The recycling comes to the end of our half mile driveway every other week. The container is quite full by the time it is picked up. Plastic milk cartons are squeezed flat, little cans are put inside of big cans. One day while stuffing a plastic lid in a plastic can in a plastic container I began to wonder what happens at the other end.
There must be some sorting process on a conveyor belt separating the materials for recycling. It is doubtful that the sorting is automated. So, I am picturing someone trying to unpack my space saving, crushed together, mixed material and having to stop the conveyor belt to sort out the mess I created.
I am not certain that my thoughts are accurate, but I no longer stuff mixed items into each other.
I am equally uncertain how God handles prayers from the entire world. Is there a conveyor belt of prayer post-it notes going by and His angels are helping sort them out. Prayers for healing, prayers for finding a lost pet, prayers for fixing a bad boss and a bunch of post-it notes stuck together - those would be my prayers.
My prayers can get like my crunched and mixed up recycling. A prayer for my friends healing, prayer for the well-being of my family, prayer for victory over failures, prayer for our church, prayer for our nation and then things I am reminded to pray about in various emails and blogs. Some prayers have been recently answered and I gave prayers of thanks to the Lord for His answer that I liked. I am not so happy when God answers differently than I expect.
Do my prayers stop the conveyor belt of prayers in heaven and bring all conversation with God to a grinding halt?
Pretty certain that is not the way it works. God is infinite and He has the ability to hear every prayer around the world as though it is the only conversation He is having. God personally hears and answers every dialog that you have with Him. When our prayers get crunched together, the Holy Spirit brings clarity to the jumble. When we do not even know how or what to pray, the Holy Spirit looks into our hearts and brings what we are unable to articulate to God.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.