I knew it was coming. I was dreading it. I thought I was prepared only to find I am not. It’s the week before school begins again. It’s my least favorite week of the year. It’s hectic and hurried and I have to come to terms with giving up my quiet, relaxed summer. Every year I say I’m not ready for this as if another week or month would make me ready. I begin my summer with a list of tasks I want to accomplish only to come to the end with only a couple of things accomplished. And now here we are with classes to take and unexpected expenses. As much as I try to prepare, I always find I am not. So this morning I was a bit stressed thinking of all the things I have to do before this week ends.
This morning, as I sat before the Lord I realized…I am anxious. I realized I am worried, and uptight and nervous about so many things. I am spending more money than I had intended. I forgot to order books and they probably won’t arrive before school. How am I going to pay all the bills? All of these things are weighing on me today. And I find myself praying the same old prayers. God, give us the money we need. God help me to relax in You. God, help me to complete all that needs to be done. God, God, God…. Over and over again I pray these prayers as if He hasn’t heard me the first time.
“Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” (Psalm 55:17 NIV)
The older I get, the less I am able to listen to more than one thing at a time. There was a time when I could hear my child’s request while watching television and know exactly how to respond. Lately, I find I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. And if one of my kids comes with a request, I have to stop watching television, or cooking or reading and listen intently. It’s not that way with the Lord. He hears my voice. He knows what I’m requesting the first time I ask. However, I continue to pray the same things repeatedly as if He were distracted the last several times I asked.
This morning I came to a realization. God always answers prayer. Repeating them is not a sin. If we are passionate about our request, we should repeat it. Sometimes I think I repeat them for my own benefit so I can be reassured and reminded of God’s ability. But I noticed my repeat prayers this morning were because of my unbelief. I have no reason not to trust God. But in my heart I find I have been repeating these prayers because I am not sure if He will answer them. I will not rest in His peace. I will not simply trust.
“He hears my voice.” That’s a very powerful statement. It’s the simple truth. If He hears me, He will answer me. He will take care of things. He is able. I just have to rest in that today.