Hear, Oh Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me and answer me. Psalm 27:7.
This is the verse that I stumble upon today and it brings tears to my eyes. I pause and let the words sink in and as I do I bow my head and the tears fall wetting the page. I realize in this moment that the tears are present because I know in my entire being that God does indeed hear my cry and He will answer that cry.
I have prayed countless times before and I do indeed believe in the power of prayer. Today for some reason it is different. Not only do I know that He hears me, I also hear Him speaking to me. He tells me that I need to be patient and trust that all will be for good. I repeat these words letting them wash over me and allow myself to believe this to be true. He tells me that I am beautiful and that He loves me and all I need to do is believe. It now dawns on me that prayer is the measure of my faith. Do I truly believe that God hears my prayer and do I trust that He has already granted my hearts desire? Do I trust that God sees me as being an amazing being and that no matter what I do or don’t do that He will always see me in this way. He does not measure me by my goodness. I can never be good enough. God loves me unconditionally and accepts me just as I am. God accepts me as I am, therefore is it not imperative that I accept myself as I am as well? To do otherwise is to go against God is it not? If I do not accept this, am I not essentially spitting in God’s face thinking that I know better than Him?
I was raised in a Christian home and have been instructed on God’s grace. Today is different. There is a realization that part of me has fought against this. I have berated myself for things that I feel I have not done correctly. Or things I should have done and then didn’t. Really, by who’s measure? God’s? He has told me that I cannot do anything that will cause Him to ever cast me aside, to not love me. He will always welcome me home. As I think about that and allow it to form around my heart there is comfort and a freeing of all the demons that I have been fighting. I have been my own worst enemy. I have used my own doubts and fears to beat me up. Why? Because I thought I wasn’t good enough, because I have somehow failed and yet here is God telling me He loves me and I am beautiful and amazing no matter what. I rest in this realization allowing it to create new space in me as these old thoughts and condemnations fall away from my soul. I am forgiven. I am loved. I am accepted. No questions asked.
This is new for me. I have thought for many years that I needed to do things a certain way, act a certain way and really all I need to do is be me. God accepts me as I am and that is all that really matters. If I have to be someone other than I am is it worth it? The me that I sacrifice says it is not. She wants to be free. She wants to be loved and accepted for exactly who she is by me. She wants the same thing from me that God has given her and at this very moment I vow to do so. She smiles and she is relieved and she thanks me for understanding. She thanks me for setting her free. For finally seeing how I have imprisoned her with my own condemnations, judgements and erroneous beliefs.
I never really thought that I needed to pray in any certain way either. However, today what I feel is that the most important element to prayer is to pray with the certain knowledge that God has already answered my prayer. The words I hear are “Ye of little faith” and “faith of a mustard seed”. Many times when I have prayed before it was in doubt, or fear and I have been one of little faith. Today, tonight that has been altered. James 1:2-7 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let him ask in faith, no doubting. When there is doubting there is no stability. I have been there. I have fought for breath as waves of the ocean of life have battered me all because I doubted rather than trusted that God would answer my prayers. Seems like a simple thing doesn’t it? To shed all remnants of doubt from your being? I have struggled with this and now ask that God remove this doubt from me and know that even as I ask He has done it and I thank him for this.
Jesus’ disciples struggled with this concept as well. Jesus had commanded a fig tree that had only leaves on it to never have fruit on it again. Immediately the fig tree withered away. The disciples marveled at this and wondered how this came to be. Jesus had said to them “If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain be removed and cast into the sea it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer believing you will receive.”
I find myself asking how in the world did I miss this before? The very essence of prayer is the faith that those prayers are answered. To have faith that God hears and answers my prayers. I need only to not doubt. Simple. Pray without doubting and I will receive for God hears my cry, answers it and I am home. An inexpressible comfort that God provides through prayer. Find the essence of your faith through prayer and watch the marvelous answers that come your way just because of your belief.