What do we expect from God when we pray? How quickly do we expect God to respond to us? Does God hear us when we pray? And indeed, do we pray in the right manner? In a divine service conducted at Strasbourg, France, on 26th April 2020, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider began his sermon with a deeply inspiring and reflective message on praying and trusting God to answer. He expressed these in what he called, “The Flower Story”.
“Last year we (my family and 1) bought some pots and some flower seeds. I was supposed to plant them, but I did not; I could not find the time. However, I could do it now (due to the COVID-19 lockdown) so I sowed my flower seeds; I put some soil in the pots, planted the seeds, watered them and then waited” he began.
“Every morning I went to these pots and looked into them. What happened? Nothing!” he remarked. “First day, second day, after one week…just nothing! So I became upset, and I thought, ‘Ah, they have sold me seeds of poor quality!’ I must admit, though, that I did not consider I may have done something wrong.”
The Church Leader continued: “However, after two weeks something happened. There were tiny stems and some small leaves. I was happy, but when I had a closer look I said, ‘Hey, these are not the flowers I paid for. They do not look like the flowers pictured on the seed-box.’ Again, I got upset, ‘they sold me the wrong seeds!’ But then I checked the internet and realized it was just a phase and that finally, they will become the flowers I wanted to have.”
“However, this helped me to reconsider my prayers. This story is a nice way to think of our prayers. We consider our prayers as orders we place; we have a wish or a need, we express it in prayer and we expect God to deliver our wishes and needs within a few hours or a few days. We expect God to deliver as soon as possible.”
The Chief Apostle further explained: “However, I have recently pondered that maybe we should think of our prayers as seeds that we sow, each time we pray. We entrust it to our God and then He begins to work. Quite often we see just nothing, and we begin to think God did not listen to us, He does nothing. Let Him work, He is already working! After sometime, we often see something, but it is not what we may have expected. Trust God, the seed is growing. If we do the right thing, pray in the right manner, God will provide us what we need. Trust Him.”
He concluded: “Maybe we are in the phase where nothing happens, but if you have sowed in the right manner; if you have prayed with faith, fear of God and with trust, God will hear your prayer. He will answer it and He will provide you what you need.”