How can I trust that God hears me when I pray?
Habakkuk, in the first reading, is in great anguish crying for the Lord to respond for help. It seems like God is ignoring suffering and violence in this world, but the Lord reminds him to keep the faith. He heard his prayer and it will be fulfilled. The apostles in the Gospel are troubled because they feel they do not have enough faith to serve the Lord and ask Jesus for more.
There may be many times in our lives where we feel like Habakkuk or the apostles. We may feel the Lord is not listening to our cries for help or we feel unprepared for a challenge before us. The Lord reminds us through scripture to hold on to our faith, even if it is as small as a mustard seed. We have many examples in the Bible to help us. People like Moses, Abraham, Joseph, and even the Israelites struggled with faith, who waited years for their prayers to be answered. Jesus himself waited 30 years for his appointed time in ministry. Jesus provides us with a good example in prayer as he prays to his Father before raising Lazarus. He says, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me…” Our Father hears us as well. He knows what we need before we know ourselves. He knows the proper time.
It is easy to try and place God on our time schedule, but the Lord is not bound by time. God tells Habakkuk that his answer has its own time for fulfillment and when it comes it will not disappoint, wait for it. We live in a world today of instant gratification, instant communications, fast food, on-demand cable, Amazon Prime delivery, DoorDash delivery, Lyft and Uber rides at a push of a phone app, instant concert tickets, instant potatoes (yuck). It is easy to get caught up with this lifestyle and try to place God in the same “instant box.” Remain in faith and trust in the Lord, “do not be troubled if you do not immediately receive from God what you ask him; for he desires to do something even greater for you, while you cling to him in prayer.”(CCC 2737)
We can trust that God hears us, because Jesus trusted his Father, through his agony in the garden, passion and death. As an obedient servant he was raised to new life conquering the worst degradation this world can deliver.
One of my favorite songs is Courageous by Casting Crowns in which they sing, “We were made to be courageous we were made to lead the way we could be the generation that finally breaks the chains We were made to be courageous….” Stay committed to Jesus, pray unceasingly, the Lord gave us all we need. Hang in there servants of God!