this past week I’ve been reminded of an old book I read as a student entitled ‘God tells the man who cares’ by W. Tozer. On the front cover is a picture of a man deep in prayer, and I remember wondering what it was that he was praying for in such earnest. In the week leading up to Easter, St. John’s was open for a couple of hours each day for anyone to go in and pray, and a number of us took advantage of the quietness and opportunity to get away from the business and pressure and spend time with the Lord. At the beginning of the week, I remember praying for all the things that were going on, all the concerns and worries that beset our lives, and in some instances as I prayed and read God’s word I heard him speak to me on some issues, whilst others God seemed to remain stubbornly quiet. As the week progressed I found myself quietening down, being prepared just to be with the Lord and rest in his presence as a friend and companion, and it was then that I began to understand what Tozer was saying in his book and what the man was praying for on the front cover. As I meditated on myself and Lord sitting together as friends, I began to see that I had been doing all of the talking and wanting him to answer all my concerns, perhaps even getting frustrated when he seemed not to answer. Yet, might the Lord himself have things that he would like to share with me, if I would but stop to listen and to care – after all, isn’t that what friends are for. Suddenly, I began to see my concerns and troubles in a different light, as I began to hear what the Lord was saying about things I had never even stopped to consider. I began to realise that sometimes when I felt that God was not answering my prayers, that the heavens were like brass, it might just be that he was wanting me to put my issues aside for a moment, trusting him to deal with them, that I might listen more profitably to what issues he wanted to discuss. God tells the one who cares. Following the resurrection and Jesus’ ascension into heaven, the disciples spent time in prayer, listening to God and waiting for his timing – and Pentecost came. As we look to the celebration of Pentecost, let us spend time in prayer seeking what lies on God’s heart and experiencing the peace that comes from communion with the living God.
Revd. John Harries