Tell me I’m not the only one who ever wonders if God is even listening to my prayers? Actually, you don’t have to tell me, I already know that answer. . . You too have felt that before.
Lately I have felt like my prayers have bounced off my ceiling and stayed in my space ‘not ever reaching heaven.’ I have prayed, I have done the ugly cry, I have expressed frustration, I have stress eaten, I have complained, I have taken naps to hide from my self annoyance, I have meditated, I have sworn and I have gotten sick...such a great (or ridiculous) process.
Oh my gosh, does this sound somewhat familiar to you?
Recently I had a darling young mother in my office as we worked through some postpartum “baby blues”. When I gave her one of her homework assignments, I nearly choked on my words thinking about how I need to do the very thing I just asked her to do! One of her 'fun work/home work' assignments was to pray and ask JUST ONE question. "God, are you aware of me?"
Nearly 20 years ago (it's so crazy how quickly time flies!) I was a young missionary for my church in North Dakota. I got a phone call in the middle of the night and as I answered I heard my crying-but-trying-to-hold-it-together Mom's voice. I panicked - for several reasons.
1. As missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints your main focus is on other people, to teach them about Jesus Christ. You're allowed to call home twice a year: Christmas and Mother's Day. It was no where near those days.
2. Her 'trying to be happy' voice - in the middle of the night - was not fooling me that this phone call would result in anything besides sadness. My sweet mom tried to be so strong through her tears as shared the news that my Dad was in the hospital going in for surgery because he had cancer in his kidneys. Are. You. Kidding. Me? Seriously!?
Of course I cried, I wanted to come home and be with my family, I was so angry with God because how could he do this to our family when I was dedicating my life serving Him and His children? I threw quite the tantrum let me tell you.
I am grateful for an incredible Mission President who handled this situation with the utmost love and concern. My entire mission (over 200 missionaries), multiple church congregations, and strangers alike all joined together in fasting and prayer in my Dad’s behalf.
My Mission President gave me ONE assignment (which has impacted my life for YEARS as I continually share with others to use the same principle.) He said, “When you pray tonight ask God ONE question. God, are you aware of ME? And then be still and listen.”
Friends, I’ll tell you I didn’t so much as say “God” and I KNEW, felt his living embrace that he knows EXACTLY who I am and what my struggles are! God answered my prayer then, and has many times since then when I ask him the same question.
From time to time we somehow forget that God does care, that he is aware of our situations no matter the struggle and it is ok for us to have the need to be reminded that it’s ok to feel like we are alone (although we never are). It's ok to ask God if he knows us, our struggles, our joys, our dreams, our frustrations be, our hopes and dreams.
Yesterday I hugged my Dad as he left town to go visit my sister in a different city. I am grateful that God answered our prayers of YES at that time and that my Dad is still with us. It isn't always the case - God doesn't always give us what we want - but He does give us what will help us grow!
So, the answer is YES! God isn’t only aware of me, or my family, He too is aware of YOU and whatever YOU are struggling with. Talk to Him. If you are struggling and feel your prayers might be bouncing off your ceiling will you ask one question?
"God, are you aware of me?"