Spotted on a church sign: “God answers knee-mail.”

Another sign across town: “Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers.”

Written communication methods have changed through the years. Long gone are the days of the Pony Express and drooping telegraph lines alongside train tracks. Letters and packages are now transported overnight using airplanes. Even faster? Virtually instant electronic communication via email and text messages.Verbal communication has also changed as telephone operators and party lines gave way to cell phones and orbiting satellite networks.

But true communication, assuming no technical delivery glitches occur, only happens when two parties both do their part. One picks up the phone and the other answers. One writes a letter, puts a stamp on it, and drops it in the mailbox while the other has to open the envelope. One types a message and presses send while the other checks their electronic inbox and reads.

Prayer is the same. It requires participation on two sides. The good news is one half of this communication equation is always listening and never on another line. No need for voice mail with God.

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry … The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:15, 17 NIV)

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14a NIV)

“And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV)

But did you catch the implied conditions? If we are righteous (no unconfessed sin standing in the way). If we seek with all our hearts (no partial obedience or distractions to cause static on the line). If we ask according to His will (no requests for stuff that isn’t good for us – like our neighbor’s car, or to win the lottery, or …).

There’s just one more condition. Faith. The postage stamp on our prayers. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22 NIV) Do you believe that He hears and will answer? That’s what faith is all about.

So, if the lines of communication are open, put together the message from your heart. Attach some faith and send it on its way. God is waiting to hear from you.

What about you? Do you believe God hears when you pray? Why or why not? How’s your side of the communication equation? Do you have sufficient “postage?”

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