Last word on praying: God listens and responds
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Todd Clark gave the Chapel audience Monday morning a primer on praying. It was simple and straightforward — just like a prayer should be.
“Today’s talk is like a backstage pass, a behind-the-scenes look into your prayer life,” said Clark, a teaching pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley. “We don’t always understand what happens when we pray to God.”
What we need to understand, Clark said, is the importance of listening to God as much as we talk to Him, adding, “Have you ever been in a healthy, vibrant relationship with another person where you did all the talking?”
The four stages of prayer, Clark said, are (1) we talk, (2) God listens, (3) God talks and (4) we listen. The fourth is the one that many people don’t grasp. “Slow yourself and listen to God,” he said.
One way to accomplish that is by writing your prayers in a journal, which Clark called “simply keeping a record of what God is doing in your life.”
And it doesn’t have to be fancy.
“If you read my journal, you would be completely unimpressed,” Clark said. “But I am so much stronger this week because of what God was doing in my life last week, and I am so much stronger this year because of what God was doing in my life last year.”
Clark stressed the importance of praying regularly, humbly and privately and quoted from Matthew 6:5-7, which reads in part, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”
God hears us every time, Clark said, and “He may not always respond the way you want Him to, but He responds.”
The timing of the response depends on the request, Clark said:
If a request is wrong, God says, “No.”
If the timing is wrong, God says, “Slow.”
If you are wrong, God says, “Grow.”
If the request is right, comes at the right time and you are of a right mind to be blessed by it, God says, “Go.”
Imagine where our lives would be if every wish was granted by God — even the ones that proved foolish. “I’m so glad that God loves me enough to say no,” Clark said.
The key thing to remember, he said, is that even though we sometimes might think that God isn’t listening to our prayers, nothing could be further from the truth. It all goes back to praying humbly.
“There are no coincidences with God,” he said.
● For a replay of Clark’s talk, click here.
● Next week’s speaker: Beth Guckenberger, Back2Back Ministries
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.