I have had many answered prayers. No, not coincidences, answered prayers; direct, detailed, perfectly timed, answered prayers. However, one stands out above all others, because it taught me so much about faith and God. This prayer was the prayer of a child. My child. Joshua was about 3-4 years old. He wasn’t yet in kindergarten. Every morning I would turn on the T.V. to a preschool aged program for children. Some of you may remember it, and/or heard of it. It was called Romper Room. It was an engaging program for preschoolers, and always before snack time, there would be a prayer that the teacher and children would all pray together. Being a Christian, I thought Romper Room was a great program for Josh, as I tried to instill Christian values in him at a young age.
We lived on a farm. We had cows, some chickens and a couple of cats. One of the mama cats had babies. Oh, such sweet, cute babies they were! We always kept the babies because of the farm and they always ate well with field mice. This particular batch of kittens were healthy and they would wander in and out of our farmhouse. They were about 12 weeks old and we grew so attached to them. I believe it was on one Fall day when one of these kittens wandered into the house with Joshua. We were in the kitchen, where the entrance door was. I don’t quite remember why or how, but I gave the door a big push to completely close it. What I didn’t realize was the kitten that had come in, was right in the door way where the door closes, and as I pushed it shut, it slammed into the kitten hard. It squealed, and then fell over. I was horrified. I went to it and stroked it, and no response. It was barely breathing with eyes closed and unresponsive. I felt so bad, and I didn’t know what to do. But Joshua did. My little toddler went over to it and said he wanted to say a prayer. So we both kneeled down by this kitten, and I had my hand on it as Josh folded his, bowed his head and prayed. “God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for this food. Amen.” (It was the only prayer he knew, which he heard every morning on Romper Room)I got a huge smile on my face and before I could utter a word, the kitten got up and started walking around as though nothing happened! I gasped in awe, but Josh, well Josh knew it was going to be ok, because Josh believed God, and because of that faith, God healed that kitten instantly and completly. I embraced my son, and I also embraced the fact that God knows our hearts, and answers accordingly. God didn’t respond according to his words, but He answered according to his heart.
I know that when we pray, we don’t always know what to say. I don’t. Sometimes the pain is too deep for me to say it out loud. Sometimes I am so emotionally drained, I can’t utter a word because I feel so weak. Sometimes I do say the words, but I grope for what sounds right. Other times I fumble my words or I’m just unsure of how to say what I mean before a holy and righteous God. At those times, how good to know that God hears our prayers in always the right way. Though my lips may say the wrong words or the fumbled words, the heart cannot lie. And God, well, to Him, it’s a matter of the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7b “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
“Truly, I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.
In closing, I just want to encourage you in your prayers. The words don’t have to sound like a Pastors prayer, and the length of them don’t need to be long. (Sometimes a prayer can be simply, “Jesus, help me.”) He hears that as much as He hears the long, winded ones, and probably prefers them as well. Also, you don’t have to be on your knees, (I actually would love to, but with having painful knees, I can’t) I talk to God while working, driving, reading, and falling asleep. Sometimes I can really say a ‘nice’ prayer, but in all honesty, the best ones come not from my lips, but straight from my heart. Those prayers are sometimes silent, sometimes (many times) with tears and sometimes my thoughts are so cluttered and I feel so unworthy or drained, that nothing seems to make sense, so in my mind I simply say, “God, please hear my heart.”
God loves you, He knows everything about you, for you are His creation. Your picture would be on His refrigerator, if He had one. He hears your heart, and sees your faith and will always, always make sure everything works out on your behalf. So talk to Him, even if your words sound messed up and unimportant, or, just be silent, and don’t utter a word, but do open up your heart to Him, and always, believe Him, just as your child believes you. We all need child like faith with a child like heart, and then God will bring about ‘the rest of the story’.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.