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Thought Ten


Often people say that God doesn't answer prayers.  The real problem is that often people don't listen for the answer.

Imagine that an inquiring mind asks for your expertise at cooking.  More than willing to help, you begin to expound on the finer qualities to cooking.  Just as you start the person walks off with no explanation.  Imagine you are asked to expound on growing tomatoes, and just as you begin, your audience turns on the TV and starts watching their favorite show.  Imagine someone asks you to instruct them on how to change spark plugs, then rolls over and falls asleep.

What kind of answer is the person going to receive?  Not only will they not receive an answer, but they will be thought less of for such rude behavior.

God runs into they same problem trying to answer prayers.  Listening is the most important step to receiving answers to prayer.  Preparation, timing and mental disciplined are required to properly listen.
One must find a quiet location from which they will not be disturbed.  All televisions, radios, people talking, ect must be removed.  A location at which one can relax is vital.

It can take time to receive an answer to prayer.  Make sure there is plenty of time to receive the answer.  Don't pick a time when you will be distracted.  Early in the morning and late at night make excellent times.  Often an answer will come within twenty minutes, but sometimes the answer will take years, as we will discuss later.  Allow yourself time, be patient, and don't give up.

Keep your focus on the question being asked.  This requires mental discipline.  Your mind will naturally leave the question and will want to think about other things, like the days events, or the responsibilities ahead.  Keep the reins on your mind to focus on the question.  A helpful tool to do this is a pen and paper.  Write down your question, then occasionally read it while meditating and waiting.

A second important aspect of pen and paper is for when the answer does comes.  It will only come one thought and one sentence at a time.  God will only send what you will absorb.  Sometimes the answer is pages, and you'll only get a couple of sentences without writing it down.  Much will be lost without pen and paper.

Believe and expect the answer is coming and you will be pleasantly surprised.  You will receive instruction from a pure source.

A common question people have before they will try this is, " How do I know it is God and not just my mind telling me the answer?"  This is a good and very valid question.

The answer is simple.  When your answer comes a feeling of great peace, light and love will come over you.  It is a feeling you can't sit down and will yourself to feel whenever you want.  It will be unique and you will understand only after you have experienced it.
Accompanying the feeling of peace will come great inspiration.  The answer will be clear and pure.  You will know the source of the answer is not from your own mind because of it's clarity.  Once again you will only truly understand after experiencing it once.

Another aspect of this experience is that it only lasts for a moment, then the effect fades.  Much of the inspiration of thought will also fade with time.  This brings up the importance of pen and paper once more.  Much of the answer can be preserved with pen and paper, although the depth will not remain.
Most people have already experienced a small degree of this phenomena.  Have you ever been walking down the street and suddenly from nowhere a great burst of inspiration appears?  With that inspiration comes a feeling of peace.  Then you ask yourself,  "From where did it come?"  Often the thought is forgotten as quickly as it came.  Occasionally God will send inspiration without it being asked for.
Sometimes one will properly listen for an answer, and the answer does not come.  There are other reasons why people don't get answers to prayer.

One reason that an answer does not come is because the person will not understand the answer.  Will a mathematician focus his energies teaching an infant algebra?  The infant has many steps to learn before it is able to comprehend an answer to algebra.  Sometimes the person will be led to read certain books and have certain experiences to prepare them for the answer.  Once they have completed the prepatory steps, God will surprise them with the answer when they least expect it.

Another reason God will not answer a question is because the person cannot be trusted with the answer.  Will you teach a ten year old or a mad man how to make a bomb?  As a person matures and proves they will use the higher knowledge for only good, God will slowly reveal desired answers.
As you can see, there is good reason why it can take years to receive answers to questions.  God is pleased when asked for higher knowledge, and is more than willing to respond once the person is ready.
Yet another reason God may not respond is because the answer involves making a decision which involves personal choice.  Sometimes there is not a correct answer.  A young lady may be presented with two fine proposals for marriage.  Both suitors may be equally acceptable and both would make good husbands.  Maybe the question may be taking one job or another which will turn out to be equal.  Maybe the question is whether to live in one city or another.  At times there is no clear cut answer.
A second issue to consider is the liability of making personal choice decisions for another intelligence.  What if God chose one suitor over another,  and through personal choice and conscience that husband turned sour?  Now, rightfully so, the young lady can blame God for the poor decision.  God will help one weigh a decision, but often will not send a clear answer.  God will stand blameless on judgment day.
Sometimes God will answer questions by guiding events in ones life.  One might pray and ask God if they should leave a job.  The answer may not come at the moment, but the situation at the job may become increasingly more unpleasant.  Often this will cause a person to leave a job, which often leads to a better job.

