One would think that with each passing year the discipline of prayer would get easier, but in fact it doesn’t. Whether early in the morning or late at night, it is always a challenge.
- Ravi Zacharias, "Has Christianity Failed You?"
Does prayer makes any difference? Is there really anyone listening out there?
We often ask this question. Does God really hear our prayer?
This is a question that is very hard to answer. Sometimes when I pray, especially when I'm feeling down, I have a doubt whether God really listens to me or I'm just wasting my breath on useless words. A lot of my prayers sure are filled with my wish, some are answered as what I asked, and some are not.
I remembered as a child I was praying earnestly, entirely believing that God hears my voice and He always watching over me. But as I've grown up, and started to do things my own way, I found that doubt start to grow in my heart. There are days where I can feel the presence of God easily. I felt joy, and my devotion time was really touching my heart, and I could feel words from God flowing into my heart and instruct me. But other days I cried and prayed, and nothing happened, and it kept going on for one or two weeks before I was able to feel the presence of God again.
Nevertheless, I can't deny the impact of prayer in my life. Even though my prayer went unanswered, I feel secure in my life because above all, I know that someone is in control, and that one really cares for me. In my darkest days I can always pour out my heart, knowing that even though I can't really feel it, he is always listening, and forgives all my sins. Praying for other people helps me to care more about them and less about myself.
But I must admit, praying isn't an easy task. My mind often wanders and I can't concentrate on my prayers, thinking of all other stuff that I have to do. Still, the Bible said that we have to train ourselves in godliness. And one way to train ourselves is, to discipline in our prayer and daily devotion.
I once heard a story of about a man who was instructed by God to push a large boulder. He obeyed and pushed as far as he can, but the boulder didn't move. After a day was ended and the boulder still didn't move, he asked God, is this really your will? God just answered, keep on pushing. The man obeyed, and day after day, he kept pushing, and even after weeks passed the boulder still didn't move an inch at all. The man broke down, said, I can't do it anymore! But God still said to him, keep pushing. Months passed, and then one day the man realized, that even though the boulder still didn't move at all, all those hard works that he spent on pushing the boulder has made his body muscular, and strong.
Just like that God wants us to keep training our spiritual muscles. We wouldn't be able to do a big ministry and keep humble about it if it isn't supported by strong prayer and faith in the Lord. Only by keep praying and believing, and humbling ourselves in front of the Lord, are then we able to live our life in constant relation with Him.