Thursday, March 9, 2017

Prayer and Hearing God

Prayer and Hearing God

When we pray and ask for something from God how do we know he hears us? 

If we get what we wanted then we know. Maybe not. Maybe it is just a random natural occurrence that God permits. Maybe God wants us to learn for ourselves that what we want is wrong. After getting what we want things don't always work out in the long run.

If we hear him when we pray and he tells us he is granting our prayer then we know he has heard us. Maybe not. Maybe we are not hearing God but only our own mind, our own desires. 

If we don't get what we prayed for then it must not be his will. Maybe not. Maybe we just have to wait longer. St Augustine's mom had to wait many, many years for her sons conversion to Christianity. Maybe God is building patience in us.

It seem like praying is almost impossible. I once heard a wise priest on television talk about this and give me hope. He said that if we pray, wrongly thinking we heard God, he will still honor our prayer. Following our own will instead of his may take us in the wrong direction but God will eventually get us where he wants us to be. We may, however, travel the longer, more difficult way to get there. Over the years I have often followed my own will, learning painful lessons. There were a few times, however, when it was crystal clear to me that I had heard God's voice. While God speaks to each of us differently there are some things I noticed about God's voice when I was sure he spoke to me. For what it is worth, I will share these with you. 

  • God's voice in my case is not an actual voice but a clear voice in my mind. It is usually something that I myself would not say or think.
  • What God has told me is never contradictory to the Bible, often giving me a deeper understanding of it. Neither is it contradictory to any Catholic doctrine. 
  • When I pray about something and my wife and I receive the same answer then it is almost always God's answer.
  • When I pray more often God's voice becomes clearer, knowing it becomes easier. 
  • Often when I am doing some simple chore, like mowing the lawn, God talks to me then and there.
  • When I am praying in church, hearing God's voice, it is almost always his.
  • When I receive the Eucharist (the actual body and blood of Jesus in the form of bread and wine) in the state of grace, the voice I hear is always him.
  • When God is talking to me it is always an enlightening and teaching moment.
  • When God is talking to me he is often asking me to follow him by stepping out further in my faith.

Prayer is a journey with God, an adventure. He is always with each one of us. We need to listen for his voice. We will eventually hear him. We need to look for his answers in the many small signs that build up around us. A prayer journey with God will never be boring!

Copyright 2017 Daniel Strizak

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