By: Laura Bennett

Fundamental to our relationship with God, is prayer: a shared conversation between He and us, where we tell Him our desires (read: vent) and He listens, responding with comfort, revelation, and sometimes it seems – silence.

Prayer is a connection to the divine, and a universal way to request help, or offer thanks to ‘the Big Guy’.

Does God really hear me?

Often when we pray, we want God to intervene in something. Hoping He’ll step in and get us the new job we need, heal our sick Mum, stop our brother taking drugs, or simply make us feel less lonely. We ask Him to give direction, business wisdom, insight into His will, and a picture of our purpose …we ask God for a lot, and the great thing is, He wants us to:

In 1 Peter 5:7, we’re invited to “Cast all [our] cares on Him because He cares for [us].” Philippians 4:6 instructs us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present [our] requests to God.”

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…But do you ever wonder if He hears, or if indeed He answers?

I realized something about this in August.

Flying to the U.S.A, I had dreams up my sleeve, and wind in my sails. I’d been planning the trip for 2 years, tweaking destinations and adding meetings as new opportunities came up.

In NYC, walking along 7th Avenue I thought about how ridiculous it was I had taken the leap. I’d embarked on this solo journey without really thinking about how it would unfold or work. I’d just mapped it, booked it, and jumped off the ledge.

I would have to change

Shaking my head at what I expected of God, and marveling at the ‘far fetched’ intentions I had, I pondered how the things I asked God for were far outside my current reality. Things that would require me to be more confident, connected, and entrepreneurial; if I was going to live in the bigger picture my spirit had clearly invested in, the rest of me would have to step up. For God to answer my prayers, I would have to change. Not as a prerequisite to His response, but as a result of it. His faithfulness to my requests would instigate transformation.

(… at about this time I expected light bulbs to literally start dropping from the sky, and to hear music playing behind me, creating a soundtrack for my New York epiphany, but no).

Hearts and mindsets rather than ‘things’

It occurred to me, while our conversations with God orient around vision: the debt-free home, business deal, promotion, or relationship, He is focused on our hearts and mindsets. Making sure we have the capacity to handle what we’ve asked for. Instead of dropping dollars in our laps, or Mr. Right on our doorstep, He trains us up for influence and responsibility. You may be asking for money, when instead He aligns you with business people who educate you on finance, or asking for a spouse when He introduces you to exemplary couples who help you navigate romance; His response to our prayers, is a choice to go far deeper than our superficial need.

So, if you are asking God for big things, wondering if he’s heard your cry for the grandiose – look at what you’re learning. Chances are He’s getting you ready right where you are… the bigger the promise the bigger the preparation.

Article supplied with thanks to Laura Bennett.

About the Author: Laura Bennett is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.