™s timely response. It is not the prayer of demand which offends our Lord, but the prayer which has no demands for response at all that offends Him. And to the Psalmist, the anticipated response of God to him is as precious as the oxygen in his lungs. In fact, he implies that for God to not respond with His voice would render him as good as dead, so to speak.

Question; how often do we pray with little patience to endure the waiting room of the Divine for His life-sustaining response? Are we in such a hurry that we only have time to speak TO God, but not enough time to wait patiently FOR His voice? Do we so put God in a rush that, unless He answers us in our time allotted, we simply stop listening for His response and move on to the next prayer as if the previous were not heard?

What does it say of our faith to give up on a prayer simply because we have not yet heard Godโ€™s response? Is Godโ€™s silence a clear indication that He has nothing to say on the matter? Or could it be that His silence is a means by which He strains our prayers of their impurities such as doubt, insincerity, vain repetition, and impure motives? Perhaps God responds most often to the prayers to which we commit ourselves in unwavering faith for Him to respond. After all, it is to the cry of the desperate that Our Lord most readily responds.

But if we come to him in religious form for the simple sake of checking our prayer off our daily task list so we can move on to our next item of things to do, then He may be silent more often that we wish or sometimes even notice. God forbid that we reduce our prayer life to such a rushed, frenzied, and mechanical routine that we do all the talking and take not the time to wait for His voice.

Donโ€™t get me wrong; there are times that a prayer is of necessity offered in haste, and a speedy response needed. In these times, God is able and often does respond as He is needed. However, I find through personal experience that the richest prayer life is known by waiting for His voice!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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