We often ask God that we might receive things: We pray for provision, healing, spiritual gifts, a free parking place, friends, fulfilment and so on. Or we seek to pray like spiritual warriors, to “move the hand of God” for revival, or that the Lord might do great things in our nation. Recently someone told me about his conversation with God, “Just like a loving father, God loves to give and rejoices when we come to him and expect a response from him, but, as a father or mother, I rejoice even more when my children come to me, without wanting something from me, simply because they care about me, wanting to ask how I am or what I want. When I asked the Lord how HE was, the thought came to me that he probably weeps often over the brokenness, the pain, the unrighteousness in this world. Normally such thoughts would discourage me, since I’m not in a position to dry God’s tears. But this time I had the impression and the desire in my heart, that I might, through my small life, dry some of those tears by seeking to live according his precepts, such as love, faithfulness, patience, generosity, mercy, thankfulness and righteousness. Now I am much bolder, not only to lay my own needs before God in prayer, but also to ask, ‘Where do you need me?’ and to listen to whatever thoughts and impulses come to me…”

I ask myself whether we have to move the arm of God for the world – isn’t Jesus already moved deeply enough when he sees this world, the people, the need, the wars, the flood of refugees, the destruction, hunger, the extreme poverty and the unfairness in the distribution of resources?  In the gospels we often read of the compassion and tears of Jesus over mankind. Isn’t the issue less about moving God and more about how God can move ME?

Hans Heidelberger