When I see an open window it reminds me of the opportunity each of us has to spiritually breathe in fresh air, exhale, and talk to God. For the practicing Christian, prayer is oxygen. And like prayer, an open window is an escape from the four walls that encase our minds.
But a lot of folks keep their windows shut and let the toxic air of maybe an abusive dysfunctional relationship, a negative church experience, or skepticism from the past-kill the inkling of faith they have left. Why?
Could it be due to unanswered prayers? In chapter 16 of Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference, Philip Yancey writes (under the section What We Do Wrong),
“Some prayers go unanswered because they are simply frivolous. “Lord, please give us a sunny day for the soccer match” trivializes prayer, especially when local farmers may at the same time be praying for rain. A last-ditch plea, “Help me get an A on this next test,” will likely not succeed if the pray-er has not studied, just as a chain-smoker has no right to pray, “Protect me from lung cancer.”
But, regardless if we caused our dilemma or not, we still need grace.
When I open a window I usually look out and then up. To begin with, sometimes, I spend a few moments marveling at God’s creation, clouds that appear like they were painted by an artist. Then I usually move to quoting a favorite verse of scripture that goes along with how I feel. “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship.” (Psalm 19:1, NLT)
Finally, I get to the crux of what is either breaking my heart, stressing me to the max, or weighing down friends and family.
How many times have I uttered, “God please hear every letter of every word, of every phrase, of every sentence, of every paragraph, from the pages of my heart.” Yes, we should be humble when we approach God.
But, as crazy at is sounds, He wants us to be confident, just not in ourselves. The author of Hebrews wrote, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (4:16, NLT).
“I cannot say to my neighbor, “I love you and enjoy spending time with you, but I hate your stupid dog and keep those bratty kids out of my yard, will you?” How I treat what belongs to my neighbor affects how he receives my love. The same applies to God: how I treat God’s creation, God’s children, will determine in part how God receives my prayers and my worship. Prayer involves more than bowing my head a few times a day; it pervades all of life, and vice versa.”
We can’t blame all of our unanswered prayers on God. We do play a part because our relationship with Him is not one-sided. Why not open your window and start a conversation with God and see what happens.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon” except for mountain-sky picture from Omni Hotels & Resorts/The Omni Grove Park Inn courtesy of Facebook