I remember when home computers were a luxury that not many people could afford. Can you believe that was only 25 years ago? Now many families have multiple computer devices, which include desk computers, laptops, tablet computers and smartphones. And they are getting faster and faster.
In 2013 the world’s fastest computers are measured in terms we weren’t even aware of less than ten years ago. For example, just a few years ago, supercomputer speed was measured in pico-seconds, which is one trillionth, or one millionth of one millionth of a second. Today the speed is measured in PFLOPS, which is quadrillion floating point operations per second. In fact, the new supercomputer of the end of 2013 was twice as fast as the best of 2012. The speed of these processors is simply unfathomable to the average person.
But we don’t have to go to a supercomputer to be awed by the speed of the average computer chip. The average computer speed for the average household runs from 1.4 to 2.0 gigabytes per second. A gigabyte is a billion. So your computer processes between 1.4 and 2 billion instructions a second. No matter how you look at it, that is fast.
Before you think this is all about computers, I share this information because I’m often asked how God can process so many prayers at one time. The question usually comes from someone who believes his or her prayer is not being answered and believes God is too busy, or has too many requests.
I think we would all agree that God is more than a match for a computer. God is not a creature and doesn’t have the limitations of a created being. If a man-made computer can process more than a trillion instructions in a second, consider how mighty God is who can process an infinite number of requests in a fraction of a second. And when you consider this, keep in mind the global population is far below 1 trillion.
The bottom line is God does hear your prayers – all of them; he is never too busy to listen, and he is never too busy to respond. The Psalmist said this: “God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66:19-20).
Unlike a supercomputer designed simply to process instructions, God’s desire is to build and be in relationship with all his children. Part of that relationship is never being too busy to hear or to answer your prayers.
Joseph Tkach has been president of Grace Communion International since 1995. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Azusa Pacific University.