20150522_AnnaRendell_HowWhenPrayer

I’ve found that some of my most important conversations happen in the most mundane of places. The car. The hallway. Even the bathroom.

My preschool-age son is super proud that he is fully potty trained. I mean, it is a big accomplishment. He’s now moving into the phase where he prefers that I wait behind the closed door while he “accomplishes,” and we often talk while we’re a door apart. One day last week he said, out of the clear blue, “Jesus lives in my heart. God lives in the sky. And sometimes God cannot hear us when we pray.”

I jumped on that one, let me tell you, and a good long bathroom-door-between-us heart to heart ensued.

Even at three years old, I want him to know that God always, always hears us. In the every-moment chatter. In the impassioned and pleading, tear-filled prayers. In the muttered-under-our-breath asks for patience. In the silent moments when the Spirit intercedes for us. In the joyful praises. In the desperate pleas for a swift answer.

He hears them all.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
{1 John 5:14-15}

We can be assured that He hears us. I was once taught that there are three answers to prayer: yes, no, and not yet. This may be theologically simplistic, but it brings me peace to know that “unheard” isn’t an option. 

No matter where we pray, how we pray, the eloquence of our words notwithstanding . . . He hears. Our words don’t fall on emptiness but go right to the throne room, rising like incense.

Revelation tells us that an angel “was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. It goes on to say the angel took the prayers and bowl of incense, filled it with fire from the altar, and “hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” {Revelation 8:3-5

The scent of incense permeates and sticks, and I like to think that our prayers do the same to the heart of God.

He hears and He cares. While our prayers may be answered in much quieter ways than rumbling thunder and flashes of lightning, they never go unheard. I want my little boy to know this. I want my own heart, and yours, to know this too, and to rest in the peace of knowing that each word spoken to Him is delivered.

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No matter where we pray or how we pray, God always hears. Always. {Tweet this!}

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