What exactly is communication? We know the give & take in human encounters. But is that how we experience communication with God?
Surely, there are those outside of Biblical examples like Moses who have sensed the voice of God. But those are rare instances.
So we are left hollow at times in discerning the supernatural voice of God as He speaks to us. Yet it is there…even in our misfortunes.
Attributing good in one’s life or positive answers to prayer to God is meaningless if the negative or even the answer of “wait” isn’t also considered a providential communication. The key in prayer that many miss is that prayer is not meant to sway God to our desires. It is meant as a means of acknowledging and allowing God to direct our lives—no matter what the direction.
Prayer, as in Shakespeare’s works, is ‘pray tell.’ Tell me. It is communication, and in regards to God, it hinges upon submission to the unseen and unheard. Even so, the answers from God are very clear. Pray for a job for which you interview. If you get it, the answer was yes. If not, the answer was no.
What complicates the process is that humans are geared toward the five senses. We expect that all we see, hear, etc. are the only ways to receive input.
Even Jesus experienced the seeming lack of God the Father’s communication both in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross. In the Garden, His prayer for removing the Sacrifice ahead if Him was so fervent that He sweat drops of blood. In the end, when the authorities lead by Judas arrested Him, He knew the Father’s answer: no. He didn’t ‘hear’ it in the normal way, yet the answer was clear.
Similarly on the Cross when he agonized for three hours, He felt what St. Mother Theresa called the darkness of the soul: feeling abandoned by God. But was it abandonment, or was it the culmination of the answer to prayer?
The response of Christ gives us the key to what we should strive for in our own response to these moments of feeling communication with the Almighty is one-way. Knowng that only God sees the big picture, each prayer should end with, “Your will, not mine, be done.” In that moment of submission, we will be more ready to observe God’s Perfect Will for our lives play out in the way He supernaturally answers our prayers. A way beyond human senses. If we strive for the Biblical definition of faith, our communication with God will feel like more of a two-way encounter.
“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, NABRE)