O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you.
Psalm 5:1-2 NLT
Prayer is an ongoing dialogue-a real and intimate conversation-between God, our Father, and us, his beloved children. Since prayer is a conversation between us and God, we can expect to be heard by the Holy Spirit and to be spoken to by God. Our conversation with God involves sharing, asking questions, clarifying, and responding. Prayer opens our hearts to God’s presence, our ears to his direction, our minds to his will, and our spirit to his great love. Prayer makes us great receivers of God’s most gracious grace. Prayer provides insights into our struggles, alignment with God’s will, and wisdom for life’s problems.
George Washington Carver wanted to help Southern sharecroppers: their soil was exhausted from years and years of growing cotton and the boil weevil had destroyed thousands of acres of new crops. Mr. Carver needed to find alternative crops to restore the soil and create new markets. Carver, the President of Tuskegee Institute, turned to the Lord for help:
George Washington Carver was one of our great scientists, and he often prayed, addressing God as “Mr. Creator.” One night he walked out into the woods and prayed, “Mr. Creator, why did you make the universe?” He listened, and this is what he heard: “Little man, that question is too big for you. Try another!” The next night he walked into the woods and prayed, “Mr. Creator, why did you make man [meaning, the human race]?” He listened and he heard this: “Little man, that question is still too big for you. Try another!”
The third night he went into the woods and prayed, “Mr. Creator, why did you make the peanut?” This is what he heard: “Little man, that question is just your size. You listen and I will teach you.” And you may know that George Washington Carver invented some three hundred ways to use the peanut.
Richard J. Foster, Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer (Kindle Locations 578-583), Kindle Edition.