A person may ask if they should move out of a city.  The answer may come with a better job offer that would take one to another city.

Often God will place obstacles in front of someone to guide them down a better path.  The trial seems bitter while passing by it, but it was clearly a blessing looking back.  Answers to prayer can be trials that guide to a better path.

Other times God will make ones heart heavy and mind clouded to achieving a desired goal.  Sometimes the goal is not what will be in the best interest of the person, and God is steering the person clear of danger.  Suppose a person wants to build a house, yet once the house is complete the person will struggle to pay the payment and probably lose it.  God may steer the person from starting the house.
Sometimes the heart feels heavy with no understanding of why.  God may be asking you to pray so that you may receive knowledge or guidance you don't realize you need.

God works in ways that are not so mysterious once you realize his methods.  God loves all the intelligence's formed at his hands and desires only the best, though at times it doesn't appear so.
Once one understands the process of receiving and listening for answers to prayer, they are ready for a more powerful witness.  This requires two people searching for the same answer.  Working together the two should ponder, discuss, then pray together for an answer.  Just as with single prayer, the preparations should be the same.  The answer may come right away, or it may take awhile.
When both are ready and able to understand the answer is when the miracle occurs.  God will answer both people at the same time.  The spirit of peace will arrive and leave at the same time, and the message of inspiration will be identical.  The participants can ask what the other received and it will be the same.

There is another witness God will send to two or more people.  I call it, "The waves of the spirit."  To experience this the group must be lead by someone who is experienced at prayer and recognizing his answers.  There must be a place without distractions.  The leader will give a spiritual lesson on a subject which is dear to his heart.  Each participant must be involved in and focused on the lesson.  Having just one person not involved can prevent this miracle from happening.  That is why it sometimes won't happen with large groups.

With a qualified leader teaching and involved students learning, the miracle will happen.  During the lesson a spirit of peace will begin to fill the room.  The leader will sense this peace growing and then ask the students, "Can you feel it rising?"  All involved will acknowledge feeling the spirit of peace rising.  Then the strength of  the spirit of peace will begin to diminish.  To openly acknowledge the diminishing peace the leader will ask, "can you feel it going down?"    All the participants will acknowledge the simultaneous diminishing of the feeling of peace.  This will happen through several cycles, or waves, then the peace will diminish permanently.

These are experiences that are not limited to the righteous only.  Only the leader need be a experience listener, and the participants willing to be involved in and focused on the lesson.
God wants all his creations to know he exists and to follow his council.  But he must present himself in ways that are subtle and don't damage our test and training upon this Earth.
Prayer can also be used in an experiment to see if God really exists.  Most true athiest/agnostics lean toward science and believe knowledge must be tested to find out its legitimacy.  The scientific method can be applied to testing and finding out if there is a God.

The first step is for the agnostic to pray, without any preconceived answers, to ask if there is a God.  It is not a true experiment if they have came to their conclusion before the results have arrived.  They must free themselves of the personal interest in not believing, such as pride that they are above such beliefs, or resentment for a personal tragedy.  They then must follow the required preparations for receiving answers to pray.

Many will be surprised by their experiments results when a feeling of great peace comes upon them.  True religion and true science are one and the same.  It is false religion and false science that clash.

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Copyright c 2002 by Milo Bidswell. All rights reserved. The text of this book may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever, whether by graphic, visual, electronic, filming microfilming, tape recording, or any other means, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief passages embodied in critical reviews and articles.