It was only a few weeks ago that we began our Lenten Journey. We began in a hospital
room, listening to the news describe a faith-healer who had lost his life to a poisonous snake. It wasn’t supposed to happen like that. His prayers were for a healing and yet he died.
Does God hear our prayers? It is a common question. What prompts us to ask this question is that our wishes – our requests – have not been answered to our liking. That is, we pray to God with certain expectations and when we don’t receive the answer we were hoping for, we believe that our prayers are not being heard.
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus speaks about prayer in this manner, “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases … for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
If this is the case, then there is something wrong in our definition of a prayer. Traditionally we’ve been told that prayer is a conversation with God. Conversation implies speaking and listening. There is no such thing as a one-way conversation. You give and receive. But Jesus says that our Father knows what our wants are before we ask! Therefore, there is another function to prayer and that is that it is also a prayer with the self! God knows our wants and our needs, but many times we do not know them! As strange as that sounds, it’s true. Prayer means speaking and listening and in listening the inner self is awakened to its needs.
During this Road to Healing, we’ve been engaged in prayer and meditation. The reason for this practice is so that our inner self is tuned into its needs and its growth. Think of the hundreds and thousands of radio signals that are travelling through the airwaves right now – some are captured by your radio and played through speakers, others are captured by your phone, your neighbor’s phone, your friend’s phone and heard in the earpiece. Other signals are heard on the police band or on airplane frequency. So when you tune-in a radio to a certain frequency, what you’re really doing is tuning-out all the other frequencies. Imagine what a mess it would be if a radio didn’t have a dial and picked up every radio wave that was traveling through the air! It would be chaotic! In the same manner, when we tune-in to our needs and our desires, we’re really filtering-out all the things that are not our concern, that are not pertinent to our own situation.
To use our healing metaphor, if you go into a hospital to have your right leg operated on, you certainly don’t expect the surgeon to cut up your left leg! If you have a tummy-ache, you don’t need to look at remedies for itchy-scalp. When your marriage is on the rocks, X-raying your teeth is unnecessary. In other words, our prayer life is not about telling God what our needs are – but telling our self that our remedy is on a frequency that we need to tune-in to and hear.
The healing that we are looking for is from within and without. This week we begin a new cycle on this Road. Be prepared.
Let us pray,
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. Amen.