"Dear Jesus, do something."
One of my hubby's favorite movies is Bruce Almighty. Bruce is a down-on-his-luck TV reporter who complains to God that he is not doing his job correctly. But, then God offers him the chance to try being God himself for one week.
His first response was to answer all the prayers of the people with a simple yes. However, he soon learned it was not that simple after all. He thought if he answered yes to everyone's prayers it would all go smoothly. But instead it made a huge mess of things…fast.
Sometimes we believe God isn't doing his job correctly either. Especially when he doesn't answer our cries for help in the way that we think he should. Or when it drags on for weeks, months or even years.
Have you ever felt as if your prayers were bouncing off the pearly gates? I sure have. Sometimes I've felt a lot like a fly bumping against a screen door desperately trying to get through.
Is this the way God views our prayers for help? Does he slap our prayers away like the batting of pestering flies? David assures us in Psalm 65:2, that anyone can come to God, and he will listen to their prayers.
However, in Isaiah 1:16, Isaiah tells his readers that they must wash and make themselves clean before they approach God in prayer. Does this mean God expects us to get our act together before we can cry out to him in prayer?
The answer I found in Daniel 9:18 gave me this sweet reassurance. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.
And this is what Bruce discovered.
He learned that some prayers needed to be answered with a resounding No and for good reason. Many of those prayers were offered for selfish reasons or perhaps those prayers might hurt others (i.e. revenge). Other prayers simply needed to be put on hold to help develop the character and the patience of the person asking. And what about those prayers that received no answer at all? Paul tells us in Romans 8:34 that Jesus is interceding for those people to hold on to hope when there is no tangible response.
Bruce had an epiphany about prayer and about God's wisdom and timing. He discovered that it was a job completely out of his depths. Only God knows the hearts of those who seek him out.
Sometimes we don't think God is listening. Or doing his job correctly. But, knowing that our Savior is interceding for us brings hope when we don't get an answer right away.
Let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is not only aware of us but cares for us. He is our Father. He is accessible to all who will seek Him.
I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.