October 13, 2013

How To Get Your Prayers Answered

How To Get Your Prayers Answered
written by Rabbi Noah Weinberg
[source: Aish]

Let's get one thing straight: God wants to answer our prayers. He is our Father in Heaven, and we are His children. He loves us unconditionally.

So why does it seem that God ignores so many prayers? And if He already knows what we want, why is prayer necessary in the first place?

The Infinite Love

Even those who stay far from a synagogue intuit the existence of God. As the saying goes, there are no atheists in a foxhole. When a guy is dug in and the enemy is coming, he will cry out: "Almighty, get me outta here! I want to live!"

What is he really saying?
"Dear God: Although I have ignored You for all these years, denied Your existence, and not appreciated all You have done for me, I'm in trouble now. And I know You're the only one Who can help."
To pray properly, you have to understand that not only God loves you, but His love for you is infinite.

God has given you eyes, ears, intelligence, life itself! Every morning, a Jew recites blessings of thanks to God for all the gifts He has bestowed upon us. These blessings remind us of how deeply God loves us.

If we appreciate what God can do for us, it is crazy not to stay in touch.

Why Do We Need To Pray?

When we pray, of course, we are not pointing out anything new to God. He does not need us to remind Him of our needs. So why doesn't God just give without our asking?

Because we need to pray. Prayer helps us refine and affirm what we want out of life. It's a process of maturity.

If a billionaire father handed over unlimited cash on a silver platter, his child would grow up spoiled and irresponsible.

So too, if God gave us everything automatically, we may never define for ourselves what we want in life. True, life would be easy. But we would not grow.

Since God has our best interests at heart, He wants us to earn it. Because that's what will make us great.

Why Do We Have Problems?

God has all the right connections. He can find you the right spouse. He can solve your financial problems. So why in the world do we have all these problems?

Because no matter how brilliant or powerful you are, you will never be able to live your children's lives for them. In fact, part of genuine love for your children is to allow them to branch out on their own, to be independent.

If we were just robots, mechanically following every instruction, the world might be neat and tidy. But life would have neither significance nor meaning.

God wants us to be independent, to think and make our own choices.

We have the "free will" to make decisions that are eternally meaningful. We can choose to move away from God ? and He will let us do that. Not because He wants that to happen, but because He wants us to have independence ? even at the risk of it being misused. We may suffer the consequences, but it keeps our independence intact.

Answer To Your Prayers

Have you ever had a prayer answered?

Stop for a moment and consider the implications...
You live in a small town in Midwestern America. There is an extremely large and unsightly pothole in front of your house. For the last four months the local municipality has ignored your insistent requests to have it fixed. Finally, in an act of frustration, you call the White House and ask for the president. (Hey, it's worth a try.)

To your utter amazement, the president himself gets on the phone. You quickly explain your problem. The president listens for a minute and then hangs up. You don't really expect anything to be done about it.

The next morning you look out your window and, lo and behold, the army corps of engineers is busy at work fixing your road. The President of the United States took your request seriously and sent in the troops to help!
That is what it means to get your prayer answered.

Now who is the one person who can always get through to the president?

The president's son, of course.

That is our relationship with God ? Father and child. Just as a parent fulfills a child's request, so too God answers prayers. The Infinite Genius Who created every molecule on this earth, can alter the course of existence in order to answer your prayer.

To really talk to God, you need to know He is willing and able to do it all. Otherwise, you're only talking to your finite concept of God ? and not to our true Father in Heaven.

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