He (Cornelius) and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day…he had a vision . Acts 10:2-3 NIV
Someone said to me that she didn’t feel that her prayers were heard which got me wondering about this notion of feeling that God has heard a prayer. What does that mean? What does that look like? In this passage, Cornelius, a Roman, is described as a devout, prayerful man. Did he feel that God heard his prayer? I get the feeling that he did what he knew God would want him to do: he gave to the poor and he prayed regularly. We don’t know what he prayed about but we get a sense that he was praying for a period of time. His understanding of God was limited but he was faithful to follow God’s way as best as he could . In time, God sent him a vision which sent Cornelius to Peter who told him the Good News.
Am I greedy if I expect something to happen every time I pray? Do I expect to feel peaceful or joyful after prayer? Do I expect changes to my circumstances? I get the feeling that Cornelius had no expectations for himself. He simply did what was right because it was right. We are called to pray, and to have our hearts tuned to God all the time. God has said he hears our prayers. I can leave it at that and rest quietly in the assurance that God’s plan for my life is unfolding as it should.