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Prayer that Penetrates Ceilings
Do you sometimes feel that your prayers get nowhere? Your prayers stop at the ceiling? In my life I often see God answering my prayers, but I often recognize answered prayers only when they come in the nick of time. Prayers answered with plenty of cushion I may forget because the element of concern is lost.
Often however, I fear to pray because as I look within I see an ugly sight. My robe of righteousness as one of the saints seems to shrink and I see my filthiness beneath. I don't feel clean because I know that often I'm not publicly presentable. I'm unclean with sin, or unclean with a sense of sin because too often I confess that same sin(s). I feel unworthy. And of course, we are unworthy in ourselves.
When I feel especially unworthy, encumbered with the enormity of my struggle, not so valiently fought, I still want to pray. But I also want to be heard. I confess, but I feel that my confession is empty because I confessed yesterday. ...For the same thing. So I pray a pray that even I know that our loving God cannot ignore.
I pray for someone else. I pray for someone else because I know that God cannot possibly refuse to hear this kind of prayer. My loving Lord will always hear a pray for another. And in this way I try to stay close to Him when I feel like sheepishly slinking away without hope. I know myself all too well. But I know that Jesus, my loving Lord God, wants to keep me. When I wander He looks for me and finds me. Only when I hide does He look but not find me. He knows where I am but waits for me to talk with him. And he hears when I pray the prayer that I am confident that he cannot ignore. I hang on to the trust that He will always scoop me up into his arms when I expose my hiding place.
If you're unsure your prayer of confession is heard, persist in confession anyhow. But also pray for someone else. When I pray that prayer I know that at least God hears, even though I fear he harbors distrust in regards to my commitment in confession itself. It keeps me closer to God.
George Wade 8/27/2009
Stop! and Do