God has been teaching me a lot about prayer so far this year.

I was praying a lot about the last few semesters of college, about class schedules coming together so that I could graduate this summer. God answered many prayers about spring classes and scholarship money with a great big thumbs-up. There was still the little concern of summer semester, the lynchpin, and God has continued to work in big ways: I was actually able to manually register for two summer classes, and I am at the top of the wait list for my third and last class (which has multiple sections available, too). I am so thankful and excited. {Update 2/13/12: I got a call today . . . and am now registered for that last class. I'm graduating this summer!! I am humbled to see how God is working, and answering prayers.}

I can relate to my Sunday school teacher's question, "Why does it surprise us when God answers our prayers?"

It is true that God is not a "cosmic vending machine", but I think as a result I sometimes tread too lightly around the subject of supplication specifically. I do ask, but I don't necessarily ask big or persistently or in the knowledge that God hears and answers every prayer. I don't always pray with the mentality that God is all-powerful.

Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence.
      ~ Charles Spurgeon
People in the early church "got" prayer. I have read and heard again and again lately verses about believers who prayed together, continued in prayer, were praying. There is significance to "ceaseless prayer" . . . not necessarily on-your-knees kind of prayer, but simply conscious recognition of God's presence. The more I recognize the fact that He never leaves me nor forsakes me, the more I find myself in heart conversation with my Father. And the neat thing is, one-sentence prayers are heard just as clearly as any.

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