The age old question is, “Does God really answer prayer?” The response of the believer is, “Yes!” The more realistic answer is, “What does your God look like?”
The Israelites saw God as having agency in their lives and affairs. God is active on behalf of his people if they are faithful. The amazing thing about God is that God is faithful, wants to look good to the nations, even when we go astray. We wander and stray; however, we then repent and God forgives. We thus move forward to a new and deeper level of relationship. It really is all about relationships.
In today’s reading, Queen Esther and her people are in dire straits. Esther prostrates herself before God and cries out for help. She knows God will be faithful. God is always faithful to God’s promises.
The Psalmist assures us that God answers:
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
Jesus teaches us more about prayer. A few days ago he taught us the Our Father with the caveat, “Do not babble like the pagans.” Maybe today with the revival and resurgence of the Divine Feminine, Jesus would teach us to pray, “Our Mother.” (God is really neither male nor female but we have to put some descriptors upon the mystery of God so we can handle it.)
We must strike a balance between asking God and pestering God. In contrast to the persistent woman seeking help from her recalcitrant sleepy neighbor, Jesus tells us to cool our jets:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
Why do we have to make prayer more elaborate and more persistent than it needs to be? Revelation teaches that the door is a two-way door. Not only do we knock on God’s door, God knocks on our door. All we have to do when God knocks is open the door and invite God into our lives.
At other times, all we need to do is ask.
We have been taught, through no fault of our own, that prayer is about saying words, saying words over and over again. Not so. Ultimately, prayer is resting in God. Prayer is simply being present to the Presence. We know God cares for us much more than for the sparrows; therefore, we simply sit and place our trust in God.
The real issue may not be how to pray. It is whether we believe God cares enough to act, to intervene, to answer our prayer. The bottom line is that no matter the outcome, whether our prayer is answered in terms of our request or not, we know that God is present to us and with us in all that is going on in our lives.
Matt Fox teaches us about the reality and presence of the Cosmic Christ:
First of all, the Cosmic Christ is the archetype for mysticism and it’s about patterns that connect. It’s also the divine image that is in every being. The idea of Christ as light is not just theology; it is echoed by science. There are photons and light rays in every atom in the Universe. The Cosmic Christ is that which we experience as the divine radiance and luminosity in all things.
His colleague, Andrew Harvey writes:
To the ancient vision of the Cosmic Christ as that force that reveals the inter-coherence of the Universe and the Divinity of all things, Jesus adds the aspect of a radical and passionate evolutionary force on the side of justice, compassion, and the building of the Kingdom/Queendom.
Check out the web site and the upcoming web cast on Creation Spirituality.
Fox and Harvey are teaching that God is intimately present to us as the Cosmic Power bringing all things to fulfillment in the Cosmic Christ as we make our pilgrimage toward the Omega Point—the full realization of the promises of the Kin-dom—now and in the future.
The Cosmic Christ is ever present to us and, as Paul says, all things are working toward good. He is the Firstborn of the new Creation as Divinity flares forth as light, as sparks of the Divine. Harvey reminds us that God is about more than meeting our sometimes petty wants and needs. God is about cosmic issues—justice, compassion, love, forgiveness. All these are forces which bring about the reality of god’s Kin-dom.
We are cocooned and enveloped in this presence. The presence of the Cosmic Christ surrounds ua like bubble wrap. Ask God for what you want and need and then, as Archie Bunker used to say to Edith, “stifle it!” All we have to do is rest in Presence.