When we walk along the glorious Northumberland coast, we always want to know what the tide’s doing. It’s good to walk along the sandy beaches but, if it’s a high spring tide, the beach is completely covered.
We were walking by the sea a while ago when I felt God was telling me that prayer is like the tides. As sun and moon come more and more into alignment, each tide is higher than the last (we call them ‘spring tides’). But as sun and moon move out of alignment, each tide is lower than the last (neap tides). If, as we pray, our hearts become increasingly aligned to God’s heart, the ‘tide’ of His answers to our prayers gets, as it were, higher and higher.
Scripture often encourages us to persist in prayer. We may pray for something and nothing seems to happen. It isn’t that God is deaf to our prayers. The problem is that our heart is all too often out of alignment with His.
I think that, over the years, I’ve come to understand that there is so much more to prayer than just talking to God. Prayer isn’t or shouldn’t be one-way. As I talk to God, I also need to listen to Him and, as I gain a clearer understanding of His purposes, I can align my hopes, desires and prayers to the Father’s heart. And then the ‘spring tide’ of my praying begins, and I start to see the dry sand of a rather arid life become covered with the ocean of His love, grace and power. And, more than that, specific requests increasingly receive specific answers now that I’m asking according to His will.
Prayer: Father, as I walk with You today, please help me to listen and to hear all that You want me to hear. Please reveal Your heart and purposes for me so that I can pray according to Your will. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
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