In Christian Counselling, people complain that they don’t feel God when they are praying. They pray to God but do not ‘feel’ a response from Him. All of us have been through this phase, and truly it is a frustrating and even disappointing moment that we are even led to ponder on such questions:
1. Is God listening to me? Is God ignoring me?
2. Is God real at all?
To address this issue, allow me to redirect you to the story of The Gentile Woman who cried out to Jesus in Matthew 15:
And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him,
saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
But He answered her not a word.
The woman cried out: “Son of David!” She needed help and yet she exalted Jesus as the heir of David, King of The Jews. But why did Jesus ignore her?
The Lord Jesus Christ could care less about the flatteries that the world has to offer. Jesus Christ is not an insecure man who needed these reminders and formalities to stir Him to love us. He, among all men, is Someone who fully knows who He is and what He came down here for. With this, exercising such formalities as declaring titles and all these “fake” praises that were merely designed to get His attention or to soften His heart, were ignored by The Lord.
In society, we play different roles (or even games) in order to manage the impressions people have on us. “I have to be nice to my boss because I want to have a good evaluation”; “I have to look tough and powerful in front of my children so they would respect me”.
All these are actually a form of social intelligence: our ability to wear these masks and to play our proper roles in order to thrive in social reality. The downside to this is that we carry this danger of bringing these masks and artificial roles we play to God.
This is the very reason why, like the gentile woman, we receive no response from Him. Pretending to be good, pretending to be successful, pretending to be capable and powerful in front of the very Being who had to sacrifice His Son for our sins; this is not how it works with God.
So how did the gentile woman manage to get Jesus’ attention?
One will see that Jesus only acknowledged her when she truly expressed what’s in her heart: “Lord, help me!” (Matthew 15:25)
This woman, in an act of desperation, dropped her act and expressed her true self to The Lord. It is then that Jesus met her at her true level.
The Lord Jesus knows everything about you and me. Yet, He loves us. Yet, He laid His life down for us. God wants us to come to Him for who we really are; not as fakes trying to impress Him for a favour.
“Lord Help me!” Reveals the truth that Jesus Christ is everything and that we are indeed nothing. With this prayer, we acknowledge the truth that we are mere sheep to the Good Shepherd. That we are the useless and powerless son compared to the All Loving Father. It touches the very root of Salvation: that we are sinners and we need The Saviour.
Come to Him boldly and with all honesty because it is only with this attitude that God responds to. It is only when our true self has been accepted when we will feel His love for us.
Come to Him as you are, and enjoy your Jesus time!