To some extent, my response to the title of this post is, “Duh!” and to some extent it’s a skeptical, “Uh-huh, right.” Nod and smile at the crazy woman.
But I’ve had so many times over the last couple of years where God has specifically answered prayers in my life (my own prayers and those of others). There have been a couple times where an ongoing problem or concern that I haven’t shared with people because I’m a fairly private person or because I’m not sure it’s appropriate has improved within a day or so of sharing and asking people to pray. None of these things are the type where I can say, absolutely, that nothing would have happened without the prayer, but the lot of them together suggests that God really listens for us, and then listens to us.
It’s hard for me to believe that our actions influence Him. In fact, it’s hard for me to see him feeling about us much at all. Interacting with these incidences in prayer has shown me that I see God the Father as a grandfatherly figure who truly cares for his people, but prefers patting them on the head from his easy chair (or lecturing them from the same place) and then sending them on their way to do their thing to getting out of his chair, walking over to them, and helping them do their thing, either at their request or because it’s just so clear that they need it. The God I’ve always known is truly loving, but distant. He’s involved, but only when he wants to be, and then it’s usually about him and not about us.
Gaak! What a wretched God-image! And what an odd thing to come upon like this.
I’m afraid that’s as far as I’ve come processing it at this point.